Lhota calls a Council-empowering proposal ‘ludicrous,’ among other responses
City Council members Jumaane Williams and Dan Garodnick announced today that they want the next mayor to change the city charter and give the City Council a more meaningful role in how the city budget is made.
"Our budget is growing each year, but the City Council's role in the process is shrinking," Garodnick said in a statement. "These proposals are a litmus test for the field of potential chief executives," said Williams.
They want to:
— require the mayor to announce the administration's revenue forecasts, which set the parameters for budget negotations, a month early.
— curb the mayor's ability to impound funds and reserve that power only for emergencies.
— require greater disclosure about how every dollar is spent in the budget.
I asked the candidates for their responses.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democratic former councilman, is reviewing the proposals, according to his campaign.
Sal Albanese, also a Democratic former councilman, endorsed the plan and said it'll help ensure accountability.
Joe Lhota, the Republican former M.T.A. chairman and deputy mayor, is strongly against it: "These proposals, which reverse the wisdom of the 1989 Charter Revision Commission, are ludicrous and will jeopardize the City's long record of on-time budgets and our credit rating," he said.
George McDonald, the founder of the Doe Fund who's running as a Republican, said the proposals were "serious" and looked forward to examining them further: "In general, I encourage proposals that will create more transparency, drive greater efficiencies and enhance agency performance," he said in a satement. "As Mayor, I will work closely with the City Council and respect their role in the governing process."
I'll update with further responses as I get them.