Sep 17, 2020
Gov. Cuomo blasts de Blasio over waste in NYC budget
This news has been received from: New York Post
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo engaged in a little fat shaming Wednesday — over New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bloated city budget.
Asked about de Blasio’s announcement earlier in the day of one-week staff furloughs including himself and his oft-repeated threat of widespread municipal layoffs to shore up the Big Apple’s balance sheet, Cuomo said there’s “a lot of waste” in the Big Apple’s budget.
“I’m saying layoffs are the last thing you want to do. They’re the last option, especially in New York City where you have so many problems. We have a homeless problem. We have a crime problem. The city is dirty,” said Cuomo, landing several punches at his downstate rival’s expense.
“Layoffs are the last option, but in a $90 billion budget that the city has, I’m sure there’s a lot of waste that you can find and that’s what you would need to do before you would go to borrow or lay off anyone.”
De Blasio and the City Council inked a 2021 budget deal that pared-back city spending from an expected $95 billion to $88 billion — including controversial cuts to the NYPD, as well as the Parks and Sanitation departments.
That package included $1 billion in unspecified labor savings — and with union negotiations seemingly going nowhere, Hizzoner has warned that 22,000 municipal employees may get pink slips unless he gets federal aid or state permission to borrow.Gov. Andrew CuomoLev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock
Independent government watchdogs say there is something to Cuomo’s critique, arguing that de Blasio focused too deeply on cutting program expenses while failing to tackle the city’s structural costs.
“We have a major multi-year fiscal crisis, the mayor has talked about borrowing and layoffs when he has other options and he needs to exercise those other options,” said Andrew Rein, president of the Citizens Budget Commission.
Rein’s CBC published an analysis that shows the city could easily find $1 billion in savings from trimming the city’s generous employee healthcare programs, consolidate fringe benefits administered by each union and tweaking decades-old work rules.
“He needs to work with his commissioners to have efficiencies to downsize the workforce over time,” Rein added. “They adopted a balanced budget this year and then the mayor came back two months later saying we did not achieve what we promised — and we have a bigger problem next year.”Mayor Bill de BlasioMichael Appleton
Cuomo did not mention his own financial predicament as Albany faces a projected $30 billion budget hole over the next two years.
The state Division of Budget said in August that local governments could see state funding for health, education and other key services slashed by as much as 20 percent unless federal aid arrives.
The budget passed by state lawmakers during the spring gave Cuomo significant authority to borrow as much as $11 billion and make unilateral cuts to state programs as the coronavirus pandemic erupted.Filed under andrew cuomo , bill de blasio , city budget , city council , city hall , Coronavirus in NY , layoffs , state budget , 9/16/20
News Source: New York Post
Beloved Staten Island tavern loses liquor license days after suing over restaurant ban
Something smells rotten on Staten Island — and it’s not the old dump.
Residents believe the stench is coming from Albany.
The borough’s beloved Joyce’s Tavern — which has a heavy FDNY constituency — lost its liquor license following a “surprise, random” visit during a 9/11 fundraiser on Sept. 11 by State Liquor Authority (SLA) inspectors.
The Irish pub’s supporters say the raid was a political hit job, and that a new videotape will soon prove the bar and grill did nothing wrong — and could exonerate it as soon as this coming week.
Tavern backers believe the ill-timed raid was retaliation by Gov. Cuomo for a lawsuit filed just days earlier against him, as well as the city and Mayor de Blasio, by Joyce’s and other crippled Island restaurants demanding they be allowed to reopen.
About 900 Islanders outraged by the SLA takedown formed a GoFundMe defense fund that collected $66,000 in less than a week.
“Resistance to thugs like Cuomo and Communists like de Blasio is vital if we are to live in freedom,” said Frederick Martin, who chipped in $100.
The borough’s pols have also jumped into the fray.
State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-SI) has been working behind the scenes to get the Cuomo administration to “correct the mistake made by the SLA,” sources said.
Lanza told The Post Friday, “This restaurant, for all intents and purposes, is closed down. It breaks my heart that government can’t fix a clear mistake.”Claire O’Toole outside Joyce’s Tavern.J.C.Rice
City Councilman Joe Borelli blasted Cuomo and de Blasio on Twitter for siccing the SLA on the 54-year-old gin mill. The GOP lawmaker, known for his sharp tweets attacking both Dems, noted the raid also came a day after he held a well-publicized book-signing on Joyce’s patio. “What a coincidence,” he said, that on the “very next night, the SLA goons come in for a surprise random inspection.”
The state denied the action was Cuomo’s revenge. An SLA spokesman told Joyce’s attorneys Lou Gelormino and Mark Fonte that the tavern was one of over 1,300 visited by inspectors Sept. 11.
The SLA contends the gin mill “violated the executive orders that have been in place for six months, by allowing at least 10 patrons to eat indoors.”Joyce’s Tavern on Staten Island.J.C.Rice
But the tavern contends the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation fundraiser that drew a large crowd was situated outdoors on a back patio. The only people inside, it says, were a party of eight, including two pregnant women, who were waiting for 45 minutes to be seated. They were invited inside to rest. No food was served and two glasses of water were given to the expecting moms. Co-owner Clare O’Toole was drinking a glass of wine.
The tavern’s lawyers said the SLA found the patio scene “fully compliant,” but wrote the bar up for the inside guests violating the ban on indoor drinking and dining.
The lawyers said they “have presented the SLA with evidence fully exonerating Joyce’s of any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, while we wait for the board of the SLA to meet next week, Joyce’s will still unjustly have their liquor license suspended.
“Sadly, the SLA choose 9/11 a day of unity, a day remembrance, a day when Joyce’s was hosting a charity event, to unjustifiably suspend their license.”
Gelormino and Fonte represent Joyce’s and other restaurants in their Sept. 8 lawsuit to jumpstart indoor dining in the Big Apple. Cuomo has since announced the prohibition will be lifted on Sept. 30.
While Joyce’s braces for its SLA hearing, restaurant owner Clare O’Toole said her family “is confident that when the SLA digests all the evidence they will quickly lift the suspension. We truly appreciate the outpouring of support we received and just want to get back to doing what we love, serving the Staten Island community.”
On Saturday morning, the restaurant and other Island eateries presented a check totaling over $25,000 to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the proceeds from the 9/11 fundraiser.
The story was first reported by the Staten Island Advance and NY1.Filed under 9/11 , andrew cuomo , Coronavirus in NY , state liquor authority , 9/19/20