Mayor Calls for Staffing Cuts, Some Brooklyn Neighborhood Boards Say No

Mayor Calls for Staffing Cuts, Some Brooklyn Community Boards Say No

Amid this year’s enormous spending budget shortfalls, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s workplace is asking the city’s neighborhood boards to voluntarily lay off some of their paid employees to enable lighten the load, but a number of regional civic panels have resisted City Hall’s calls to sacrifice their workforce.

The head of a single southern Brooklyn board stated the cuts would make it tougher for the boards to advocate for daily constituent troubles like garbage pickup or tree pruning.

“Absolutely not, we have a really tiny employees to start with [and] for us to voluntarily get rid of one more employees member is out of the query,” stated Theresa Scavo, chairperson of Neighborhood Board 15 in Sheepshead Bay. “You want somebody who is going to consistently get in touch with back these folks [at city agencies] and inform them [about local concerns].”

Scavo and a number of other Brooklyn boards have rejected the demand by the Mayor’s Workplace of Management and Price range, which asked civic gurus in a teleconference on August 19 to look at cutting back their paid employees, which is typically about 3 folks per board.

Hizzoner has threatened laying off 22,000 municipal personnel across all city agencies by Oct. 1 to balance a $9 billion city spending budget deficit triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Departments anticipated some of their personnel to get their 30-day notices Monday, but de Blasio delayed handing out pink slips right after union leaders urged him to take time to uncover other suggests of saving income, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A spokeswoman for the mayor declined to give a particular date for the layoffs, saying it was a “day by day” timeline.

“On the new date, the mayor spoke to this nowadays. It is a day by day issue,” stated Laura Feyer in an e-mail.

Feyer refused to say no matter if any of the boards have currently volunteered redundancies, but noted that all agencies from the mayor’s workplace on down have been asked to reduce their workforce and that the ideal way to prevent that was for the state to enable the city to borrow income.

“The City has lost billions in income due to the influence of COVID-19. All agencies and organizations that have paid employees, like neighborhood boards and offices of elected officials, have been asked to participate in labor savings,” Feyer stated. “Long term borrowing authority from Albany is the ideal resolution to prevent layoffs.”

The city’s 59 neighborhood boards consist virtually totally of 50 unpaid members every single, but they also have a handful of salaried city personnel, such as a district manager and a couple of supporting employees.

These workers run the board district offices, field complaints from residents, and organize month-to-month meetings for board members and the public to give input about neighborhood troubles ranging from state liquor licenses to proposed mega-developments.

In the coronavirus era, the boards have met on line by means of video conferencing platform Cisco WebEx, and the head of Downtown Brooklyn’s Neighborhood Board two stated that a single of their hires, who began operate just ahead of the pandemic broke out, utilized her background in a digital operate atmosphere to enable CB2 additional simply transition to virtual meetings.

“One of my new hires comes out of the digital planet and operating remotely — she has often worked remotely in current jobs — and she has just stepped in and stepped up,” stated Rob Perris.

Neighborhood Board two voted unanimously at a current executive committee meeting to not lay off any of its paid employees, which consists of 3 complete-time personnel and a single portion-timer.

Perris echoed Scavo’s issues that a decreased employees would make it tougher to hold bureaucrats’s feet to the fire to resolve troubles in the districts.

“You want to go back and back and back to a mayoral agency in order to get a resolution,” Perris stated. “[With less staff] we’d additional readily accept defeat.”

1 Downtown Brooklyn board member at the August 24 meeting slammed de Blasio, saying the panels had been a single of the handful of formal neighborhood forums offered and that they are currently starved of funds.

“Community boards are so underfunded to start with, that it is a disgrace to ask us who represent the neighborhood — about the only location exactly where the neighborhood has any type of say — it is disgraceful to ask us to reduce,” stated Irene Janner.

Editor’s note: A version of this story initially ran in Brooklyn Paper. Click right here to see the original story.

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