New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is not the most popular guy in the world right now and that’s an understatement. Even his own Democratic colleagues have had enough. They ran a recent advertisement that referred to him as the worst mayor in the history of the city. It’s a bold claim but we are struggling to refute it at the moment.
In order to create that level of disunity, you have to work pretty darn hard. de Blasio is up to the task, though. Even the New York Post is getting in on the act, letting their readers know that de Blasio was in need of a vacation. He’s a train wreck who should definitely take a breather or two. At long last, the city is receiving some much needed good news.
The mayor has decided that he is going to furlough his whole staff for a week, self included. 495 mayoral staff members are now required to take a week of unpaid vacation between the month of October and March of 2021. The mayor’s administrative assistants and his wife will have to adhere to the order, in case anyone was wondering.
The city is doing everything they can to make up for budgetary shortfalls that are being caused by the pandemic. While the news is fun to laugh at, de Blasio is not going to actually take a break. He will be working through the furlough and the same is expected of many of his aides. The city is facing very uncertain times.
de Blasio is already threatening to lay off city workers in large numbers if he does not receive a federal or state bailout. At the moment, this does not seem very likely. There are those who are going to point out the obvious: what does this even achieve? de Blasio and his staffers working for free for a week is great but the total savings is less than a million.
How is that going to cover for the billions and billions in losses? It looks nice to the media and we are sure some will be gullible enough to praise him. Those who are actually willing to consider logistics are not going to be easily impressed by this media driven move. de Blasio wants everyone to talk about how selfless his staff is but he doesn’t want anyone to question why it takes over $800,000 per week to run his office.
The $860,000 he is going to save with this meaningless decision won’t cover the losses. He will either need to generate revenue or find a way to save money. If he wants to make more meaningful cuts, he could start with his wife. Chirlane McCray employs a 14 person staff that costs local taxpayers at least $2 million per year. It’s a slightly larger drop in the bucket but it’s something.
New York City is shedding jobs at a rate that cannot be sustained. Since over 1 million residents have lost their jobs, that’s a lot of lost tax revenue that cannot be replaced that easily. The mayor knows it and that’s why he has requested a loan of $5 billion from the state. There has been very little progress on this front so far.
de Blasio may be getting desperate but he’s clearly not desperate enough. While it is hard to blame the current situation on him, the onus falls on the mayor to make the right decisions. He’s the one who wanted the job, so he needs to step up to the plate as soon as possible. Otherwise, the city is going to be underwater before we know it.
Smooth seas do not make for skilled sailors and de Blasio has found himself in some serious chop. New York City residents are now forced to wait and see if he can bring this thing back around again. They are right to be nervous at the moment. A one week furlough is not enough.