City Council Response to Mayor’s FY17 Preliminary Budget Praised by Kallos

04/04/2016

New York, NY – Today, Council Member Ben Kallos, Chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, applauded the New York City Council’s response to the Mayor’s FY 2017 Preliminary Budget and FY 2016 Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report (PMMR).

“Speaker Mark-Viverito and the Council have put together a broad set of recommendations unified by the principle that our City’s government should serve New Yorkers seamlessly and effectively,” said Council Member Kallos. “By spending taxpayer money wisely and transparently, we can free up needed funds for schools, parks, assistance programs, and public infrastructure.”
Discussed at the Committee on Governmental Operations Preliminary Budget Hearing was:  

  • Restructuring the P/MMR: The committee held three hearings, with a fourth planned for April 6th, focused on improving the Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report (PMMR) and Mayor’s Management Report (MMR). As City priorities shift and new programs are added, it is important to confirm the P/MMR captures a clear, representative, and comprehensive picture of services and performance.

Council Member Kallos has also advocated for the following recommendations found in the Council’s response:
Budget

  • Budget Reserves: Having won a $500 million allocation toward the Capital Stabilization Reserve in last year’s budget, Kallos continues to fight to increase reserves. The City’s current budget reserves of $6 billion are below the levels prior to the Great Recession. While in good economic times we should be adding to our reserves so we are prepared in the event of an economic downturn.
  • Open Budget: Transparency is the hallmark of good government and the budget is the most important public policy the City produces. As an Open Data advocate, Kallos is pushing OMB to publish all applicable documents in open formats like Excel.

 Education

  • Eliminate All School Lunch Fees: As a free/reduced school lunch recipient, Kallos continues to fight alongside Public Advocate James and Council Members Dromm and Levin for universal free lunch for public school students.
  • Create Wage Parity Between Child Care Providers: As an advocate for Universal Childcare for ages 0-3, Kallos called for EarlyLearn child care center staff and teacher pay to increase to achieve parity with UPK staff and teachers.
  • Improving Civic Education in New York City Schools: Even prior to his election to the Council, Kallos registered high school seniors and ran mock elections for students. He recently pressed Education Chancellor Farina on civic engagement in schools.
  • Improve Transparency of the Five-Year School Capital Plan: The School Construction Authority’s (SCA) multi-billion dollar budget contains hundreds of projects, most without dollar amounts, sites, or project schedules. For proper oversight, every project should include the estimated or actual cost, the location or site, and the planned start date or completion date.

Public Safety

  • Civilianize 200 Positions at the Police Department: By hiring civilians to perform NYPD’s administrative and clerical duties, more uniformed personnel will be available to perform critical public safety functions in our communities.
  • Hire More School Crossing Guards: Crossing guards are needed to protect our children on crowded streets. We need the funds to ensure that each school that wants a crossing guard can have one.