NY Daily News - May 04, 2012by Tina Moore, Reuven Blau AND Rachel Monahan
Bloomberg, who presented his proposal to a packed room of city officials and news media, suggested that he would work with the Council to restore some funding.
"Sure, I'm concerned," Hizzoner said when asked about cutting services for needy children. "You'll have to wait and see what we do."
He has until June 30 to hammer out a final budget with the City Council.
"The city cannot do everything for everybody," he added. "The objective is to try to balance and make choices."
Quinn, who hopes to follow Bloomberg as mayor, crowed about the preservation of 2,500 teaching jobs -- or $185 million in the executive budget.
"This response to our call keeps school budgets whole and prevents classroom sizes from rising further," Quinn said.
It was the first time since 2008 the budget didn't slash teachers. There are 74,714 in the city, down from 79,109 in 2008.
But Bloomberg warned the United Federation of Teachers that it would cost the city $300 million in state aid if the union fails to reach a deal on evaluations by January.
Bloomberg defended the possible closure of 20 fire companies and insisted response times wouldn't increase. "We have the lowest number of deaths by fire ever in the history of the city since we started keeping numbers," he said.
And he balked at criticism from City Council members.
"They weren't elected to run the city and, you know, there's nothing wrong with them having those views."
Aside from the agency cuts, Bloomberg's budget relies on increased revenue through fees and fines and several one-shot deals to plug a $495 million shortfall.
Bloomberg's proposal uses $2 billion from the Retiree Health Benefits Trust Fund in 2013 and 2014. His plan also relies on about a half-billion dollars recouped in the CityTime scandal and $1 billion from outer-borough taxi medallion sales, a plan that is threatened by lawsuits.
"If we don't get the billion dollars, we're going to have to cut services in the city dramatically," Bloomberg warned.