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The Call Blog: Council Budget Focuses On Policing, Homelessness, School Lunches

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I was surprised to hear so many of our callers say they would rather have less cops than less affordable housing. I think Gilda from Elmhurst said it really well when she said: "There's gotta be something between public housing and a $3 million a month apartment." Unfortunately, affordable housing seems to rank lower on the list of priorities - let's hope they address it in the next budget cycle.



Mayor de Blasio doesn't appear interested in supporting the City Council's proposal to use $94 million tax dollars to hire an additional 1,000 police officers. On the day Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito outlined the Council's financial plan for the upcoming year, de Blasio said he's "not in the business of adding to a deficit when we can get the job done with the resources we have now."

The Council is also proposing to use $24 million tax dollars to provide free lunches to all students at public schools, regardless of their family's income. In addition, it wants to reduce the homeless population living in shelters by creating a rental subsidy program. But when it comes to affordable housing, the Council offers a plan to have tenants' rents tied to their income. What do you say?

What's your reaction to Mayor de Blasio's stance on hiring an additional 1,000 police officers? How would you reduce the homeless population in New York City? Do you want to see more of a focus put on affordable housing? Should all students get free lunches?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



I am curious to know if anyone is setting aside what could be a large sum of money to meet the recent, ludicrous state mandate that NYC pay to rent space for charter schools that are opening or expanding and can't fit in 'available' local public schools. Where will that money come from? How would it suddenly become available when we always hear from the DOE that they don't have money to replace rotting classroom trailers, immediately remove PCBs, put wi-fi in all schools and on and on?

Free school lunches are a fantastic idea, but I do think that families should have to sign up for them each month or each semester...there could be an awful lot of waste otherwise.

Anni
Manhattan



All students should get free lunches because that might be the only nutritional meal they're eating all day because they're eating chips and drinking sodas or maybe the parents don't have enough money to buy food for the family the price of food is going up espically for a family with a lot of kids. The Councils plan to have tenants rent tied to their income is great because the rent is some buildings is to high for some people espically people living on a fixed income, more affordable housing should be built for the homeless more cops are needed in high crime areas.

Herman
Upper West Side



All I'm hearing is what the mayor is doing for immigrants, HELLO what us American citizens? I hear tell this is "the land of the free" but not us.
education; I heard tell that 45% of the kids that go to school are of immigrant non tax paying families.
Why do American kids have to suffer with over crowding, teachers who have to spend more time with kids that don't speak english, and we are paying for it. Make them pay $20 or $30 a month per kid Dream kids and college why not Americans first

Mike



We don't need more cops. We need better cops.

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody pays. In NYC's case, it's the taxpayer whose pocket is being picked by the government.

The only way to renew NYC is to remove government from every area of our lives, to repeal regulations, cut taxes to zero and get rid of unions and government leeches.

Joe
Port Richmond



They should end the socialist feeding programs at schools and only feed those that do not have the means to pay. They are trying to reinvent the wheel and are failing.

Roscoe
Park Hill



The council in asking for 1,000 additional police officers should keep in mind that for the first time in city history, the expense allocat5ed for pensions for retirees exceed the expenditure for the active force. We don't want the return of the fiscal crisis of the late seventies in NYC. The police force has 10 percent non performing officers according to Esposito, lets get rid of them and hire police officers that will be proud to wear the badge instead of the 10 percent protected by the Police Benevolent Association President Lynch.

Allan



We need more moderately priced housing for the middle class, people making between $50K and about $150K with families, who have to pay full price for everything and are the people who pay the bulk of the taxes and purchase the majority of the products that drive our economy.
We need to focus on improving the quality of the education in more high schools so we can graduate students who can fill the jobs off the future.
We need more police and more pay to get higher quality officers in these jobs. A balance between pay for all officers and hiring new people.

Audrey
Clinton Hill



Why are we focused on more cops??? We need more affordable housing for the middle class.

Candace
Harlem



I think the board of edge should focus on education. I do not think the board of education should be in the food business.

Gregory
East Elmhurst



the rent IS too damn high in NYC...I can't even afford to live in the city which myself and husband have worked for for the past 15 years...yes give all city workers a decent contract including raises...maybe then we can afford that high end deli on the ground floor of the condo building receiving the tax abatement

Marcia



I agree all school lunches should be free to all students regardless of there status.

Unfortunately, there is nothing affordable in NY anymore unless you are rich or own multiple buildings and can charge high rent to live in a small room, closet & share expenses.

Tony, Albany



With all that needs to be improved in New York City, how come nothing is being done to fix the current reckless state of our Correction Department. Thanks to Commissioner Horn, and Schriro's clueless leadership, they left behind a multi jail complex that has been taken over, and now ran, by the inmates, and for to long has been a danger to all who work there because staff's hands have literally been tied down by the critical administrators who want to run our city's jails like a relaxing weekend spa.

I hope to God some action is taken before we are faced with an inevitable massive violent tragedy.

Chang



I disagree with the last caller. If they took rent control away, majority of the population would be looking at evictions... Just because MTA and other jobs make a high amount per year doesn't mean they can afford to pay $2000 or such rent exaggerating there but that's what it will lead to. That caller seems to be forgetting not everyone has money to throw around like that

Katrina
Parkchester



True no one is entitled to live in manhattan however the outer boroughs are equally expensive.
However, his comment about one bus driver's salary takes away from all of the hardworking civil servants. The average municipal salary is about $37,000.

Fair contract negotiations are key to maintaining a stable middle class.

Nadine
Bellerose Manor



Bring certified art teachers bzck to schools, focus on affordable housing, and job training! What about the unemployed people who were kicked off Dec 29th that was a disgrace!

Carolyn
Inwood



Free lunch for ALL students. It's a shame when a hungry student can't eat because their parent refuse to give them lunch money.

Trena
The Bronx



Reesa from Murray Hill hit the nail right on the head! So glad you let her speak.
Frances

East Village



With free school lunches, you need to hire more people to distribute the food on time so that the students don't spend most of their lunch hour lining up -otherwise the food won't get distributed - waste!



With free school lunches, you need to hire more people to distribute the food on time so that the students don't spend most of their lunch hour lining up -otherwise the food won't get distributed - waste!

Annie
Jackson Heights


I'm a small building developer in Queens NY and the problem starts with the NYC building Dept.! 10-15 years ago my company could build affordable 2br, 8 to 10 multi-family building in less than 12 months. I Just purchase lot 6 months ago and I'm still waiting to demo an old house to start building a 9 unit apt building. Costs are out of control just because the building Dept delays us every step of the building process. Our hands are tide and costs go threw the roof. This current project will take between 2-3 years and added costs will be forwarded the renter. This is only the tip of the iceberg when dealing with the NYC building Dept!!!!!

Kelly
Queens

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