Budget cuts were always part of Michael Bloomberg's fiscal plans when he was mayor, but his successor is shying away from them - even from saying those words. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg always said you could do more with less.
"Our job is not to spend the most money or employ the most people. It's to deliver the service," he said in 2013.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has wanted to do just more.
"How are we going to make the best out of the resources we have?" de Blasio said.
For years, Bloomberg slashed the budget, going through rounds and rounds of cuts to city agencies, from fire houses to senior centers.
De Blasio reversed that trend last year, pushing through a financial plan that was practically cut-free. This year, he changed course. The administration directed every city agency to come up with what the mayor calls "cost savings." If commissioners wanted new programs, they would have to find the cash elsewhere.
Which brings us to a document, the product of that directive released with the mayor's budget proposal on Thursday. It says some $589 million will be saved this fiscal year and almost $466 million in the next.
"I expect not just this year, but in years ahead, very, very substantial efforts to find savings and efficiencies," de Blasio said. "Every agency has to live within their means, and they have to constantly innovate."
"The savings program is really not as extensive as we have seen in the past," said Maria Doulis of the Citizens Budget Commission.
So, what is in it? Well, reducing armed guards at one city building. The Department for the Aging will get rid of what it calls "small programs." The City University system plans to shut off escalators to save cash when school is closed for holidays. And the Department of Transportation will make more money off of speeding and red light cameras.
"The savings program is small," Doulis said. "It's a good first step, but much more needs to be done."
In fact, the de Blasio administration doesn't even like the word cut. They say this document is about efficiencies and savings, not about cutting services.
But does it satisfy other budget watchdogs?
"A program that speaks to finding efficiencies is certainly the way to go," said City Comptroller Scott Stringer. "I will hold the administration's feet to the fire on this issue. I expect them to produce those savings."