For twenty years it was the same dance. The Mayor would play the bad guy and propose a budget that would threaten cuts in funding for the Department of Parks and the Department of Libraries, knowing full well the city would have enough money to restore the cuts. This would allow the parochial members of the City Council to “fight for the people” to get the money back for THEIR constituents. In exchange for the Mayor being able to make all the serious decisions, with both winners and losers, that the Council members sought to avoid.
Note this is an obsolete post, as a newer post based on the Census of Governments for 2017 — and 2007 and 1997 — is available. Read that one instead.
Continuing with the older post based on data from the 2012 Census of Governments.
Then incoming Mayor DeBlasio promised to end the old game, to the delight of Parks and Libraries advocates. After which the City Council, desperate for organized interests to pander to, demanded the addition of 1,000 more police officers, even though New York City already has 2.8 times as many police officers per 100,000 residents as the U.S. average, and far more than that in retirement. So one year later, from what I read in the media, a sadder but wiser Mayor DeBlasio has brought back the same old game. Amidst all the politicking what does the City of New York, and for that matter the State of New York, spend on Parks, Recreation, Culture and Libraries compared with other places? The next post uses Census of Governments data to find out.