City won't hire new cops till Albany cleans up its mess
New York City will put off swearing in 250 new cops Wednesday, part of a hiring freeze brought on by the continuing stalemate in the state Senate.
With no action on a bill to increase the city sales tax, which would have raised $60 million this month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg Monday announced the freeze, which will also indefinitely delay the hiring of 150 firefighters, 90 EMTs, 34 911 operators and others.
The state Senates inability to function may literally result in blood on the streets, said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria).The city will also review outside contracts, many of which were set to have begun July 1, and suspend agreements for non-essential services.
Asked about a recent report that Bloomberg was considering $52 million in raises for city managers, a mayoral spokesman would only say that City Hall never announced any increases and that those salaries have been frozen since last year.
We have a legal mandate to produce a balanced budget, Bloomberg said.
The freeze came on a day when the Senate again failed to pass any bills, meeting for a brief, fruitless session ordered by Gov. David Paterson.
The chamber is deadlocked 31-31 with no lieutenant governor to break the tie.
One lawmaker and two non-profit watchdog groups, suggested Monday that Paterson appoint someone to the post, but Attorney General Andrew Cuomo quickly released a statement saying such a move would be unconstitutional.
We certainly understand the mayor's frustration, said Austin Shafran, a spokesman for ousted Majority Leader Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans).