In response to worries that the city’s financial situation is set to take a significant turn for the worse in the coming years, Mayor Adams mandated Monday that his government agencies implement additional budget cuts.
The order was detailed in a letter that Adams’ budget director, Jacques Jiha, wrote to the commissioners of all local agencies.
It is Adams’ third effort to tighten the city’s belt since entering office.
Starting, half of all vacant local government positions as of October 31 will be permanently removed from agency headcounts, making it impossible for them to be filled with new employees, according to Jiha’s letter.
Second, Jiha stated that City Hall would provide no financing for new agency activities.
Instead, he added, agencies will have to use their current funds to support fresh initiatives, which must also “fit with the mayor’s vision and priorities.”
Jiha stated that the municipal government is facing a $2.9 billion budget imbalance for the upcoming fiscal year, which forecasts indicate might expand to $6 billion by 2026, which is the driving force behind the cuts.
Jiha argued that the deficits could be made worse by the administration’s plans to renegotiate labor agreements with almost all public sector unions and the fact that the city has not yet received any guarantees that the federal government will assist in paying for costs related to the local migrant crisis, which is expected to cost as much as $1 billion this fiscal year alone.
Jiha reasoned that unless the city’s potential financial nightmare was stopped in its tracks, it could lead to drastic service cuts in the future.
Add spiraling inflation, financial market declines, rising health care, and energy costs to that equation, and the city is in for a potential fiscal nightmare.