Mayor Eric Adams defends latest round of budget cuts

To hear from Mayor Eric Adams, a fiscal storm is brewing, and the city must prepare.

“Everyone has said that we are about to get hit by a tsunami,” Adams said Tuesday.

On Monday, Adams ordered city agencies to make budget cuts for the third time since taking office. Half of all vacant positions must be eliminated and agencies must come up with their own ways to fund new initiatives.

On Tuesday, in an unrelated press conference, the mayor responded to criticism of those cuts, hitting back at critics and arguing that the city faces strong financial hurdles.


what you need to know

  • Adams ordered city agencies Monday to make budget cuts for the third time since taking office.

  • He responded to criticism of those cuts on Tuesday, arguing that the city faces strong financial headwinds.

  • The mayor also defended the exemption for uniformed positions like police officers, citing an increase in crime.

  • City agencies must eliminate half of all open positions and find their own ways to fund new initiatives.


“I was reading one of the articles where someone said, ‘well, we’re just pretending,’” he said. “I wish I was just pretending. We have financial problems, and the country has financial problems, and I have to be financially prudent.”

The immigration crisis, which could cost the city up to $1 billion in the absence of federal or state aid, has exacerbated the city’s budget problems.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams took issue with the decision to slash the workforce.

“It’s really baffling,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “We are looking at it right now, but the city cannot afford to lose staff to those agencies that are truly trusted to address the multiple crises we face.”

Meanwhile, City Controller Brad Lander expressed concern in a statement Monday that the cuts will make it increasingly difficult for the city to hire and retain staff. The mayor, in response, pointed to vacancies in Lander’s office.

“I just think you need to focus on your office to provide services because there are so many services that you need to do,” Adams said.

The mayor also defended the exemption for uniformed positions like police officers, citing an increase in crime. He says the NYPD has made savings, for example, by reducing the number of officers in parades.

“We are using and deploying the police better,” he said.

But, he added, there is “one thing we can never compromise on. And that’s security.”

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