The King And Quinn : "Shall We Dance ?"
At the conclusion of each and every year's budget negotiation, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn shakes Mayor Michael Bloomberg's hand and kisses him on both cheeks (on his face) in a City Hall ceremony that is much more about their close working relationship than merely reaching an accord on the city's $70 billion budget. Political games with severe consequences are played by Mayor Bloomberg after he announces proposed cuts to city programs, only to give Speaker Quinn the opportunity to portray herself as a champion of the people by restoring those cuts.
According to a WCBS report, the annual "budget dance" leads to serious instability in critical social programs :
"Advocates from the Campaign for Children were particularly pleased with the deal on preserving child care services, particularly since Bloomberg’s earlier budget proposal had called for cuts to 47,000 slots from the child care and after-school systems. But the organization said the city needs to quit threatening to put child care on the chopping block. But the cuts to day care and after school programs are not off the table permanently. They have only been averted for a year.
"Stephanie Gendell of the Citizen’s Committee for Children said the city has engaged in a budget dance where the city threatens nightmare scenarios then saves the day. She said the status quo seem like a victory, when it’s only temporary.
" 'It creates real instability for the programs, and the families to not know if the programs will be open next June,' she said."
When Speaker Quinn says that she uses her close working relationship with Mayor Bloomberg to the betterment of all New Yorkers, she misrepresents the danger that the budget games she's engaged in have on city agencies and on community groups. Is she taking into account how the annual budget dance leaves critical safety net programs at perpetual risk of being unable to adequately plan their future budgets ?