After being briefed by mayoral aides yesterday about Michael Bloomberg’s proposed budget cuts, Bill Thompson told reporters in City Hall that he wanted to be mindful of not letting the city’s quality of life deteriorate.
After saying that rescinding the $400 homeowner rebate “hurts everybody,” Thompson said that officials would have to consider the level at which “cuts start to become unsafe and start to have an impact on quality of life in the city.”
I asked Thompson if he and the mayoral aides discussed the potential quality-of-life impact of the cuts.
Thompson said, “There is no exact – I don’t think there is a great measure of quality of life. I think in so many ways it’s the things we see and feel, and things that the public starts to see and the changes there. There’s always the mayor’s management report and others, but I think it goes past that.”
I followed up by asking him how, hypothetically, he intended to convince the mayor after the fact that some of the cuts had gone too far. What measure could he use to make the argument?
“I don’t know that you can measure it,” he said. “I think it does start to come from the public and the experience in the things that we start to see. Is the city becoming dirtier? Is crime going up? Those are some things that are definable. There are some measurables. There are some that aren’t, and some that you just feel.”