And now it’s Mr. Bloomberg’s turn. He will make his latest budget pitch to city lawmakers in a few weeks. He is husbanding an extra $200 million in reserves heading into next year, in the part of budget that requires him to keep a poll of money in reserve-a minimum of $100 million. Mr. Bloomberg has tucked away $300 million.
But that small reserve is hardly enough to stave off what city lawmakers say will be a painful exercise: fighting to preserve services without the ability to raise taxes and bring in additional revenue. And members of the City Council are not looking forward to it.
“I think people understand we’re in a difficult economic climate and that cuts are necessary here,” said Dan Garodnick, a Democrat repressing Manhattan’s East Side, who counts Mr. Bloomberg among his constituents. “But they need to be done fairly and with an eye towards protecting the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”
“We should be honest with people when we say we’re going to do less,” said Councilman Lew Fidler of Brooklyn. “And we’re going to do less.”
“Telling people all is well, all is well-like the ending scene of Animal House, when there’s a riot going on around you-does nobody any favors,” he said.
Back in the Crowne Plaza in Albany, Mr. Cuomo’s budget and political future were the topic of conversation among a group of LaGuardia Community College students who just ran through a mock session acting as various members of the State Senate. “They should have not cut so into SUNY,” said Christian Sanchez-Narvaez, a CUNY student who played the Democratic conference leader, John Sampson. He was happy some of Mr. Cuomo’s cuts were restored by legislators, but “they could have done a lot better, done a lot more to restore that money.”
He added, “I think education could have been restored fully.”