Monday, March 1, 2010

Cuts, Layoffs Looming for Parks Department

Cuts to the Parks department being proposed by Mayor Bloomberg would severely affect an already decimated agency. 


The Big Apple's parks are so deep in red ink that city swimming pools are about to run dry, according to the New York Post.

Mayor Bloomberg's $63.6 billion preliminary spending plan for the next fiscal year anticipates the Parks Department's budget dropping by 9.4 percent, to $239.1 million -- resulting in massive layoffs and service cuts, including the closing of some pools.

It's part of across-the-board cuts all city departments face as the mayor tries to close a $4.9 billion budget gap.

By the end of the next fiscal year, the Parks Department's full-time staff could be gutted by 20 percent, from 3,722 to 2,974, according to the city's financial plan for fiscal years 2010-2014.

And this does not include thousands of part-time and seasonal jobs also in danger of being lost, either through hiring freezes or layoffs.

Geoffrey Croft of the watchdog group New York City Park Advocates said the city already lacks enough workers to maintain its 29,000 acres of parkland, and called the cuts "just another slap in the face to the public."

"Taking care of parks simply isn't a priority with this administration," he said.

Kids who rely on city pools to cool off will perhaps be the hardest hit. 

Read More:

New York Post - March 1, 2010 - By Rich Calder

Mayor Bloomberg is proposing allocating a historic low amount of city funds to maintain the operate the Parks Department. Under Bloomberg's $ 63.6 Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2011 the Park Department’s budget from city funds would be reduced from $264 million  - to $239 million. This would represent only a 0.37% allocation of the city budget in city funds to maintain and operate parks which would be a historic low. The agency is responsible for 14% of the City's land. Mr. Bloomberg’s overall proposed budget is $560 million larger than last year.

Severe cuts being proposed under the Mayor's plan include staff and programs:

• The Mayor's forecast for the next year and a half calls for the Parks Department to lose 748 out of 3,722 full-time jobs (20%).  And if you count full-time and full time equivalent head-count they lose 1,156 jobs.

•  450 seasonal jobs delayed or cut this year.

• Four pools will be closed all summer and the swimming season will be shortened by two weeks citywide.  (NYC already ranks dead last in the provision of public swimming pools for a high density city) This would save $1.4 million in FY 2011 according to the mayor. 

• . Eliminate 173 full-time positions either voluntarily or through lay-offs.   The target goal is 173 positions but according to the DPR's budget office "there is no cap."

•  The full-time and seasonal hiring freeze will affect many staffing areas, including the maintenance and operation.  Severe cuts include $ 4.5 million over the next few months for Job Training Participants, (JTP's) and $ 10 million reduction next year. The last number represents s 25% cut in the program.  The federal government puts in fifty percent of the JTP's forty million dollar budget with the city and state splitting the rest.  These positions are essential in providing basic cleaning services during the busiest season for parks.   – NYCPA

The parks budget hearing is March 22.

Supporting Documents:


  1. NYC Parks Advocates doing important work! Hope the new parks Committee Chair in the City Council is a fighter.

  2. make the dept of parks a 9 month seasonal agency!

  3. parks is cutting the roots from the tree first with one managers saierie would pay three city park workers salerie.the workers are vitel to the operations and maintanace of parks property.they are also vitel in winter snow removel.managers on the other hand is a buffer between supervisors and upper management.they are i guess you can call translatters.

  4. When you cut staffing from our parks crime in our parks rise its happen before and it will happen again keep our parkies in our parks the don't only keep our parks clean and beautifull they keep them safe.

  5. The people who sit behind a desk all day making $100'000 a year should be the 1st 1 cut