How NYC Republicans got more money than Progressives in the city budget
Legendary Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher said, “Nice guys finish last.” Don’t tell that to the current handful of Republicans on the New York City Council.
The five GOP members were real team players during the $101 billion budget negotiations led by Democratic Chair Adrienne Adams and Mayor Eric Adams — and posed as bandits.
Meanwhile, six progressive Democrats who voted against the spending plan lost extra funding for their constituents.
Council Republicans Inna Vernikov (Brooklyn), Vicky Paladino and Joann Ariola (Queens) and David Carr and Joe Borelli of Staten Island were included in President Adams’ discretionary funding pot of about $41 million for specific issues to the district.
But the team of far-left lawmakers were removed from Adams’ list of favorite projects — a punishment that will be felt by the people who voted for them — for their Monday night ‘no’ vote they broadcast to advance, sources said.
Tiffany Cabán, Sandy Nurse, Alexa Avilés, Chi Ossé, Charles Barron and Kristin Richardson Jordan were excluded from funding. Conservative-leaning Democrat Kalman Yeger was also cut from Adams’ special list.
“At a very rudimentary level, we are responsible for making sure the grass is cut in the parks and when you call 911, someone comes. We can’t just stand on our soapboxes,” Council Minority Leader Borelli told The Post. He is also the only GOP member on the Council’s budget negotiating team.
“New Yorkers expect a competent level of service delivery in government and someone has to deliver it. It’s such a tactical mistake to say “no” and then ask for the bells and whistles. Some people just don’t want to stop being full-time activists.
Representatives for Cabán, Nurse, Avilés, Ossé, Barron, Richardson Jordan and Yeger did not respond to requests for comment.
Freshman pol Vernikov told the Post that she has a good relationship with President Adams. “It demolishes the false narrative that Republicans can’t get things done,” Vernikov said. “I really like President Adams. We work well together. It shows that Republicans can get things done. We can work with the Democrats.
She said all of the major funding requests she submitted to Adams were approved under the Speaker’s Discretionary Fund, including $1.9 million for a playground in Brighton Beach and $2.9 million for dollars for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.
The GOP also won a $90 million property tax rebate for homeowners who earn less than $250,000 a year, which will provide an estimated $150 in relief per homeowner, while keeping the NYPD budget at around $5.5 billion.
A Democratic council member who requested anonymity said the ‘no’ votes were confusing as left-handers won victories such as the $10 million fund to help provide childcare for illegal immigrants – a measure that was left out of the $220 billion state budget earlier this year.
“Republicans fought for the property tax debate and when they got it, they all came out and supported it. The difference is that the leftists achieved most of what they wanted in the budget, but got trapped for political reasons,” said pol.
The penalty doesn’t mean the money was cut from offending members’ districts, just that they won’t be aware of the extra money directed by Adams. About $500 million is split among the 51 districts.
The city’s budget passed by a vote of 44 to 6 just after 11 p.m. Monday night.