Earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg asked all the city’s community boards to prepare for drastic cuts to their already-meager $200,000/year budgets, which pay for all staff salaries and expenses (other than rent and utilities).  In May, we submitted testimony at a City Council Executive Budget Hearing, calling for the Council to oppose these cuts, which threatened to completely cripple boards’ abilities to undertake their City Charter-mandated planning functions.

Now, we are pleased to report that, through negotiations between the Mayor and the City Council, the proposed cuts have been avoided this year.

However, according to Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Brooklyn’s Community Board 6, the fight to preserve community boards is not over.  Gowanus Lounge recently posted the following quote from an email from Mr. Hammerman: “The Mayor’s proposed cuts still exist as taking effect in fiscal year 2010 and beyond. This means that if the Mayor does not change his fiscal year 2010 budget, we’ll have to do the same thing next year and fight to defend our budget. We have some time to convince the Mayor of the value of a strong community voice in government. His 2010 Executive Budget isn’t due out until January 2009.”