Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said the state needs to work on better ways to help cities, saying there future is “distressed.”
Spano, a former state assemblyman, said the city has a $86.5 million budget gap for the fiscal year that starts July 1. He said the city would have to make cuts in staff and services to make up the deficit without more state assistance.
“I want to remind you that it is not my intention to sit here today with my hat in hand, assuming the state has deep pockets,” Spano said in his testimony during a legislative hearing today. “Instead, I realize this is a process and there should be a partnership, and as I’ve stated, Yonkers has begun to do its part.”
He said a task force on cities’ finances would help the state find ways to lessen the burden on local governments. He applauded Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to let local governments’ smooth out their pension costs; he said the city’s retirement costs are set to grow 20 percent this year.
“There is a pending crisis out there that has to be addressed, and no one really has the answers,” Spano said.