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Adams commission takes aim at City Council spending, dodges public safety for now

A new report finds that Mayor Eric Adams’ Charter Commission is targeting council spending first, while avoiding the thorny core issue Mayor Hizzoner tasked the commission with tackling: public safety.

The new committee wants to overcome additional financial hurdles before Congress passes the bill, according to a progress report released Monday by the committee.

Currently, it is standard procedure for the City Council to get a cost estimate from the city for proposed fiscal impact legislation, but nothing is formally required before a final vote.

A new report says Mayor Eric Adams’ Charter Commission will be in charge of City Council spending. Michael Nigro

Potential changes to the Charter Review Commission would require council members to obtain a formal fiscal impact statement from the mayor’s budget director before even holding the first public hearing on a bill.

In a scathing statement, council leader Adrian Adams slammed the committee as “totally disingenuous”.

“This is a lame attempt to attack the City Council and its oversight over the executive branch, and undermine our representative democracy at a time when the City Council is fighting to protect New Yorkers from the mayor’s excessive budget cuts,” said Adams, who has no ties to the mayor.

Other council members complained to The Washington Post that the requirement would hinder Congress’ ability to pass legislation more easily and quickly.

“Making every legislative matter subject to closed-door budget negotiations would undermine the goal of increasing public transparency and input into the process,” the council members said.

But the Adams administration said it simply wanted to address unfunded obligations.

The report was the first glimpse into how the commission plans to change the New York City Charter.

The Charter Review Committee wants council members to request a formal fiscal impact statement from the mayor’s budget officer before holding a public hearing on any new legislation. Matthew McDermott

It also listed a series of other proposed reforms, including expanding sanitation responsibilities, streamlining services to minority- and women-owned businesses and addressing long-standing job cuts.

The document summarizes the committee’s first round of public hearings, in which it traveled across New York’s five boroughs over the past few weeks to gather input from residents.

Narrow the focus of the next hearing’s agenda.

Committee spokesman Frank Dwyer told The Washington Post the reason for holding another hearing was to hear concerns.

The mayor’s committee has so far avoided addressing the issue of public safety. Michael Nigro

“This is a roadmap for future discussions,” he said of the report’s recommendations, adding that “anyone who has concerns should come to the hearing and voice those very concerns.”

Any changes to the charter must be put on the ballot in November.

The commission said it would not touch ranked-choice voting or make any changes to the primary election process, even though the changes, which Adams has previously voiced support, came up multiple times during the hearing.

It also listed a series of other proposed reforms, including expanding sanitation responsibilities, streamlining services to minority- and women-owned businesses and addressing long-standing job cuts.

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