Speaker Adams says city can’t afford headcount cuts called for in Mayor’s latest fiscal belt-tightening move

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City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Tuesday pushed back on Mayor Eric Adams’ latest proposed budget cuts, which included a directive for city agencies to eliminate half of their vacant positions, saying the “city can’t afford to lose staff” amid its current municipal worker shortage.

Agency heads were first notified about the new spending reduction plan in a Monday letter from Mayor Adams’ Budget Director Jacques Jiha – who heads the city Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In the letter, Jiha said that in the face of a $2.9 billion budget gap for the next fiscal year that could grow as large as $6 billion by 2026, all agencies must shed half of their positions that stood vacant as of Oct. 31 and that the mayor’s office won’t be allocating funding for new agency programs. Agencies will have to find the funding for new initiatives in their budgets.

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