City Budget Negotiations Reach Final Phase; Help Fund Historic Preservation
The City Council has concluded public hearings on the proposed 2023 city budget, and has now entered the budget negotiation process with Mayor, expected to last through June. As previously reported, the Mayor’s preliminary budget proposal included deep cuts to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) that would have crippled the agency and its ability to both consider new designations and to process routine applications from property owners and merchants. After a huge outcry from Village Preservation and thousands of New Yorkers, those cuts were restored in the Mayor’s final executive budget proposal, which is now being considered by the Council.
But as we’ve also previously reported, the LPC has suffered from cuts and attrition over the years, as well as stagnant staff salaries that have not kept up with inflation, resulting in a loss of positions and experienced senior staff. Maintaining the status quo, as the Mayor’s current proposed budget would do, will mean more of the same, including the loss of vital experienced staff. Our city’s historic landmarks will suffer, necessary designations won’t take place, and applications for necessary upkeep of or updating to historic properties will take longer. We must reverse this trend.