Last year the FDNY responded to “more than 500,000 runs, the most emergencies on record,” according to New York City Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano at yesterday’s City Council budget panel hearing, as reported by WNYC. His message to the City Council was that this is not a good time to make cuts to the FDNY. However, in the lead up to his new budget proposals, Mayor Bloomberg had asked Cassano to draft a list of 20 fire companies that could potentially face the chopping block. The question the City Council, particularly Council Finance Chair Domenic Recchia, seeks an answer to is, which companies are on the list?
Both Cassano and Mayor Bloomberg have refused to answer the question. During the committee hearing yesterday, Cassano continued to deny council members the fire company names included in the list, despite Councilman Recchia declaring that he is “directing committee legal counsel to draft a Freedom of Information request for that document.”
In the past, the council has used its own discretionary funds to close budget gaps for the FDNY. This year, with so many city agencies demanding the same consideration, that kind of help is going to be a tall, if nearly impossible, order to fill.
Councilman Domenic M. Recchia represents the 47th District, which includes Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach and Gravesend.