CB5's Fiscal Year 2009 budget of $199,895 has been targeted to drop to $169,709, according to Giordano. He called the budget cut, which will take effect July 1, "devastating" for community boards across the city.
Though all community boards are allocated the same amount of money, and are now facing the same cut, Giordano reported that CB5 would nonetheless fare better than most.
That's because CB5 won't have to offset the budget cut by eliminating a staff position. Giordano said most community boards employ three to four staff members, and will likely drop one in July.
Community Board 5 already did so in December of 2002, freeing up money for its graffiti removal program. Instead of being forced to eliminating a staff position, Giordano said CB5 would opt for eliminating the graffiti program.
"We're in a situation where we're in better shape than a lot of other boards as far as staff goes," he said
Giordano said losing the graffiti program, which is responsible for removing graffiti from hundreds of sites over the years, would be a major loss, but is still a better prospect than laying somebody off in the middle of a recession.
Giordano predicted the budget cuts would make it even harder for community boards to carry out their work, which he credited for improving civic life in the city over the past three-plus decades.
"I'm a firm believer that community boards are one of the big reasons why New York City came back from where we were in the mid-1970's," Giordano said. "I think the community boards getting hit with this kind of budget cut is one of the worst things the city can do."
He urged the members of CB5 and other community boards to oppose the budget cuts before they are scheduled to take effect.