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Annual Threat to Screw Community Board Budgets Issued

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Even in good times, community board budgets (which are generally tiny) have been threatened with cuts. Well, guess what is happening in bad times? They are being threatened with even bigger cuts. The question is: will anyone notice, except for the handful of feisty ones? A lot have reputations for being such lapdogs that they'll yawn at being tossed a few less doggy biscuits. There are 59 community boards across the city and they say that scheduled budget cuts could make them cut personnel hours or even lay off people. Each board gets $189,000 annually to pay for personnel, supplies, mailings and other costs. The boards are now targeted for $15,000 in cuts (yes, a measly $15K), which is the same amount that was proposed last year until the city council reduced the figure to $5,000 after the boards screamed bloody murder. Per Craig Hammerman, who is district manager of Community Board 6 in Brooklyn which covers such political peaceful neighborhoods as Carroll Gardens and Gowanus: "We have no plans for how we would absorb the cuts, because we don't have any elasticity in the budget to do so...I have heard some of my colleagues talk about fairly dramatic measures, like taking out telephones, stopping sending mail, taking out photo copies. It's really come down to that." We know they'll stomp their feet in CB 6's territory (though some might cheer), but will they even notice in some neighborhoods?
· Community Boards Face Lean Times [NYP/]
· Community Board Budget Cuts Avoided for This Year [GL]