Even as Mayor Bill de Blasio travels the nation in his hopeless presidential quest, back home the evidence of his monumental mismanagement pours in daily.
Thursday, with the mayor in Iowa, city Comptroller Scott Stringer released a letter expressing his “concern” over de Blasio’s ThriveNYC mental health program, run by first lady Chirlane McCray, and its $850 million in spending without any clear purpose Stringer (or anyone else) can discern.
Plenty of other officials question the program, especially since Thrive’s bosses can’t say how it has helped anyone or exactly how it spends its funds.
Earlier in the week, Stringer released his “watch list” of agencies raising the worst fiscal and managerial red flags. Yet again, homeless service programs made the list, with their soaring outlays — $3.2 billion this year, or twice the amount five years ago — and record-high levels of homelessness.
You can see why de Blasio might find it hard to rein in his wife’s program, but he’s not married to homeless czar Steve Banks, right?
Stringer also kept the Department of Corrections on notice, thanks to its own ballooning budget and growing violence in the jails, despite fewer inmates. New to his list: The Department of Buildings, which oversaw a 252% spike in construction accidents (including a 167% jump in deaths) between 2014 and 2018 — even as spending jumped 62%.
Adding the DOB meant Stringer dropped the Department of Education this time ’round. But Stringer might want to rethink his rule limiting the watch list to three agencies. The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon reported this week that the DOE’s schools now spend $25,199 per student, easily the highest among the nation’s 100 largest systems and more than twice the national average. This, when more than half the city’s kids don’t make the grade in math or reading.