New York Daily News writer Juan Gonzalez is incensed that while steps to address New York City’s troubled budget include “threats of layoffs to thousands of teachers and other city workers, and the deep cuts in basic services,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg is using $245,000 in taxpayer money to pay three executive chefs at Gracie Mansion. When he arrived as mayor all those years ago, there was only one head cook and Rudy Giuliani ate just fine.
A Bloomberg spokesman said that there has been an increase in “barbecues and receptions for agency employees and for representatives of different communities around the city.” But the details are still enough to make Gonzalez charge that Bloomberg “believes austerity is for the masses, not for those in charge.”
The longest serving of the trio is Feliberto Estevez. His salary is $97,000.
Then there’s Jerry Montanez, the pastry chef, who became the second executive cook in 2007 – current pay $68,000.
Finally, there’s Jose Velazquez. He was promoted to executive cook a few years ago, and received a $10,000 raise in July to reach $80,000.
Now, surely Bloomberg cutting back on his morning meeting bagel spreads wouldn’t account for the jobs of any teachers or other city workers. The complaint is about spending is symbolic, about the whole city suffering together. Or at least about Daddy Bloomberg paying his own bills.
That said, the best part of the story is the News‘ own admission: “(Full disclosure, Daily News Editor in Chief Kevin Convey had breakfast with Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion in September 2010.)”