In an effort to keep Mayor Bloomberg's sustainability program, PlaNYC, from falling by the wayside after his term ends, the Citizens Budget Commission is proposing laws and policies that would force future leaders to plan ahead.
In a report released today, the CBC recommended shifting the cost of regularly replacing and repairing the city's infrastructure into the annual operating budget. Currently, many of those expenditures fall within the capital budget, which is often financed by taking on additional debt.
"If you're doing something every year, that should be in the operating budget. Any company would run it that way," Mr. Bloomberg said yesterday at the CBC's event in Midtown. He added that the current system makes sense "only in the crazy world of government, where you're trying to pass the burden down to the future and get the benefit now."
The report also calls on the City Council to make permanent the Long Term Planning and Sustainability Office, created by Mr. Bloomberg to coordinate the city's environmental strategy. The CBC also wants other city agencies, such as the Department of Education, to follow PlaNYC's lead and craft long-term strategies for managing their capital assets.
"If we don't plan for that growth now, our city and our economy could very well choke on it," Mr. Bloomberg said at a luncheon discussion of the report. "That means it is very important that we follow CBC's recommendation and extend and institutionalize our long-term capital planning."