By The Timesledger
We’d like to extend our support to the elected officials who are protesting plans to close two firehouses in Queens, including Engine Company 293 in Woodhaven and 261 in Long Island City. We’d like to, but we can’t.
The fact is that the city is facing a growing fiscal crisis. We don’t like any of the latest round of cuts. Our schools are so overcrowded that cutting Department of Education teachers and staff seems unconscionable. And although crime rates continue to fall, reducing the number of police officers is another alternative that should be off the table.
And while we are at it, we are not too keen on cutting sanitation services, libraries or day care. But we are also adamantly opposed to another increase in the property tax and local income tax. And we share the mayor’s reluctance to borrow, placing the burden on future generations of New Yorkers.
Those who will criticize the mayor must do more than naysay. Nobody wants to see a firehouse close. But before they climb up on the budget soap box, they should feel compelled to explain how they would solve the budget crisis.
There are no more painless cuts. Those who oppose the mayor without offering an alternative do an injustice to their own supporters.