As you are aware, the Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation has been working with local and city-wide landmarks advocates to secure much-needed funding for the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Last year, we were successful in winning a $300,000 increase in LPC’s budget. The staff hired with this funding had a positive impact, as the total number of buildings designated last year (1,160) was the highest since 1990!
On January 16th, the Mayor is expected to release his Preliminary Budget for the coming fiscal year and the news for a lot of city agencies is not expected to be good. While we accept the need for budget belt-tightening during difficult economic times, we strongly believe that LPC should be spared the cuts suffered by other agencies. At a minimum, we believe that the Mayor should make the $300,000 increase won last year a baseline part of every LPC budget, from now on. Sure, LPC needs even more funding, perhaps $2 million more, but given the difficult times ahead, baselining the $300,000 would be a tremendous victory for every landmarks advocate in the city.
What can you do? Below is a copy of a letter we sent to Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris. Please take the time to write a similar letter, in your own words. The more letters we can get on the Mayor’s desk, the stronger our case will be. If you do send a letter, please send a copy to us, so that we can share it with the members of the budget advocacy group.
Thank you and keep up the fight in 2008!
The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
City of New York
New York, New York 10007
Subject: Landmarks Preservation Commission Budget
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
We are writing to ask you to support a well-funded Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in the coming Fiscal Year.
The Citizens Emergency Committee to Preserve Preservation is a group of dedicated individuals who advocate for a well funded, independent and fair LPC. As you know, during last year’s budget negotiations, $300,000 was added to LPC’s budget to help fund additional positions. This funding had a positive impact on LPC’s work. The total number of buildings designated last year (1,160) was the highest since 1990! Clearly, the modest amount of funding required to keep these positions in the city’s budget is well worth the expense. We are therefore asking that you baseline a minimum of $300,000 in future fiscal years.
We understand that the City will do some significant belt tightening in the coming Fiscal Year. However, LPC is one of the city’s smallest agencies. A small investment of $300,000 (a tiny fraction of the city’s overall budget) can generate major improvements in the amount that LPC can accomplish, as we have already seen.
We believe it is imperative that the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s budget be put on course for an increase of at least $1 million. This amount would restore the Commission’s 1991 highpoint funding level, adjusted for inflation. A $2 million increase would restore funding to a level that also takes into account the Commission’s enlarged workload reviewing modification requests since 1991, and will speed up the review process for building owners.
Thank you for your consideration.
Citizens Emergency Committee
To Preserve Preservation
cc. Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris