By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearInvestigations
Mayor Eric Adams’ administration had 293 “special assistants” on the payroll during his first full fiscal year in office, even more than his predecessor who was criticized for having too many, the New York Post reported.
“The bloated band of vaguely titled aides, accountable only to Adams, comprised roughly one-third of the Mayor’s Office staff during the yearly period ending June 30 and cost taxpayers $24.3 million,” the Post reported from city payroll records.
Eighty-five of those assistants were paid six-figures in FY 2023 – including 13 who took in more than $200,000.
At one point, Adam’s predecessor, former Mayor Bill De Blasio, had even more special assistants, reaching a high of a high of 339 in FY 2019. De Blasio was criticized for using special assistants to get around civil service rules and give political operatives jobs.
Without civil service rules governing the positions, the mayor can set salaries and raises beyond the normal ranges for comparable positions.
“De Blasio infamously used the special-assistant gigs in part to take care of political operatives biding their time waiting for the next campaign — a kind of publicly funded farm system akin to the ones used by Major League Baseball teams,” The Post wrote.
By FY 2021, de Blasio trimmed his number of special assistants to 243, costing taxpayers $21.1 million, The Post reported.
Adams announced last year that the expected $12 billion cost of helping asylum-seeking migrants necessitated across-the-board 5% cuts at all city agencies, with another 10% cut planned for early this year.
But taxpayer-watchdog group Empire Center for Public Policy Research Director Ken Girardin said Adams’ desire to “bloat” his payroll with almost 300 special assistants “only weakens his case for more federal and state support” to help the city deal with the migrant crisis.
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Reprinted with permission from RealClearWire.