Just how much are city taxpayers supposed to spend to support the post-Gracie Mansion careers not just of Mayor de Blasio, but of First Lady Chirlane McCray?
Annual pay for her staff is now closing in on $1 million a year, with the latest addition being Walter Bishop, her second deputy chief of staff.
After Politico broke news of the hire, City Hall rushed to note that Bishop will also serve as the mayor’s liaison in DC and “federal affairs strategic adviser.” Yet the first lady’s staff is still expanding, again.
Team McCray now boasts a chief of staff, two deputy chiefs, a senior communications adviser, a scheduling director and special assistant as well as a deputy scheduler and press secretary.
And she has yet more staff, plus control of a $25 million budget, as chair of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City — though by most accounts she doesn’t show very often for that job.
Add in her regular taxpayer-paid travel (e.g., to Vermont with the mayor for the recent Sanders Institute confab), with staff, and the public is surely funding her ambitions at over seven figures.
Yes, her signature ThriveNYC mental-health initiative is a perfectly fine project for the city’s first lady to helm (even if its effectiveness is in doubt). But we see no reason why city taxpayers should fund her efforts to push those policies nationwide.
Or, more to the point, to fund the effort to promote her national profile.
One spouse should certainly support the other’s career hopes — but with the family’s own resources, not the public’s. Once again, de Blasio is treating the city like his own piggy bank.
Source: Read Full Article