“I understand that these are tough financial times, and I am grateful that our current budget projections are nowhere near as dire as they were just several months ago. However, I am concerned about the 11.3 percent cuts to libraries and cultural institutions. In times like these, libraries provide not only an educational outlet, but opportunities for job research for our unemployed working class residents. Providing further difficulty to these residents are the cuts to social services, children’s services and health. If these areas are understaffed and underfunded, we run a greater risk of these clients becoming chronically unemployed and homeless.

“I am also dismayed that the reduction of firefighters and staffing is still on the table. Neighborhoods depend on their fire companies, not only to be open, but fully staffed to meet their needs. The mayor did the right thing by protecting our police from major cuts, and our fire department deserves those same protections.

“However, I am pleased to see that our community boards have been spared the budget knife, and I am hopeful that we will see a further investment in these vital resources in the future.

“Both the Governor and our State Legislature must step up and do the right thing by the City of New York and protect our vital services from potentially devastating cuts,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.