Long Beach residents blast ‘deficit surcharge’

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Schnirman and Council Vice President Scott Mandel disagreed with claims that Skelos was being used as a scapegoat, saying that the city had made numerous cuts and "tough decisions." The borrowing request, they said, had been routine in the past and is part of an effort to "restructure" the city's debt.

“We’re not borrowing our way out,” Schnirman said. “We did make a lot of the hard decisions … to balance the city’s budget.”

Schnirman said that it’s not too late for the Senate to reconsider the city’s request. They asked residents to sign a petition calling on Skelos to pass the bill, and said that residents would receive a $183 refund check next year if it is approved.

“This has been routine in the past,” Schnirman said. “When I asked our friends in the state comptroller’s office when the last time a municipality was not granted this authority, the answer was, ‘never.’ Unfortunately, we here in Long Beach are in unprecedented territory.”

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