NEW YORK—Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer announced a budget reform plan on Friday to create independent panels to review the expenditure of tax dollars in order to include more public input.
The panels consist of policy experts, community board members, and City Council representatives in an attempt to improve public input in the allocation of tax dollars going into programs in the departments of Aging, Education, Parks and Recreation, and Health and Mental Hygiene, and Corrections.
Stringer said the current budget gives local elected officials “wide discretion” to give the money out in grants, but with not much public participation, and that New Yorkers should play more of a direct role in deciding where the tax dollars are spent.
The budget plan is modeled after private philanthropic foundations, and will be implemented in Stringer’s office. He hopes it will serve as a model for other offices throughout the city, and is also launching TranspareNYC.org to inform New Yorkers about the new policy and to encourage citizens to submit their views on budget priorities.