NEW YORK CITY — As virus-related business closures spread in the Big Apple, city officials wanted to give taxpayers a heads-up regarding next year’s budget by bathing the Empire State Building in red.
“I think it’s the most transparent thing we could do right now,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. “People right now are searching for answers and they don’t want to be lied to. New Yorkers are tough, they can handle anything. So we wanted to let them know early we’re likely going to be turning to them for, shall we say, a little more support next fiscal year.
“I mean, we’d love to be able to say that the business closures I ordered aren’t going to have any effect on the city’s budget, but we know that’s just not realistic,” de Blasio continued. “We are going to be frugal, do the best we can, but in the end, city leaders understand the city can’t spend next year what we spent this year in the current business environment.
“So that’s going to require more pain, more discomfort next year,” Hizzonoer continued. “And now every New Yorker knows what’s coming, as our gesture in red indicates. That’s leadership, and that’s why I’m proud I’m in charge of this city.”
Asked where he thought hard-pressed business owners would be able to come up with extra funds, de Blasio was dismissive.
“If they want cops on the street, firefighters in firehouses, ambulances running, and me getting paid, they’ll dig deep,” he added.