MIKE'S STAFF SWELLS
OFFICE ROSTER GOES HIRE & HIGHER
THE headcount in the mayor's office is going up, even as Mayor Bloomberg challenges his commissioners to "do more with less" amid a deteriorating economy.
Figures posted on the city's Web site show the mayor's office had 473 people on its payroll as of January, just four below the peak of 477 recorded in July and August of 2002, Bloomberg's first year. In January 2007, the figure was 436.
The low point, 404, was reached in October 2005.
The roster covers a wide variety of titles - most outside City Hall - from the $90,188-a-year executive chef at Gracie Mansion to a $72,106 domestic-violence response team director, to a $40,726 help-desk technician.
On Dec. 31, 2001, the last day of the Giuliani administration, there were 586 people listed in the mayor's office - a fact repeatedly underscored on the Web site.
Mayoral aides defended the upward trend.
"Most of the positions that have been added are for specific policy initiatives that are part of the mayor's ambitious second-term agenda - including tackling poverty, combating illegal guns and undertaking the most ambitious environmental agenda of any city in the country," said mayoral spokesman John Gallagher.
E.J. McMahon of the Manhattan Institute praised Bloomberg for making the numbers public but said the mayor should abide by his own edict.
"If they're inviting people to evaluate them [by going public], they have to be aware they're inviting criticism if the number grows while other agencies shrink," he said.
"Doing more with less includes proposing new initiatives without additional staff."
The budget for the entire mayoralty, which includes the large budget and labor-relations offices, has climbed from $72.9 million in 2004 to $85.7 million last year.
It is projected to hit $94.1 million in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. In 2001, Giuliani's final year, the budget was $89.1 million.