If the mayor’s staff were one big family (and isn’t that the way we’ve always imagined them–with Howard Wolfson bouncing a nephew on his knee, while John Feinblatt and Stu Loeser play board games and the deputy mayors toss the pigskin out back as Grandpa Mike works up some johnny cakes on the griddle?) that family has had to tighten its belt this year. According to a new database unveiled on Thursday by Comptroller John Liu, the total biweekly payroll for the mayoralty shrunk by $26,000 between February and late June.
The new tool, CheckbookNYC is a more detailed breakdown of how and when the city spends money than was available before. While the city’s budgets, placed online by the Bloomberg team, will tell you how much the city will spend on a particular program or site, and the Vendor Search–also created by the mayor–lets you dig into what contractors are raking in, CheckbookNYC lets you learn how much each city office spends on payroll, contracts and other services on a week-to-week basis.
Not all transactions are visible, yet: Liu’s office says that, “Due to privacy and security issues still under review, some transactions in Checkbook NYC do not include the associated payee name. These include but are not limited to payments made by the New York City Police Department, the Department of Investigation, the District Attorneys’ Offices, as well as certain payments made to individuals, employees and for health and social services.”
As for that lovely family at City Hall, don’t schedule the rent party yet: Liu’s database reveals that a separate stream of “supplemental” payroll payments increased by $100,000 between February and May. So the little house near Chambers Street can rest easy.
(And so the sun sets, and another day at City Hall ends. We hear the nightly chorus: “G’night Patricia.” “Good night Dennis.” “‘Night Linda.” “Goodnight, John Boy.” “G’night, Mr. Mayor.”)