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GRIFFIN TELLS AIDES TO TRIM $6.7 MILLION CALLS ON DEPARTMENTS TO OFFSET STATE CUTS

Mayor Griffin has told his department heads to come up with $6.7 million in savings to offset a cut in state aid.

"This gap must be closed by June 30 to avoid finishing the year with a deficit," Griffin said in a letter to his department heads.

Griffin cited the state as the chief culprit. Most of the $6.7 million gap is the result of a reduction in state aid to the city that was enacted by Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature to close a $1 billion deficit in the state budget.

The savings represents 3.1 percent of the city's $215 million operating budget, which pays primarily for services and salaries.

Griffin told his department heads that he wants their recommendations in writing by Jan. 11 on ways to cut costs or increase revenue.

At a press conference earlier this month, the mayor said he already has told his staff to reduce unnecessary travel and keep vacant positions open as long as possible to save money.

The mayor has three major ways of closing the gap: use $1.8 million of unobligated surplus funds from last year's budget, cut services and reduce payroll expenses by either leaving vacant jobs unfilled or by laying off workers.

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