Councilman Simcha Felder (D – Brooklyn) has introduced legislation that would call for a public referendum that if approved, would eliminate the office of the Public Advocate and replace the Public Advocate with the Comptroller as second in line succeed the Mayor. “It is clear to me that given the services provided by the City’s 59 community boards, five borough presidents, and numerous city, state, and federal elected officials, the office of the Public Advocate could easily be eliminated without a loss of service to City residents,” says Felder. “People in the City will finally have a chance to decide whether they want or need this office.”
Prior to the office’s recent budget reduction, the Public Advocate’s office operated with an annual budget of approximately $3 million each year.
“New York City is the only major city with an elected Public Advocate position,” says Felder. “We are unique in a number of ways, but we don’t need to be unique in the way we waste taxpayer money.”
Felder also released a report titled Reducing Redundancy: Does the City of New York need a Public Advocate? which assesses the costs of and services provided by the office of the Public Advocate.