Contrast the two available videos that show deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s response at the July 20 Crain’s Breakfast Forum to a question by Erik Engquist. Engquist asked Goldsmith what City Hall plans to do to close those fire houses that, according to Engquist, “don’t contribute to safety.”
We watched both versions: a tightly-edited professional video on the Crain’s New York Business website, and a longer, hand-held, and presumably unedited video, posted by reader Louis Flores. It showed that Crain’s skips some of the more controversial issues Goldsmith touched on.
In the YouTube video, Goldsmith says “there is a staffing issue on some of the apparatus where there’s a collective bargaining agreement and a set of rules which allow a slight change in the way the apparatus is staffed.” The Crain’s version doesn’t show this.
YouTube’s Goldsmith continues, “So it’s a long way of saying I think the answer to your question is ‘yes.’ There will be inevitably some staff closures recommended in, hopefully, in concert with good data which shows which can be done without affecting safety.” Crain’s omits this.
Both versions show Goldsmith saying he will study, “in particular, the costs of supporting the retired [firefighters]; as you all know from reading the paper, the pension burden on the operating costs is enormous, and needs to be studied as part of this.”
Both versions record Goldsmith’s commitment to a less-controversial cost-cutting measure: eliminating the city’s remaining sidewalk fire alarm boxes, which, he says, will save the city $6 million annually.