When Mayor Bloomberg came into office there was just one executive cook at Gracie Mansion to make the VIP feasts. Today there are three – costing taxpayers a whopping $245,000 this year. And despite the big spending cuts the mayor has ordered across every city agency, too many cooks won’t be spoiling the broth at the city-owned mansion.
According to figures revealed by the New York Daily News, his longest-serving man in the kitchen, Feliberto Estevez, picks up $97,000. His pastry chef Jerry Montanez who was hired in 2007 is paid $68,000 while Jose Velazquez is on $80,000 after getting a $10,000 pay rise last July.
Last autumn, there were cutbacks in the police, fire and schools and there are more job losses to come across the board.
Although the 69-year-old billionaire Bloomberg prefers to live at his upper East Side townhouse, he does a lot of entertaining at Gracie Mansion.
His spokesman Jason Post said there had been a rise in ‘barbecues and receptions for agency employees and for representatives of different communities around the city.’
Events have increased from 166 in 2000 to 278 a decade later.Mr Post claimed four cooks and one dishwasher had been at the mansion since 2005, but now three of them are head cooks.
He told Mail Online: ‘Titles have changed but the number of people who prepare food has been the same for years. ‘
When Rudy Giuliani was mayor he had one executive cook, Anna Maria Santorelli, who was also the mansion’s overall manager.
Today the mayor defended his decision to open government offices during last week’s snowstorm — just hours after he told workers not to come in.
He claimed he saved taxpayers a bill for millions of dollars because if he had kept non-emergency offices closed, the city would have been forced to pay double to those workers who did show up.
‘This is an issue which I think some people don’t know about,’ Bloomberg told his weekly WOR radio show listeners.
‘If you give some people a day off and some people have to work, the people who have to work — by contract — get an extra day’s pay.
‘An extra day for a lot of workers would cost you millions and millions of dollars.’
(Source: Daily Mail UK)