The city’s austerity campaign has come for the Herman Miller desk chairs. As Mayor Eric Adams pushes agencies to tighten their budgets, proposing cuts to crucial services like libraries and universal pre-K, some lawmakers are scrutinizing municipal workers’ choice of ergonomic furniture. “Designer furniture is the last thing we should be doing right now,” City Councilmember Bob Holden told the New York Daily News. It’s a hard time for the chair lover.
The city has a five-year contract with Herman Miller that began in 2019 and has no ceiling, with $12.8 million spent thus far. Given that the total budget is $102.7 billion, vetoing stylish, spine-supporting chairs is small potatoes. Still, a spokesperson for Comptroller Brad Lander’s office told the Daily News that while a chair audit hasn’t been done, “finding more cost-effective options should be on the table” for city agencies. Maybe a compromise is in order — since offices are downsizing anyway, the city can just buy its chairs used.