Author Archive

De Blasio’s State of the City Marks A Shift In Tone From Bloomberg Era

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, Latest, News, Real Estate/Construction, Transportation

As is the case with most mayors less than two months into their administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio did not have a laundry list of accomplishments to point to during his State of the City address on Monday. But unlike his predecessor Michael Bloomberg’s first State of the City, which covered a wide range of topics and laid the foundation for his twelve years in office, de Blasio eschewed a long-term blueprint in favor of addressing the urgency of leveling… [More]

Inner Circle Set To Poke Fun At De Blasio Next Month

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Features, Heard Around Town, Latest, News, Other News

It’s that time of year again—The Inner Circle, an organization of New York City political journalists, has announced the date of its annual revue poking fun at federal, state, and local elected officials. This year’s event, to be held on March 22nd at the New York Hilton Midtown, is titled “Stuck with de Bill”, and is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiation into the inglorious annals of Inner Circle tradition. The occasionally cringe-worthy production includes a variety of satirical musical theater-inspired… [More]

De Blasio Taps Transition Co-Chair as City Planning Commissioner

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Economic Development, Government Operations, Housing, Latest, News, News & Features

Either Carl Weisbrod was the best and only man for the job, or he was the last man for the job. Whatever the case, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio effusively praised Weisbrod while introducing him as the next chair of City Planning Commission at a press conference on Friday. In fact, the mayor went to great lengths to make it clear that Weisbrod, the co-chair of his transition committee, was indisputably the right choice for a permanent job,… [More]

Díaz, Palma Critical Of Rep. Jose Serrano; Primary Challenge Possible [UPDATED]

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Campaigns/Elections, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Heard Around Town, Latest, News

Bronx Rep. Jose Serrano has served in the House of Representatives for nearly 25 years without so much as a threat to his incumbency, with his lowest vote percentage being 64 percent in 1992. However, several Bronx political sources say that there is a groundswell of opposition forming against Serrano, with several names being floated as potential primary challengers for Serrano in this year’s election, including state Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. Reached… [More]

New York City Council Approves De Blasio Ally as DOI Commissioner

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Government Operations, Latest, News

The New York City Council voted 48-2, with one abstention, to approve Mark Peters’ appointment as commissioner of the Department of Investigation during Tuesday’s stated meeting, despite the initial reservations of some Council members that his’ relationship with Mayor Bill de Blasio may be a conflict of interest. Peters previously served as treasurer for de Blasio’s mayoral campaign. Peters was unanimously approved by the Council’s Rules Committee in the morning, with only Councilman Jumaane Williams abstaining. Williams was one of… [More]

Housing Departures Continue With Visnauskas

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Housing, News

Adding to the turnover at New York City’s housing agencies, RuthAnne Visnauskas, acting commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation & Development, has submitted her resignation and will be leaving in two weeks, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. Visnauskas was a holdover from former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, in which she served for eight years, first as deputy HPD commissioner before taking over the top job from Mathew Wambua, who left the administration in August for the private sector. At… [More]

De Blasio Pre-K Push Mirrors Dinkins Era Negotiation [CORRECTED]

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, News, Public Safety, Social Services

Last week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany to make the case for his universal preschool program in front of the state Assembly Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees. De Blasio, who campaigned on providing full-day preschool for all four year olds, as well as after school programs for every middle school student, has ramped up his campaign for the effort, which would be paid for through a temporary tax hike on the city’s… [More]

Mark-Viverito Solicits Input From Councilmembers for Albany, D.C.

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, News

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito Perhaps as an attempt to live up to her promise of running a more inclusive City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is soliciting input from all 51 Council members as to their legislative and budget priorities for the current legislative session in Albany and Washington. City & State obtained an email sent by Howard Pollack, the deputy director of the Council’s Community Outreach Division, with an attached form for members to fill out their priorities. Also attached in the email was a letter… [More]

City & State TV: John Samuelsen

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in News, Video

Transport Workers Union Local 100 John Samuelsen discusses the state of contract negotiations for his workers, his disappointment with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent comments about those negotiations and his working relationship with MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast in a video interview with Nick Powell: In September, Samuelsen wrote an op-ed in the Daily News describing his relationship with former MTA chairman Joe Lhota, who at the time was the New York City Republican mayoral nominee. Samuelsen was asked if his solid working… [More]

Mark Weprin Unanimously Elected Chair of City Council Queens Delegation

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Latest, News, Other News

City Councilman Mark Weprin was unanimously elected this morning as chair of the Council’s Queens delegation,  a sign that the wounds from the protracted Council Speaker race between Dan Garodnick and Melissa Mark-Viverito might be starting to heal. The speaker battle had fractured the Queens delegation, with several Progressive Caucus members, including Julissa Ferreras, Jimmy Van Bramer, Daniel Dromm and Donovan Richards supporting Mark-Viverito, while the rest of the delegation stuck with Garodnick, the choice of Queens Democratic County Chairman… [More]