Cuomo’s Local Government Consolidation Proposal Draws a Mixed Response

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Daily, Government Operations, Labor/Unions, News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is renewing his push to consolidate the thousands of local governments in New York, and this time around he is making his proposal more enticing by linking it to a tax credit in his new tax cut package. Cuomo, who made consolidation a policy goal as attorney general, took aim at the nearly 10,500 towns, villages, water districts, sewer districts and fire districts in New York, arguing that their sheer numbers are driving up property taxes and… [More]

On Inauguration Day, a New City Government Doubles Down on Progressive Vision

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Health Care, Housing, News, Other News, Public Safety

A bitterly cold, gray New Year’s Day greeted New York City’s new government leaders on Wednesday afternoon in front of City Hall. The standard political party mix of Bruce Springsteen and various Motown and soul numbers thumped from the sound system, though if there were any dancing it was likely an attempt to keep blood flowing to the extremities. City and state dignitaries and several celebrities were in attendance, glad-handing, smiling through chattering teeth, and waiting patiently for the man… [More]

Union Leaders Mixed on Linn and Brezenoff Appointments

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

Two of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s five latest appointments, Robert Linn, the city’s new director of labor relations, and Stanley Brezenoff, who will advise First Deputy Mayor Tony Shorris in an unpaid role, received a mixed response from some city union leaders who are hoping that the two government veterans will settle the outstanding municipal labor contracts with the city. Both Linn and Brezenoff worked under former Mayor Ed Koch in different roles, with Brezenoff serving as Koch’s deputy mayor… [More]

Seddio Betrays Crowley and Heastie; De Blasio Goes To War With County Chairs Over Mark-Viverito

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Campaigns/Elections, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News, News & Features

Frank Seddio If there is one lesson to be learned in gaming out the City Council speaker’s race, it is that anything can happen, even at the last moment. History has shown that even when a Speaker candidate appears to have the votes to win, a mere change of heart or a last-minute backroom deal can swing the balance of power. In 1986, the City Council was ready to crown Brooklyn Councilman Samuel Horwitz the Speaker. Horwitz had lined up support from… [More]

City Council Passes New Lobbying Law Building On Previous Reforms

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

In today’s stated meeting, the New York City Council voted to pass lobbying reform legislation that builds on laws it passed in 2006. The 2006 lobbying laws, which were proposed by Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, required that the City Clerk educate lobbyists on existing regulations and undertake random audits to ensure that lobbyists who also raise money for candidates or serve as political consultants are reporting their activities properly. They also banned gifts from lobbyists to elected… [More]

De Blasio Appoints William Bratton as New Police Commissioner

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News, News & Features, Public Safety

Bill de Blasio, New York City’s “progressive” mayor-elect, reached back in time to fill arguably the most important position in his administration, naming William Bratton as his police commissioner, returning Bratton to the city where his star began to rise in the same role under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. While introducing him at the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, de Blasio highlighted Bratton’s impressive track record, which includes major reductions in crime in both New York and Los… [More]

De Blasio Announces Anthony Shorris as First Deputy Mayor

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

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced the first appointments to his administration today, naming Anthony Shorris as first deputy mayor, Dominic Williams as Shorris’ chief of staff and Emma Wolfe as director of intergovernmental affairs. While introducing Shorris, de Blasio highlighted his wealth of experience in government and his effective managerial skills. “I don’t think I know anyone who has this range of experience and achievement and will be able to work with all levels of government seamlessly…… [More]

De Blasio Meets with Assembly Democrats about Pre-K Proposal

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Economic Development, Education, Features, Government Operations, Heard Around Town, Latest, News, Other News, Transportation

New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio met with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and a contingent of Assembly Democrats at Silver’s annual holiday luncheon this afternoon. The topic? De Blasio’s signature policy idea: raising taxes on the wealthiest New York City residents to pay for a universal preschool and afterschool program. “It was very warmly received by the Assembly members,” de Blasio said after the meeting. “A lot of energy, a lot of willingness to help us make this a… [More]

GOP Councilman Blasts Mark-Viverito’s Speaker Candidacy

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

Count Eric Ulrich as one of the New York City Council members that will not be supporting Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito's candidacy for speaker. Ulrich said that he and his Republican Council colleagues, Vincent Ignizio and Councilman-elect Steve Matteo, are "deeply troubled" by the recent reports regarding Mark-Viverito's reluctance to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance.… [More]