Nothing to Lewse
Mmm Mmm Good
Former Councilman Lew Fidler is going back to the City Council–but this time, he won’t be serving as an elected official.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has hired Mr. Fidler, a 12-year Brooklyn lawmaker and attorney, to join the City Council as a part-time counsel, a spokesman for Ms. Mark-Viverito confirmed. Mr. Fidler is working in the office of the general counsel, where he helps represent the entire council body, not just the speaker.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget director appeared in front of the City Council today–but instead of the usual heated grilling, was met with apologetic and thankful council members who celebrated the mayor’s agenda.
They even offered him muffins.
As Mayor Bill de Blasio and other advocates gather in Albany today, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito released a report outlining the council’s legislative agenda.
Elephants in the Room
Councilman Vincent Ignizio, the minority leader of the overwhelmingly Democratic City Council, sounded a warning bell this morning over the impact of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive policy agenda.
In an interview on Geraldo Rivera’s WABC radio show, the host asked whether Republicans and conservatives should “feel under siege by this progressive administration.”
Poetry in Motion
While the City Council overwhelmingly voted to pass new, expanded paid sick leave legislation this afternoon, the council’s tiny Republican bloc loudly opposed the measure.
The three council Republicans–Minority Leader Vincent Ignizio, Steven Matteo and Eric Ulrich–joined two Democrats in voting against the bill, which will expand the number of businesses that need to provide paid sick days to their employees. Republicans argued that the bill, supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will slow hiring and even lead to an “underground” economy.
The City Council was the host of a slightly unusual event this afternoon during a legislative session: Brooklyn Councilwoman Inez Barron read a poem out loud as her colleagues snapped their fingers to the beat.
The City Council is set to pass a far-reaching paid sick day bill this afternoon, marking the first major legislative salvo of the new, left-leaning council.
Led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the council is expected to vote to expand mandatory paid sick time coverage to nearly every business that employs five or more people, despite objections from business leaders, who argue the move will limit hiring. Under the current law, most businesses with 15 or more employees are required to provide paid sick days, though many categories remain exempt.
Rain on de Parade
A spokesman for City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the speaker will take unspecified “appropriate action” against the council’s longtime finance director, who was reportedly charged yesterday with felony assault.
Preston Niblack was set to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court last night on charges of alleged second-degree felony assault “after cops found his partner bludgeoned by a statue and picture frame in his Upper West Side apartment” Tuesday morning, according to the Daily News.
Following Mayor Bill de Blasio announcement that he will break with a recent tradition and refuse to march in the Fifth Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade, the City Council has announced it will do the same.
While Brooklyn council members jockey behind-the-scenes for the coveted chairmanships of their delegation, the smaller Manhattan delegation has already settled on their leadership.
Councilman Corey Johnson and Councilwoman Margaret Chin were quietly elected to chair their borough’s delegation almost two weeks ago. The vote was conducted by e-mail and Ms. Chin and Mr. Johnson defeated Council members Ben Kallos and Inez Dickens, insiders said.