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.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito hit the campaign trail with congressional hopeful State Senator Adriano Espaillat this morning, putting her weight behind the man who hopes to dethrone the dean of New York’s Congressional delegation.
Mr. Espaillat yesterday launched his campaign to unseat Congressman Charles Rangel, who is running for his 23rd term representing his uptown district. Ms. Mark-Viverito endorsed Mr. Rangel in a contest between the two back in 2012, when he won narrowly, but this time has sided with Mr. Espaillat, suggesting that he could earn significant backing from the city’s new class of elected officials.
Rain on de Parade
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.
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.
Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield is tired of property owners neglecting to clear their sidewalks of snow and ice this winter.
Armed with dozens of complaints, the councilman, who represents Borough Park, Midwood and parts of Bensonhurst, is proposing a new law that would increase the fine to delinquent residential and commercial property owners and use that revenue to pay for municipal workers to clear the sidewalks.
In 2012, the Daily News hailed Ydanis Rodriguez for being one of only three City Council members who turned down the $10,000 stipends they were owed for chairing council committees. This month, Mr. Rodriguez again appeared in the editorial pages of the paper, though now he was slammed for accepting the stipend.
Mr. Rodriguez, an uptown Manhattan lawmaker, was the only councilman to take an 180-degree turn on the issue–but defended the change-of-heart, arguing the stipend system had already been reformed enough under new Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito to allay his earlier fears.
The days after the mayor releases his preliminary budget are usually filled with protests by advocates stomping their feet, decrying cuts to favored programs on the steps of City Hall.
But today, the labor groups, workers, and council members rallying outside City Hall were there to hail Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call during his State of the City speech for an increase in the minimum wage.
Two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s closest allies today refused to criticize the mayor over the controversy surrounding his call to police following the arrest of an early campaign supporter–with one literally walking away from reporters at City Hall.
“I will defer to the mayor of the City of New York,” repeated Public Advocate Tish James, as she was trailed by reporters walking from City Hall to her office on Centre Street.