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NYC council introduces bill to increase oversight over mayoral picks for top jobs

Speaker Adrian Adams The bill was introduced on Thursday. The bill would significantly expand the City Council’s power over the city’s highest-ranking mayoral appointees, as the department is already sparring with lawmakers over one of the few positions it can veto.

The new bill would add 20 secretary-level positions subject to a confirmation process, including secretaries of the Departments of Transportation, Health and Mental Hygiene, and Human Services.

The NYPD, Fire Department and Department of Corrections will not be included in the expanded oversight, but the speaker suggested the council could work to add them to the list at a later date.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams introduced the bill Thursday. Robert Miller

“This is just the beginning for us,” Adams told reporters at City Hall Thursday.

“With certain agencies, we didn’t reach out to uniformed emergency personnel or associated agencies, so we didn’t reach out to them. Of course, we really want to look at agencies that we feel are strong agencies, but again, this is just the beginning.”

The City Council currently has the power to vote against only a few senior mayoral appointees, including the director of the investigations bureau and the city’s corporation counsel in charge of the law department.

The change would be passed by referendum, but the City Council would also be tasked with voting on whether the mayor should select the heads of the departments, including Buildings, Child Services, Citywide Services, Consumer and Worker Protection, Emergency Management, Environmental Protection, Finance, Homeless Services, Veterans Affairs and Youth and Community Development.

The Washington Post reported that the speaker proposed the new bill last week during a closed-door meeting with city Democratic lawmakers.

At the same time, city officials have been working behind closed doors to persuade council members to back a plan put forward by Randy Mastro, who replaced Mayor Eric Adams as corporation counsel, council officials said.

The veteran litigation lawyer has met multiple times with City Council members in recent weeks, making the case that he will fight hard not just for the mayor but for New York City and all of its government officials, the people said.

Mastro, who served as Rudy Giuliani’s chief of staff and deputy mayor, has been a long-time contender for the top legal department position and has a strong reputation as a legal expert but has proven a polarizing figure among City Council members.

Randy Mastro has not yet been announced as the mayor’s formal appointee to be the next corporation counsel. Getty Images for National Geographic

Mayor Adams, who has no ties to the Speaker, has not formally endorsed Matlo to replace Sylvia O. Hines Raddix, who was reportedly “ousted” after a series of legal disagreements that included the city’s representation of the mayor in a decades-old sexual misconduct case.

After the potential expansion of City Council’s powers was made public, Mayor Adams announced he would be forming his own committee, made up of many of his closest aides, to review and advise on changes to the City Charter.

The council’s proposed legislation would expand the charter’s “advice and consent” provisions.

“Together, this group will explore ways to ensure our city works as efficiently as possible for all of our residents and delivers a city government that reflects the needs and aspirations of the millions of working-class New Yorkers who call the five boroughs home,” Adams said Wednesday of the 13-member committee.

Carlo Cisura, who served as a charter commissioner under the previous two administrations and is currently president of the New York Construction Council, was reportedly considered by Mayor Adams to be the city’s economic minister. After City reports ethical concerns About his work.

City council members have expressed concerns about the timing of the committee’s creation, arguing the move is retaliation for proposing charter changes to increase oversight.

After the possibility of increased oversight became public, Mayor Adams announced the appointment of a Charter Revision Commissioner. William Farrington

“The timing is convenient,” Speaker Adams said Thursday about the committee.

But city hall insists discussions about the 13-person committee have been underway for several months.

Committee member and anti-violence campaigner Jackie Lou Adams, who was one of the women who defended the mayor after a shocking sexual misconduct lawsuit was filed, expressed concern about the council’s current powers after the “how many stops” law was struck down in April. Politico reported.

That prompted a meeting the following month in which school safety activist Mona David suggested forming a charter revision committee after residents had not been given a chance to voice their opinions before the City Council overrode the mayor’s veto, according to the outlet.