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



Speaker Adrienne Adams introduced legislation Thursday that would drastically expand the council’s power over top mayoral appointees — as City Hall already spars with lawmakers over one of the few spots they can now shoot down.

The new bill would add 20 commissioner-level spots to be subject to a confirmation process, including the heads of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Department of Social Services.

The NYPD, FDNY and Department of Corrections would not be subject to the expanded oversight, however, the speaker hinted that the council could push to add them to the list later.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams put the bill forward Thursday. Robert Miller

“This is a start for us,” Adams told reporters in City Hall Thursday.

“Certain agencies we stayed off of uniformed, first responders and associated agencies. So we stayed off of them. We really want to take a look at the agencies that we felt were strong agencies, of course, but again this is just the beginning.”

The council currently only has the power to vote down a few top mayoral appointees, including the commissioner for the Department of Investigations and the city’s corporation counsel, who is in charge of the Law Department.

Under the change, which would have to be voted on via a ballot referendum, the council would also be tasked with voting on mayoral picks for the heads of the departments of buildings, children’s services, citywide administrative services, consumer and worker protection, emergency management, environmental protection, finance, homeless services, veterans’ services, youth and community development and others.

The speaker floated the new legislation during a closed-door meeting with city Dems last week, The Post reported.

At the same time, City Hall has been trying to convince lawmakers behind closed doors to get on board with Mayor Eric Adams’ replacement for corporation counsel, Randy Mastro, according to council sources.

The veteran litigator has had a number of meetings with council members over recent weeks, making his case that he won’t just furiously fight for the mayor but for New York City and everyone in government, sources said.

Mastro, who was chief of staff and deputy mayor for Rudy Giuliani and has eyed the top spot in the Law Department for years, has a reputation as a legal bulldog but has proved to be a divisive pick among council members.

Randy Mastro has yet to be formally put forward as the mayor’s pick for the next corporation counsel. Getty Images for National Geographic

Mayor Adams, who has no relation to the speaker, has not yet formally put forward Matro as his pick to succeed Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix, who has reportedly been “pushed out” after a series of legal disagreements, including the city repping the mayor in a decades-old sexual misconduct case.

After news of the potential additional council powers was made public, Mayor Adams announced his own commission, filled with a number of close allies, to review and advise on revision to the city charter.

The council’s proposed legislation would broaden the “advice-and-consent” section of the charter.

“Together, this group will look for ways to ensure that this city is working as efficiently as possible for all of our residents and delivering 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-person commission.

Carlo Scissura, who previously served as charter commissioner under the two prior administrations and is currently the head of the New York Building Congress, had reportedly been considered by Mayor Adams to be the city’s economic czar but backed out after The City reported on ethical concerns over his work.

Council members have raised concerns over the timing of the commission, saying the move was payback for floating the charter change to add more oversight.

After the potential added oversight became public, Mayor Adams announced a charter revision commissioner. William Farrington

“The timing is convenient,” Speaker Adams said Thursday of the commission. 

But City Hall has maintained that talks about the 13-person panel have been in the works for months.

One member of the commission, anti-violence advocate Jackie Rowe-Adams, who was also one of the women who came to the mayor’s defense after a bombshell sexual misconduct lawsuit was filed, raised concerns over the council’s current powers back in April following the override of the How Many Stops Act, Politico reported.

That sparked a meeting the next month where school safety activist Mona Davids floated the idea of a charter revision commission since the public was not able to speak before the council overrode the mayor’s veto, the outlet reported.

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