Everyone was welcome at the Table of Success this week when Mayor Eric Adams delivered an upbeat State of the City address. Despite facing dismal approval ratings, a contentious veto fight with the City Council and an ongoing federal investigation, Adams didn’t come out swinging against his haters. Instead, he stuck to a familiar script projecting a bright future for New York City, while deftly glossing over many of the city’s persistent challenges. Adams likes to boast about his shrewd management of the city’s finances, and what’s more economical than a State of the City address that doubles as a reelection rally?
Jeff Sherwin -
A new state law making it tougher to form independent villages includes a special exception for Edgemont, a wealthy Westchester enclave that has been trying for years to secede from the larger (and less affluent and less white) town of Greenburgh. Credit goes to Jeff Sherwin and the rest of the secessionists on the Edgemont Incorporation Committee, who reportedly took advantage of backroom Albany politics – with assists from Assembly Member Amy Paulin and state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins – to ensure his neighborhood can continue its fight for independence.
Henry Garrido, Gloria Middleton -
Handling New York City’s host of 911 calls isn’t for the faint of heart, but at least these dispatchers have scored a pay raise, additional bonuses and more flexible work hours. The city now plans to test three and four day work days for all 911 operators and supervisors – a big bargaining win for District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido and Communications Workers of America Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton.
Menashe Shapiro -
Just as New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams was slated to begin a news conference, the mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Menashe Shapiro appeared and tried to take chairs away from reporters. But the reporters didn’t get up. We’ll spare readers dozens of canned chair/seating puns, but the episode did show growing tensions in the city’s highest seat (sorry). Shapiro’s failed attempt to unseat (sorry again) the press handed the mayor’s opponents yet another negative talking point in the middle of a contentious veto fight.
Brian Kulpa -
It’s a mea Kulpa. The Amherst Town Board approved an 11.4% property tax increase in November, and residents are furious. While Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa has insisted the tax hike was necessary, the episode spawned a sudden interest in civics among the angry townspeople. The Buffalo News reported that they’ve crowded into board meetings to unleash their rage and flooded the town’s Youtube channel with views. They’re even getting deep into the budget minutiae, asking why the town chose to switch street lights from older light bulbs to LEDs.
Tremaine Wright -
The year was supposed to get off to a good start for the Cannabis Control Board, which was all set to approve some long-stalled retail licenses for pot shops. But the night before its January meeting, the board suddenly announced it had canceled the meeting. It came as a shock to expectant business owners and interested members of the public alike. Even though Tremaine Wright chairs the Cannabis Control Board, it was reportedly Gov. Kathy Hochul who demanded the cancellation. New year, same delays, it seems.