Potential mayoral challengers weigh in on council bill to expand power over appointments

The City Council was set to vote on the legislation Thursday.

Once and future New York City mayoral candidate Scott Stringer.

Once and future New York City mayoral candidate Scott Stringer. Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and his administration have railed against legislation set to be voted on by the City Council Thursday that would expand the council’s approval authority to 20 mayoral appointed commissioner positions. A couple of the Democrats who could be in the mix for a 2025 primary challenge to Adams are split on the matter of expanding the council’s “advice and consent” powers, however.

Former New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has opened an exploratory committee to run for mayor in 2025, told City & State that the legislation is well intentioned but overly broad and could tie up future administrations that should be focused on working with the council on more pressing issues, like the housing crisis. “When you get elected mayor, one of the prerogatives you have is to appoint commissioners that you believe will best serve the city. To have to constantly go back to the City Council is time consuming, and may not serve a real public purpose,” Stringer said. 

That’s not to say Stringer is aligned with the Adams administration, however. “I think the Adams administration should wake up already and also start working with the council to resolve the issues that New Yorkers expect them to deal with.” Stringer also called the administration’s convening of a Charter Revision Commission – something the administration has said has been in the works for months but is seen by some as a move to block the council’s advice and consent legislation – “nothing more than a political sham.”

State Sen. Jessica Ramos, whose name has been in the mix of potential mayoral challengers but who has not made official moves to run, said that she is supportive of the advice and consent legislation, which was introduced by Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and had 30 co-sponsors in the council as of yesterday afternoon. “Coming from the state government, I can say that allowing the people to review nominations is quite important and should lead to a much more collaborative form of ensuring agency success,” she said. “I think ultimately, it’s about administering the city, and this is a good way to allow for there to be a balance of power between the two branches.”

Asked about a 2025 run, Ramos said she’s focused on closing out the 2024 legislative session in Albany, which is set to end this week, and making sure President Joe Biden is reelected.

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who is officially exploring a run in 2025, declined to comment on the advice and consent legislation, or the Charter Revision Commission.