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Christine Quinn Joins the Scandal Bandwagon

The City Council Speaker has been allocating monies to phony nonprofits at the beginning of every year so she can use the funds later for favors, reports the Post.

A Guide to Dan Doctoroff's Unfinished Business

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Dan Doctoroff is leaving City Hall with a lot of big real-estate projects unfinished, but he's done his best to make sure they have the momentum and guidance to be completed in his absence (which meant coordinating a lot of egos and favors). The mayor remains urgent about his green agenda, and the staff Doctoroff leaves behind seems to click. Plus, he’s not exactly dropping off the grid: "One of the great things about going to [Bloomberg LP] is I’m not going to be that far away," he told us, murkily. But without strong-willed Doctoroff forcing players to negotiate, will everything go according to plan? After the jump, a handy guide to Doctoroff’s key reform campaigns, with assurances from Doctoroff himself included. Think of it as a cheat sheet for who now controls their (and our) future. —Alec Appelbaum

Dan Doctoroff's Replacement: Innie or Outie?

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With the official news of Dan Doctoroff's departure as the city's economic-development czar, the hunt is on to find a lame-duck replacement for him — one that can carry out the mayor's ambitious NYC2030 plan. So, one source tells us that City Hall recruiters have been feeling around for any takers and have so far reached out to at least two possibilities. One of them is Alan Fishman, the former president of Sovereign Bank who now chairs the mayor's Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. (A call to Fishman was not immediately returned.) The other person that's said to have been asked about Doctoroff's job is Sean Donovan, who now runs the mayor's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “This could be a very good choice,” one politico told New York. “Shaun and Dan have very different philosophical approaches to development. Shaun has a great reputation for working with community groups and community boards and can build allegiances there, and that was always Doctoroff’s weakness. He wanted to bulldoze things through.” Donovan is the choice most frequently mentioned in press reports, but Fishman could be the private-sector outsider we hear that City Hall has been secretly hoping for. Time, and more rushed press conferences, will probably tell. —Geoffrey Gray Earlier: Dan Doctoroff May Still Save Us

Dan Doctoroff May Still Save Us

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Dan Doctoroff insisted at today's quickie press conference that "everything will keep going" on the city's construction front despite his departure. But is the position he's leaving one that requires his specific personality? As the mayor noted, Doctoroff broke the patronage-or-paralysis mold that used to define big city projects. "By integrating economic development with city planning, affordable housing, and parks for the first time, Dan created a new model," said Bloomberg. "His best was as good as it gets." (The famously droll mayor seemed genuinely cranky at chatter when the meeting started and misty when he summed up his adieu.) And Doctoroff may still retain the power to help patch up the city's cracked infrastructure.

Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff Out at City Hall, In at Bloomberg LP

Dan Doctoroff
Dan Doctoroff, who has been toiling away since 2001 as the mayor's get-it-done man, will announce today that he will be out of City Hall by the end of the year. He'll be named president of Bloomberg LP, reports the Times.
“Our administration and the city of New York have been incredibly lucky to have Dan in City Hall for the past six years, and I’ve personally been very lucky to have him sitting just six feet away from me,” the mayor said in a hastily scheduled news conference in the Blue Room of City Hall. “He has been a true partner, a trusted friend, and the architect of the most sweeping transformation of New York City’s environment since the days of Robert Moses.”
Doctoroff, a former investment banker who, like the mayor, earns only $1 a year for his civil service, is the deputy mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding. He's overseen successful projects like the High Line redevelopment and the rescue of the city's waterfronts, including Governors Island. He was also a force behind the mayor's ill-fated West Side Stadium and Olympic bids. Doctoroff was popular in City Hall and is credited with helping Bloomberg with much of his economic and redevelopment success. New York's Geoffrey Gray reported that Doctoroff was planning a departure last month. Doctoroff Is Leaving Bloomberg Administration [NYT] Related Doctor! Give Me a Job [NYM]

Ellen Pompeo Weds at City Hall, Cheers Up Knicks Fans

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Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo got married, shotgunNew York style! The smoky actress secretly tied the knot with her longtime beau Chris Ivery in City Hall on Friday. Despite the fact that both of their hometowns are in the Boston area, the pair opted for a simple ceremony witnessed by Mayor Bloomberg himself. "They are over the moon," Pompeo's spokeswoman, Jennifer Allen, told the Boston Globe. Last month Pompeo told People that she hadn't started planning, despite the fact that she'd been engaged to Ivery for over a year, so this may have been a spur-of-the-moment thing. While they were here, the newlyweds snagged courtside seats at Sunday's Knicks game. How cute! At least there was one functional relationship down there that fans could root for. 'Grey's' Pompeo quietly ties knot in Big Apple [Boston Globe]

Market Table Already Bumpin’

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Market Table has opened for both lunch and dinner with little fanfare, and what we hear today predicts future success. Chef-owner Joey Campanero tells us that he did two and a half turns at lunch today (roughly 100 customers). Plus, the retail counter is cha-chinging away. The biggest seller, Campanero says, is the burger. No surprise, given that it's made from the same magic meat found in burgers at the Spotted Pig, Stand, Borough Food and Drink, City Hall, and even (though not exactly) the Shake Shack. Expect a tough table: the place is even smaller than the Little Owl, Campanero ’s perpetually packed West Village favorite. Related: Shop Like a Chef (Preferably in His Own Store)

Dan Doctoroff's Plan to Move City Hall Workers to WTC

Dan Doctoroff
City Hall has finally found a way to personally benefit from the fitful rebirth of ground zero. A year ago, Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff pledged that the city would rent up to a third of the office space in 4 World Trade Center if no other tenants emerge by early 2009 — a key financing commitment for the three towers that developer Larry Silverstein will soon start building. Yesterday, Doctoroff told us that the city was planning on making good on that pledge — and that relocating city workers into the new Fumihiko Maki–designed skyscraper could benefit everyone, including us taxpayers. "Too many of our workers are in substandard space," Doctoroff said, "and this gives us an opportunity to upgrade some and perhaps sell some buildings that are better used for residential." Because condo demand is outpacing the need for office space down there, this could be a deft, profitable maneuver for the city. At the same time, having a guaranteed tenant would take the heat off Silverstein (and his lenders). Since many city workers are toiling in basements and too small spaces, this could be a hat trick not even Silverstein's architects could've designed. —Alec Appelbaum

City Film Bureaucrat Is an Impressively Bad Person, Olbermann Says

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And while we're feeling video-y, here's Keith Olbermann's "World's Worst Person" segment from last night's Countdown. He gave top honors to Julianne Cho, the official in the Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting, who he labels the person behind the city's proposed new rule requiring that virtually anyone trying to take more than a quick snapshot on the city's street obtain a permit and $1 million in liability insurance. Creative types are pissed off, civil-liberties types are pissed off, and, apparently, Olbermann is pissed off. We almost feel bad for Cho, who we presume is doing her job and carrying out someone else's decision and getting beat up for it. But on the other hand, we're also kind of stoked for her. Olbermann ranked her last night as the worst person above both Rudy Giuliani and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That's quite an accomplishment. Countdown: Worst Person July 31, 2007 [YouTube] Related: Picturing Protest, Artists Organize to Fight Camera Permit Proposal [NYT]

Congestion Pricing: It's a Deal!

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As Geoffrey Gray warned us earlier, there's now a deal for congestion pricing. From City Room, the Times's metro blog:
“We have a deal,” Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, just told reporters in Albany. “Like any deal, like any arrangement, its [sic] subject to the definitive word ending up on paper. As we speak, we are drafting paper, press release, with the governor’s office, with the Assembly.” Asked if the deal would still qualify for a grant of $500 million in federal financing, Mr. Bruno said: “We are told if we get this there today, we will be one of the nine considered.”
Just think: Some time in the not-too-distant future, you'll have the privilege of paying to drive on exploding streets. Fun! Deal Is at Hand in Congestion Pricing [City Room/NYT] Earlier: Congestion-Pricing Lives! Is City Hall Close to Announcing a Deal?

Congestion-Pricing Lives! Is City Hall Close to Announcing a Deal?

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Thought you didn't have to hear any more about congestion pricing? You may not be so lucky. This morning's Daily News reported that a marathon private negotiation went till the wee hours last night, putting Bloomberg and Albany leaders tantalizingly close to a deal to salvage the mayor's traffic plan. "We are extraordinarily close, but it's just not going to get there tonight," Spitzer's spokesman told the News just before midnight. "All the pieces have not come together." Well, the word we're now hearing is that those pieces have finally come together. A source in City Hall tells New York's Geoffrey Gray that they'll be holding a press conference in a few hours to announce a deal. We wouldn't hold our breath — considering the mercurial people involved — but it's what we're hearing. Related: Congest Fight U-Turn [NYDN]

Chris Smith: Bloomberg Is Full of It

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Yesterday, in a press release, Mike Bloomberg said his switch of party allegiance from Republican to none-of-the-above was about “bring[ing] my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city.” This afternoon, in a press conference — after torturing reporters with a prolonged exaltation of the 311 system — the mayor claimed the switch was because he’d suddenly become aware of nasty partisanship in Washington, and that becoming a free agent allows him to speak his mind. Please.

Strategist Split to Roil City Politics

One of New York's top political-consulting partnerships — they've repped Mike Bloomberg, Christine Quinn, and Joe Lieberman, plus unions, other Dems, and developers including Forest City Ratner — is splitting up. Knickerbocker SKD — the highly influential pairing of wunderkind strategists Josh Isay, who made his name managing Chuck Schumer's 1998 defeat of Al D'Amato, and Micah Lasher, who's been a strategist for dozens of campaigns, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's 2005 victory over eight other Democratic contenders for the beep job — now faces an uncertain future as Lasher plans to leave the firm, according to sources. Lasher feels it's the right time to depart, the sources say, and he also has his eye on Gale Brewer's Upper West Side City Council seat. (Brewer will have to leave her post in 2009 because of term limits.) Isay will continue running the firm with other strategists; it's unclear how the split will affect top clients like Council Speaker Quinn, who is likely running for mayor, and Stringer, said to be eying the comptroller position. —Geoffrey Gray

How Now Dow Jones?

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• The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,089 yesterday, leaping past the 13K mark on a 136-point rally — and, no doubt, giving yet another batch of small investors the tragic impression that they, too, can be Jim Cramer. [NYP] • With all the money floating around City Hall (the surplus is now even larger than estimated — $4.4 billion), Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants a tax credit for renters to match Bloomberg's proposed property-tax rebate. The mayor's not sold. [amNY] • Al Gore ("the world's hottest leading man," per Bloomberg's press-conference remarks) is in town to open the Tribeca Film Festival. If he were running for office, last night's gala would sure feel a lot like a Dem fund-raiser. But he's not, so it didn't. [WNBC] • Corzine walks! New Jersey's governor took a few steps for the first time since the car crash that broke half the bones in his body. He also felt up to taking a phone call from … President Bush. [NYT] • And Condi Rice apparently wields major power over New Yorkers' consumer habits. After she endorsed a beef stew at Brooklyn's Sea Tide Gourmet Fish Store (huh?), it's supposedly been flying off the shelves. The story feels planted, but by whom? The store or Condi? [NYDN]

Has Bloomberg Picked a New (Somewhat Crunchy) Transportation Chief?

Here's a sign Bloomberg may not be kidding about his commitment to this PlaNYC deal. Meet his likely new Department of Transportation head, Janette Sadik-Khan. Eagle-eyed Streetsblog notes that Sadik-Khan, who has been mentioned as contender for the job but not yet announced — has just quit her job at an engineering firm in what's believed to be preparation for a mayoral announcement. The word is she'll be moving into departing commish Iris Weinshall's office as soon as May 14. Sadik-Khan seems to have beaten out the other serious contender, Michael Horodniceanu, who did a traffic-czar stint under Dinkins, in a face-off policy wonks were watching closely because the two candidates seemed to embody two opposite approaches. Horodniceanu is a cars-first traditionalist; Sadik-Khan is a mass-transit innovator. It's encouraging, then, that the person in charge of developing Bloomie's big ideas — new commuter rail into Manhattan, rapid buses, etc. — is actually into this sort of thing. And it's equally encouraging that Sadik-Khan (or at least in the only photo we could find online) looks remarkably like someone you'd see in a Decemberists ticket line. Sadik-Khan Is Next at DOT [Streetsblog]