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Friday’s Headlines: Confirmation Consternation Edition

Life's a riot with Adams vs. Adams. Plus more news.

Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office|

The mayor and Council speaker embracing last year.

It's Adams vs. Adams — in the words of the New York Times — and the future of New York City streets could hang in the balance.

City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams on Thursday proposed legislation to give the Council confirmation power over the nominees to head nearly two dozen city agencies, including the Department of Transportation.

Which raises the question: If the citizens of New York City elect a mayor committed to reducing car usage and re-purposing space devoted to automobiles to promote walking, cycling and mass transit — as they ostensibly did when they voted in Eric Adams — would a City Council devoted to the continued domination of cars use its proposed confirmation power to thwart that? Given the pro-car bent of many Council Transportation Committee hearings, it's easy to imagine at least several "no" votes against a DOT appointee openly committed to a "car-free future" like current Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez.

Granted, several of the mayor's picks to lead agencies have raised red flags: His ex-Buildings Commissioner Eric Ulrich faces felony corruption charges. His reported choice to head the Department of Citywide Administrative Services is machine-friendly former state Sen. Jesse Hamilton, who helped thwart progress in Albany as a member of the Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference. His rumored pick to be the city's top lawyer is anti-bike, anti-congestion pricing attorney Randy Mastro (who, to be fair, already needs to be confirmed by Council in order to take on the role). The City, Documented NY and The Guardian, meanwhile, jointly released some pretty wild reporting on Thursday about a hotelier buying influence in the Adams camp.

Notably, the Council bill — which would likely need to go before city voters —wouldn't include confirmation power over the mayor's picks to lead the police and fire departments.

Possibly in order to stave off the Council's push for more power, Adams proposed a Charter Revision Commission on Wednesday, whose proposals would also require voter approval. It's unclear what the mayor's commission will seek to accomplish, but City Hall cited "greater community input and transparency when legislation is proposed that would impact public safety." That's widely interpreted as a reference to the Council's moves earlier this year to ban solitary confinement in city jails and require NYPD report and document so-called "low-level" stops.

In other news:

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