A couple of developments to watch as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gets closer to her likely mayoral bid, potentially affecting her relationships with the mayor and her members.
Today, the council Sanitation Committee is set to approve an electronic waste bill that Quinn supports, but Michael Bloomberg opposes. The mayor and Quinn have a close working relationship and have agreed on many major issues, notably congestion pricing and the Javits land deal, although there are many others.
The e-waste bill levies fines against electronics manufacturers who do not accept a certain percentage of old electronics from the public. When asked for comment, a spokesman for the mayor, John Gallagher, emailed to say, “We support e-recycling, but we don’t support the current council bill because it has untested and arbitrary industry performance standards.” The council is expected to pass it when they meet today.
The Speaker has also generally drawn strength from the support of the members of the council. But today they are expected to approve the appointment of Hector Diaz as City Clerk. Quinn supports it, but since the Brooklyn delegation opposes Diaz’s nomination, the vote won’t be unanimous.
What impact would a bloc of "no" votes have on the speaker?
I posed that question to Diana Reyna, the Chair of the Rules Committee, who opposed Diaz’s nomination along with other Brooklyn Council members, although her committee approved him earlier today.
"I don’t have any comment as to what you just said," she told me.
When I asked what could be learned from the Diaz vote, Reyna said, "I think in the past there has been difficulty in reaching consensus."
She added, "We would have liked things to be different today, we’ve expressed that confidently by remaining together."
When I asked Quinn about moving ahead on these two issues she said, “People aren’t always going to agree about everything. And if people in New York City started agreeing about everything all the time, we might wonder if we still lived in New York City.”
UPDATE: At a meeting of the entire City Council, the e-waste bill passed with 47 votes, and three dissenting votes from the Republicans. Diaz’s nomination passed with 34 votes, and 16 dissenters, all from Brooklyn.