NYC Council Democrats consider bill requiring consent for mayor’s top appointments

NEW YORK — City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams is pushing for a new law that would require the mayor to secure Council consent for top government appointments — posts that currently don’t require such approval, the Daily News has learned.

According to four sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the speaker broached the proposal during a conference meeting Monday with fellow Democratic members.

All city agency commissioner posts are being considered as part of the proposal to expand the Council’s so-called “advice-and-consent” powers, said one of the sources. However, the source cautioned it’s not likely that the Council will seek approval powers for all posts.

A spokesman for the speaker’s office did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

The agencies currently under consideration to be included in the advice-and-consent process are the Buildings Department, the Office of Emergency Management, the Administration of Children’s Services, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development, two sources briefed on the matter told The News.

The move comes as Mayor Eric Adams is pushing for the Council to approve controversial lawyer Randy Mastro as a replacement for current Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix. As The News reported Monday, Mastro, who served as a deputy mayor in the Giuliani administration, has started talking to Council members about taking on the corp counsel role, even though he’s running into serious pushback.

The corporation counsel, who leads the Law Department and represents the mayor and other city employees in various legal matters, is currently one of the only top city government positions that require Council approval before a hire can be made by the mayor. Other posts that currently require advise-and-consent approval from the Council include the Department of Investigation commissioner, some city Planning commissioners and the Taxi & Limousine Commission chair.

The corporation counsel post did not require Council consent until 2019, when city residents adopted a City Charter amendment via referendum that made the job fall within the chamber’s advice-and-consent purview.

It is not entirely clear what the pathway is to latest proposed expansion of the Council’s advice-and-consent powers.

According to one Council source, such an expansion would require a ballot referendum. But another source claimed it could be accomplished simply through passing a bill into law.

The conference meeting Monday was a “preliminary conversation about adding more categories” to the advice-and-consent process via legislation, according to another Council source.

The source noted that if such a bill passes, a City Charter amendment — which can only be done by a ballot referendum — would likely need to be enacted for the new categories to become legally binding.

Two of the sources noted that it did not seem like there’s interest from the Council at this point for requiring advice-and-consent on any of the uniformed commissioner positions.