It was a quick trip to Albany for the mayor, just a few hours on the ground. But by most accounts, it was a productive one.
With both legislative leaders out of town in Buffalo for the president’s visit to the site of a mass shooting, Mayor Eric Adams met face-to-face with more rank-and-file members for what was only his second trip to Albany as mayor.
“The bulk of our conversation was around mayoral accountability,” the mayor said Tuesday. “That was the bill of our conversation. We talked about NYCHA and some other topics and some sidebars around public safety, which we will continue to push forward.”
“Mayoral accountability” refers to mayoral control of city schools, set to expire next month. The mayor is pushing for a straight, four-year extension with no strings attached.
Democratic state Senator John Liu of Queens chairs the key committee that oversees mayoral control.
“It was a good thing that Mayor Adams came to Albany and talked with legislators directly, heard their concerns, answered their questions,” said Liu. “Are the mayor and the governor going to get exactly what they wanted, which is a four year extension with no changes? No, that’s probably not going to happen.”
Members who attended meetings with the mayor said the conference does not have a united position on the issue.
“There isn’t a consensus. It depends on which member you ask in New York City, where they stand,” said Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman, a Democrat from Queens. “I think there is a consensus to continue, but the time limits, whether it’s two years, three years, four years, that’s what is being contested right now.”
Two other issues that remain outstanding are a renewal of a tax break for developers known as 421a. Although it has been on the books for decades in one form or another, Democrats have soured on it, making chances for renewal much dimmer this year.
An expansion of speed cameras, also sought by the mayor, remains on the table.
“It’s just a real good energy from all of us learning about each other in January and now spent time up here lobbying with my team up here and sit down with my colleagues. And you know, it was just a great conversation,” the mayor said.
While many legislators have said privately that the mayor waited until too late in the session to engage them on his priorities, there is still time to get them done, even with just two weeks left. It remains especially unlikely lawmakers would leave town without renewing mayoral control in some form.