Brooklyn delegation gets juice in city council

It was Christmas in January at City Hall and as first reported by this newspaper, Coney Island City Councilmember Domenic Recchia received the biggest present.

Recchia was named chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, worth an extra $18,000 tacked onto the $112,500 regular salary of a City Council member.

The position does come with a larger workload, however, as the Finance Committee chair plays an important role in negotiating the annual city budget with the mayor.

In getting one of the two (the other being Land Use Committee) top-paying committees in the Council, Recchia thanked Speaker Christine Quinn and his colleagues for putting trust in him.

“We are facing a financial crisis unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We have a lot of tough decisions to make, and we need to make them without hurting middle- and working-class New Yorkers,” said Recchia.

Getting leadership positions from Brooklyn were Councilmembers Lew Fidler (D-Mill Basin, Canarsie) and Al Vann (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant).

Fidler retained his position as Assistant Majority Leader and chair of the Youth Services Committee worth an extra $15,000, while Vann was named Majority Whip and chair of the Community Development Committee worth an extra $11,000.

Several Brooklyn Councilmembers retained their chairmanships, including Erik Dilan (D-Bushwick), who kept Housing; Mike Nelson (D-Sheepshead Bay, Midwood), who kept Waterfronts, and Inez Dickens, who kept Standards and Ethics – all coming with a $10,000 stipend also known as a lulu.

Councilmember Diana Reyna (D-Williamsburg) switched from Rules to Small Business, taking over the position from outgoing Councilmember David Yassky (D-Williamsburg) and also worth a $10,000 stipend.

While the Land Use Committee chair went to Queens Councilmember Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), two new Councilmembers, Brad Lander (D-Carroll Gardens, Park Slope) and Steve Levin (D-Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights) received influential subcommittee chairpersonships. Lander received the Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses while Levin received Planning, Dispositions and Concessions, both of which include a $4,000 stipend.

Freshman Councilmember Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush) was awarded the Oversight and Investigations Committee Chair, while his colleagues, Councilmember Letitia James (D-Fort Greene) received Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Chair, and Councilmember Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush) received the Veterans Committee Chair. All three receive $10,000 stipends.

Bay Ridge City Council member Vincent Gentile will chair the Select Committee on Libraries worth $4,000.