Stepping up? Gentile promises to be in Council leadership if re-elected


After seven years of fearlessly helming the City Council sub-committee on libraries, Vincent Gentile is ready to move up!

With ten years of experience representing Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst in the council — and six years before that in the state Senate — Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) told the audience at his re-election campaign kick-off party that the time had finally come for him to join the upper echelons of the city’s legislative body, noting that if he’s voted back into office he would rank in seniority second only to Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez (D–Sunset Park).

“I will have the opportunity to be in the leadership and in the leadership circles,” Gentile vowed at the March 7 celebration, adding that the district would benefit from his promotion. “It will give me even greater ability to bring back even greater resources.”

But the pol couldn’t specify what leadership role —such as the powerful Speakership, Finance Committee head, or Land Use committee chairmanship — he expected to take, saying the decision rested with party bosses like Brooklyn’s Frank Seddio.

“We’ll have to sit with Mr. Seddio and other leaders around the city to decide who the chairmen will be,” Gentile said.

Seddio praised Gentile, but said he would have to wait until after the election to decide which councilmen from his borough to put forward as power players.

“I’m convinced that Vinnie is an integral part of our delegation, and once he is re-elected, being a senior member of the delegation, we hope there will a significant position for him,” said Seddio. “That’s a long way of saying, ‘who the hell knows?’ ”

Gentile joined the council in 2003 after losing his Senate seat to then-Councilman Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge). When the council voted in 2010 to appoint new chairs, Gentile and Charles Barron (D–East New York) were the only long-standing members not given a committee chairmanship.

Tea Party activist Andy Sullivan and Golden aide John Quaglione are both challenging Gentile for his Council position this year.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.