City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito doled out plum committee assignments and leadership positions at the City Council Wednesday, and not surprisingly, she awarded her allies, while some of her enemies were left out in the cold. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Melissa Mark-Viverito's first job as the City Council's new leader was selecting her inner circle and who will chair the body's 40-plus committees.
"There are going to be decisions that I make that not everybody's going to agree with," she said.
"A blind man can see this is political retribution," said City Councilwoman Annabel Palma of the Bronx.
On Wednesday, Mark-Viverito awarded her allies and pushed aside several members who opposed her bid for the Council's top spot.
"Business as usual," Palma said. "This is still politics at its best, and nothing has changed."
"Unfortunately, that's the interpretation of our colleague," Mark-Viverito said. "I respect the position, but I differ with it."
The speaker argued that the Council is now more inclusive. Its leadership team has expanded. There are seven new deputy leaders. One of them is Daniel Garodnick, her rival in the speaker's race.
Heading the Council's powerful land use committee is Brooklyn's David Greenfield.
Mark-Viverito's progressive caucus allies were also awarded. Jimmy Van Bramer of Queens will be majority leader. The finance committee will go to Julissa Ferreras.
"I am just so moved by the speaker that she would choose me to be able to chair this," Ferreras said.
Each of these posts comes with a hefty bonus, anywhere between $5,000 and $25,000.
Only four Council members received nothing. None of them were signed onto Mark-Viverito's campaign.
"A lot less important what committee you chair than it is what ideas you bring to the table," said City Councilman Rory Lancman of Queens.
"Let's see what day two looks like," said City Councilman Andy King of the Bronx. "And if day two looks keeps us on the same track, then we might start reevaluating our conversations."
It's clear there is still some sting from the divisive speaker's race. Even those awarded were raising some questions.
"I am concerned about blacks in powerful leadership positions, actually, across the city," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.
Now that committee assignments have been approved, the Council will move on to public policy. First up on its agenda is reforming its own rules, a move that the Council speaker says will empower individual members.