Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Mayor, City Council Hold Closed-Door Meeting

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Just one day after the City Council and the mayor were fighting over the city budget, the mayor sat down behind closed doors with his colleagues on the other side of City Hall Thursday, and after they emerged, there appeared to be no bad blood. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Mayor Bill de Blasio took a walk to the other side of City Hall on Thursday. He met with both caucuses of the City Council.

He first met behind closed doors with the Republicans, all three of them.

"We're all working together," de Blasio said.

"There's the desire for a conversation on behalf of the west wing of City Hall to say how we can work together to speed up development projects and speed up the land use process," said City Councilman Vincent Ignizio of Staten Island.

"We talked about Build it Back and our desire for the process to move forward as quickly as possible," said City Councilman Steven Matteo of Staten Island.

Then, the mayor met with the most of the 48-member Democratic caucus. The topic: the city's land use process and how the Council and the mayor can work together to build affordable housing.

"There were no detailed conversation behind the general idea that we are committed to working together on projects that would benefit everyone," said City Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn.

"We can work together from the beginning of a project as opposed to just getting through it," said City Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.

The closed-door sessions come on the heels of the Council and the mayor's disagreement over the city budget and hiring 1,000 more police officers.

Despite any differences they may have on the city budget, the Council and the mayor's working relationship is clearly still very good. The Democrats applauded when the mayor walked in.

When the mayor emerged, he said it was a new era for both sides of City Hall.

"This is a really important working relationship to us, and we want to communicate a lot, and I wanted to do something I think, certainly, recent mayors haven't done and go over and meet with them and talk about our priorities," de Blasio said.

Council members echoed that sentiment.

"Just the fact that the mayor would come and engage in Q and A with us and have a conversation, I think all the council members felt was a big and welcome change," said City Councilman Brad Lander of Brooklyn.

"Very excited to see that the mayor took time out to come to our side of City Hall," said City Councilman Donovan Richards of Queens. "So this is obviously groundbreaking in one sense." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP