With a Long Island Rail Road strike averted, Mayor Bill de Blasio may be able to avert some of the criticism he's been facing in recent days over his upcoming vacation to Italy. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
It is not just Long Island Rail Road riders who are breathing easy. Mayor Bill de Blasio can let out a sigh of relief of his own.
"We're all gratified that the situation's been resolved," the mayor said.
He can now jet off to Italy for nine days without having to worry about a transit strike back home.
"He can take his vacation to Italy," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. "I hope he enjoys it. I'm a tad envious, to tell you the truth."
Unlike Cuomo, de Blasio can not take any credit for helping broker the deal to avert a strike. But that was his argument all along, that it was the governor who had authority over the railroad, freeing up the mayor to jet off to Rome, Venice and Capri with his wife and two children on Friday.
"This is the first time the family has been able to go away together for a week in a couple of years, and it's a very important moment for us," de Blasio said.
The mayor kept busy on his last full day in the city. He talked up the importance of what are known as community schools.
"This could be the transcendent moment," he said.
He also promoted the city's Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
"We finally have something in the year 2014 that we never had in the year 2013: completed homes," the mayor said.
He was back at City Hall in the afternoon to announce that Rick Chandler will be the city's new buildings commissioner and Richard Emery will be the new chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The board investigates complaints against the police department.
The mayor has been criticized for the slow pace of his appointments.
"We work very diligently to get exactly what we're looking for, and we don't settle," de Blasio said.
De Blasio's schedule for Friday is quiet. He has no public events. He leaves for Rome in the evening.
The mayor is not ruling out the possibility that he will take another vacation later this year. He said he can not predict what the future may hold.