A coup at the city's Board of Elections may mean the agency may actually get a new leader for the first time in two years, according to the City Council's Republican delegation, which is currently in charge. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
The Republican delegation at the City Council says they do not want to control the Board of Elections, but right now, they pretty much do.
When the GOP party leaders failed to renominate half of the City Board of Elections, in swooped City Councilman James Oddo, using an untapped power of the council's GOP delegation.
As a result, half the board is now under its control.
Members of the City Council's Republican delegation say that it isn't a power grab. They call it an opportunity, an opportunity to overhaul the city Board of Elections and to find it a new executive director.
"It's not that this is a power grab and we are installing an executive director," Oddo said. "The Republicans in the City Council will stand on the steps of City Hall with any good government group, with Mayor Bloomberg. Let's call for a nationwide search. Let's call for a blue ribbon panel."
The board’s top spot has been vacant for more than two years, something critics say is an example of the board’s deep dysfunction.
"Sometimes you sit there and you say, "Can it possibly get any worse?" And then you look at our Board of Elections and, "Yes it can," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in 2010.
"The Board of Elections is an old throwback to the patronage-driven Tammany Hall days of political bossism in New York," said Dick Dadey of Citizens Union. "So we would love to see this opportunity not wasted.”
They're facing a crowded September primary, one the board says it may be unprepared for.
Board officials wanted to move this year’s primary date, saying it need more time to prepare for a runoff.
But the State Senate's co-leader rejected the idea on Wednesday.
The Assembly Speaker’s office said Friday that a change is "highly unlikely."
So, Oddo says, let the search begin.
"If I were on a sinking ship, I would want as many hands on deck as possible," Oddo said.