On his first day back from a weeklong family vacation, Mayor Bill de Blasio again found himself answering questions about his relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo, and while he didn't directly criticize Cuomo as he did last week, the mayor continued to talk tough about defending the city's interests. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
A week out of town didn't cool a controversy that flared up last week when the mayor suggested Governor Andrew Cuomo was vindictive and lacked leadership. Thursday, peppered with questions about their feud, Bill de Blasio didn’t back down.
"I think it had to be said," the mayor said. "And I think it's important to make clear to the people of this city, who are depending on me to produce for them, what's really going on in Albany."
But while portraying himself as a fighter, de Blasio steered clear of bashing Cuomo Thursday. He did attack state senate Republicans for granting only a one-year extension of mayoral control of schools, an issue he said should be above the political fray.
“The Albany status quo has not served the people of New York City," de Blasio said. And I'm not going to play by a set of rules that doesn’t serve my people."
De Blasio did respond, though, when asked about some of the recent jabs by Cuomo, like one where Cuomo said, "It's clear that his style is to air his public frustration. Everybody has their own style. I don't choose to do that. I try to bite my tongue once in a while."
"My most illustrious predecessor, Fiorello La Guardia, didn't bite his tongue. I think he called them as he saw them. I think he was the greatest mayor we ever had," de Blasio said. "And it's my job to speak truth as I see it."
The mayor was in Sheepshead Bay on Thursday to announce that scaffolding is coming down from all New York City Housing Authority buildings where no active construction is taking place.
Housing authority funding, as it happens, is another source of conflict with the governor. Specifically, the Cuomo administration rejected the city's plans to spend $100 million in state funding on roof repairs. The state hasn't specified how the money will be spent instead.
"We have not yet received a plan from the state, and we obviously would like to see one as quickly as possible," de Blasio said.
The mayor said he'll certainly be talking to the governor, though they haven't spoken since last week. They should have plenty to discuss.