For a decade, remaining a close ally of the Queens County Democratic Party meant that Charles Meara, the chief of staff to two City Council speakers, could earn an annual salary almost equal to the mayor.
But if Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito is crowned the next speaker of the City Council, Mr. Meara and a host of other county loyalists may be swiftly axed. Cleaning house is standard for incoming speakers–when outgoing Speaker Christine Quinn took over, she immediately fired about a fifth of central staff. But sources say they now expect an even greater exodus if Ms. Mark-Viverito is elected speaker, stretching far beyond what would be doled out if her top rival, Councilman Dan Garodnick, somehow prevails in the end. (Mr. Garodnick is Queens and the Bronx’s counties’ candidate).
That reality, council insiders say, is Ms. Mark-Viverito’s willingness to clean house if she wins, potentially decimating the City Council’s current central staff, which numbers around 300 and is filled with individuals who scooped up choice posts through their ties to the traditional county organizations after the last speaker’s race. Queens in particular could suffer; sources say that county organization was the greatest beneficiary of patronage posts.
Mr. Meara, the chief of staff to Ms. Quinn and Mr. Miller, is likely to be on the chopping block, sources said. Mr. Meara, who did not respond to a request for comment through a council spokesman, is the brother of Queens County Chair Joe Crowley’s personal lobbyist. In 2012, Mr. Meara earned $208,884–more than Ms. Quinn, according to records compiled by the Empire Center’s SeeThroughNY website.
Another Crowley loyalist, Ms. Quinn’s executive legislative coordinator, Ramon Martinez, who made $206,190 in 2012, is also considered vulnerable–though one council insider said Mr. Martinez, who was Mr. Crowley’s one-time brother-in-law, could be “saved.” (It’s not clear if Ms. Mark-Viverito would have any motivation to preserve a high-ranking Queens loyalist.
Your tax dollars at work.
Queens County Chair
Please stop using this expression.
This position does not exist.
Its Crowley's clique.
Putting lipstick on a pig is still a pig.
As attractive as the thought of axing these party hacks and forcing them to get real jobs might be, I'd still rather have Garodnick as the next Speaker. "Checks and balances" is one of the foundations of our democracy, and with Mark-Viverito, she will only be cashing the checks from deBlasio's developer friends and not balancing anything but her checkbook.
go melissa the plumber,way to drain the cesspool
now lets see if this new cabinet can fix funsize mayor's kafkaesque policies,or will it be to loosely quote the who;
meet the new hacks,same as the old hacks
All that gets accomplished is the replacement of one set of hacks (Crowleys) by another set of hacks. (Seddios) Businees as usual.
Three questions for "Honest" Joe Crowley
What is your criteria for selection?
How has your selection helped your community?
Why should your constituents give two shits?
This Meara goon never had to struggle for a day in his life, always getting a hookup in job leads from his family.
Better polish up your LinkedIn, my boy. Now you gotta search for jobs like the rest us us.
Hey Anonymous yapping about "This Meara goon"...thank God for blogs so a fool like you who has no idea what you are talking about, no real information just stupid, idiotic ramblings, has the opportunity to post your random thoughts. There are a number of people who will be losing their jobs when this Mark-Viverito gets the title…perhaps your idol time can be spent teaching her to stand during the pledge of allegiance instead of commenting on things you know nothing about. Hopefully you will be unemployed soon…you will have plenty of time then for additional stupid comments.
Just saw a Tweet from Mark-Viverito announcing a rally for Latinos in Support for Mark-Viverito outside City Hall on Thursday…hmmm, nothing like starting the New Year with a division by culture…perhaps Garodnick should have a rally for ALL New Yorkers.
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