Has the dysfunctional relationship between the governor and mayor plateaued? Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested so.
Presiding over an unrelated news conference in Brooklyn Tuesday on building below-market-rate housing, de Blasio was asked whether the noxious dynamic between him and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has gotten worse.
“No, it’s pretty much consistent,” de Blasio, smirking, said to laughs.
Despite Cuomo’s prediction years ago that the two would establish “the best relationship between a mayor and governor in modern political history,” there have been speed bumps: The governor shut down the subways during a 2015 snowstorm by telling the city with a few minutes notice and he declined to endorse de Blasio’s plan to fund free prekindergarten with a tax (the state funded the plan with other money), among other contretemps.
In their latest disagreements, the governor this week criticized the mayor for a homeless man photographed sleeping under a subway bench -- de Blasio noted that a day earlier he called the situation unacceptable, but Cuomo said the situation was emblematic; the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority has threatened to scale back fixes to the subway unless the city contributes to an emergency plan; and the governor shrugged off de Blasio’s ideas to ease congestion in Manhattan.
Cuomo has endorsed the idea of congestion pricing but has offered no specifics; de Blasio on Sunday proposed a pilot to explore barring deliveries during certain hours, among other ideas, but he opposes charging drivers for entering Manhattan’s central business district.
The mayor has declined to join a Cuomo-run panel to determine how a congestion-pricing plan would look.
“I think that panel was created for the governor’s purposes with a lot of people who are not necessarily going to be looking at all the factors involved,” de Blasio said Tuesday, adding: “I have not seen a congestion pricing plan I can support.”
De Blasio, for his part, wants the state to approve a so-called millionaires’ tax to fund the transit.
“I have a plan. I like this plan. I would like to move forward with the millionaires’ tax. It would solve the problem,” de Blasio said, adding: “Hey, there’s a plan on the table. Why don’t we go with that plan rather than a plan that doesn’t exist?”
De Blasio has long opposed congestion pricing.