Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged Monday that his administration is by design moving forward with initiatives that require little to no input from the governor and state Legislature to avoid potential obstruction.
“Whenever we can come up with a particular plan that we can run directly, of course, we want to do that,” he said in Brooklyn. “Because we want it to actually work. We want it to get done. We do not want it to get lost in bureaucracy.”
De Blasio throughout his mayoralty has clashed with fellow Democrat Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state Senate Republicans on several city issues from rent regulations to funding of universal pre-K.
The mayor said Monday that he does not want “decisions about our people made ... 150 miles away.”
Newsday reported that de Blasio has sought to Albany-proof his agenda, tackling projects and causes that don’t require a state signoff or funding, such as the $2.5 billion Brooklyn Queens Connector streetcar line and retirement plans for low-wage, private-sector workers.
In a radio interview with AM970 host Bill Samuels that aired Sunday, de Blasio characterized the city’s relationship with state government as a “semi-colonial dynamic” — one that is especially unfair in his opinion because the city is the state’s “economic engine.”
De Blasio did not back down from the comment Monday when asked about it.
“It makes no sense that there are so many areas where we need Albany approval,” he said. “This city deserves more self-determination.”
A Cuomo spokeswoman did not respond with comment on the mayor’s remarks.
Other plans outlined in de Blasio’s Feb. 4 State of the City speech that don’t require state approval include an app-based parking meter payment system and bus-arrival countdown clocks.
— With Matthew Chayes