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De Blasio, Cuomo on speaking terms again, but feud endures

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo appear at a joint event in October 2014. Credit: Getty / Bryan Thomas

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke last week for the first time since June -- a conversation the mayor described as an "airing of concerns" that didn't end their feud.

The phone call Friday was about bridging a $9.8 billion funding gap in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's five-year capital budget. The discussion veered into their broader discord, de Blasio said Wednesday.

Cuomo, who disclosed the call during a morning radio interview, said later he was disappointed that de Blasio turned down his invitation to attend an announcement Monday on rebuilding LaGuardia Airport.

De Blasio didn't come because he wasn't given a public speaking role, Cuomo said -- adding quickly that he has followed the same practice. The mayor's office agreed with Cuomo's account.

"I would have loved to have him there," Cuomo said after an unrelated stop in midtown.

De Blasio spokeswoman Karen Hinton declined to say who initiated the phone call.

"I think it was an airing of concerns, and I wouldn't say a resolution was reached, but you know this is going to be an ongoing thing," de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference. "I've said very squarely: What we're trying to get to is tangible work on substantial issues that will benefit the people of this city. And we're more than ready to do that."

Cuomo said during the interview on WCNY radio: "I consider the mayor a friend, as everybody knows." De Blasio, asked about that comment and the state of their friendship, responded, "I'm not going to get into personalities."

In midtown, Cuomo recounted once counseling his late father, Gov. Mario Cuomo, to be a "grown-up" and "rise above" a desire to berate a rival.

"I have no comment on the mayor's behavior, OK?" Cuomo added.

The men have battled on a range of issues since early in de Blasio's mayoralty.

The spat came to a public boil on June 30 when de Blasio summoned reporters to accuse Cuomo of carrying out a "vendetta" to frustrate the city's agenda. Those remarks followed Cuomo's nondenial that he was an anonymous official quoted in a news story castigating de Blasio.

They had not spoken or appeared in public together since. Even at events that both attended, they stayed conspicuously apart, including at a parade for the champion U.S. women's soccer team and a Bronx Democratic dinner.

Their latest dispute is over the MTA's proposal for New York City to increase its contribution for transit infrastructure upkeep by $3 billion. Cuomo said the state would pay an additional $8.3 billion.

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