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De Blasio blasts Cuomo for making mayoral control a ‘political football’

Patrick Wall

Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters in two pointed interviews Tuesday that he believed Gov. Andrew Cuomo had stood in the way of a longer extension of mayoral control.

“An issue that was not politicized in the extreme in the past has now been turned into a political football,” de Blasio said in his office, in remarks reported by Capital New York and WNYC. “How on Earth does the city of New York get only one-year extension of mayoral control of education?”

The mayor had pushed for the policy, which grants him control of the nation’s largest school system, to be made permanent, and later supported the three-year extension put forth by the Assembly. He got just one year, though Gov. Cuomo had voiced support for a three-year extension himself. The Senate also won a reconfiguration of the state’s charter-school cap, and passed an extension of the rent regulation laws.

In an interview on Inside City Hall set to air Tuesday night, de Blasio revealed his frustrations, saying he believed the governor had worked with the State Senate to “inhibit the work of the Assembly,” which supported a longer extension of mayoral control.

“I don’t believe the Assembly had a real working partner in the governor or the Senate in terms of getting things done for the people of this city and in many cases the people of this state,” de Blasio said.

De Blasio, who in the past has spoken of Cuomo as a friend, declined to comment on the deal after the agreement was announced. Tuesday’s comments mark a shift toward more direct criticism of the governor’s political tactics.

“I’m not going to be surprised if these statements lead to some attempts at revenge and we’ll just call them right out ’cause we’re just not going to play that way,” he said. “We’re not going to accept that as anything like acceptable government practice and I think all over the state people are coming to the same conclusion.”

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