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Queens Chronicle

Queens Gets Leadership Role, Retains Chairs In City Council

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Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2006 12:00 am

To the victor go the spoils, and Queens politicians could rake in some hefty lulus now that they have retained and gained key leadership positions in the City Council.

The meeting in council chambers Wednesday confirmed the new leadership structure, with Queens near the front of the pack. Leroy Comrie of St. Albans, former majority whip, was promoted to deputy majority leader under Joel Rivera.

Two assistant majority leader positions were created; one for Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn, former speaker hopeful who ultimately supported Quinn, and the other for Lewis Fidler, also of Brooklyn.

Filling out the Democratic leadership as majority whip is Inez Dickens, a rookie council member representing Harlem.

When committee chairmanships were announced, Queens positions were mostly in the bag, with one notable exception.

Councilman James Sanders of Laurelton was relieved of his Economic Development chairmanship, and not given another. His former position was given to another Southeast Queens council member, Thomas White, who recently returned to the council having been term-limited out after 10 years.

The Finance, Transportation and Land Use committees will stay under the leadership of David Weprin (D-Hollis), John Liu (D-Flushing) and Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), respectively.

Tony Avella (D-Bayside) kept his position on the Zoning & Franchises subcommitte, and Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) stayed put on the Civil Service & Labor Committee. Helen Sears (D-Jackson Heights) moved into the Women’s Issues committe as its chairwoman.

All other Queens council members retained their prior positions.

The Health Committee chairmanship, once held by Quinn, went to Joel Rivera of the Bronx. Erik Dilan, known to be an ally to Vito Lopez of the Brooklyn Democratic leadership, received the Housing and Buildings committee chairmanship.

The open Education Committee chair manship went to Robert Jackson, who represents parts of Harlem and Washington Heights. Jackson is known for his work with the Campaign For Fiscal Equity, which brought suit against the state for its failure to properly fund schools.

Yvette Clark of Brooklyn did lose the chairmanship of Fire and Criminal Justice, but ended up with a valuable position as head of the Contracts Committee.

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