Council Speaker Mark-Viverito Rewards Rival With Top Spot

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Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito picked one-time rival Dan Garodnick for a top leadership post making him one of her seven top deputies and naming him head of the economic development committee.

Naming the Council’s committee chairs was one of the first opportunities for the new Speaker to exert her power based on who she gave – or passed over – for the most influential positions. By and large, Speaker Mark-Viverito punished few and rewarded many.

“We were able to come up with assignments that were reflective of the beautiful diversity that is New York City and lays out really the extensive scope of work and the agenda we need to build to make New York City a better place,” Mark-Viverito said when thanking the Rules Committee, led by Council member Brad Lander. The Rules Committee puts together the full roster of committee assignments.

The Council approved the leadership and committee assignments at the full Council meeting Wednesday with only Bronx Council members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Annabel Palma voting against the assignments.

Committee leadership posts come with an additional allowance, often referred to by critics as a "lulu." While the majority of committee chairs will make an $8,000 stipend, those in top positions will make more. The allowances come on top of a council member's base salary of $112,500.

Several members have pledged to refuse the additional stipends, while others plan to donate that money to organizations in their district.

Here’s the list of top Council leadership positions and their assigned allowances.

Title / Committee Chair




Melissa Mark Viverito


Majority Leader / Cultural Affairs

Jimmy Van Bramer


Minority Leader

Vincent Ignizio


Deputy Leader / Economic Development

Dan Garodnick


Deputy Leader / Oversight and Investigation

Vincent Ignizio


Deputy Leader / Waterfronts

Debi Rose


Deputy Leader / Public Housing

Ritchie Torres


Deputy Leader / Technology

James Vacca


Deputy Leader / Housing and Buildings

Jumaane Williams


Deputy Leader / Rules, Privileges and Elections

Brad Lander



Julissa Ferraras


Land Use

David Greenfield


Click the audio player to listen to host Amy Eddings interview WNYC's Brigid Bergin about the changing power dynamics in the Council.