Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
Michael Bloomberg left City Hall for the last time as mayor Tuesday evening with members of his administration on hand to say their thanks and goodbyes. Bloomberg was officially mayor until midnight. At 12:01 am Wednesday, Bill de Blasio took the official oath of office at his home in Park Slope, Brooklyn. But there's more changing than who's at the helm of City Hall. Here are five things on the 2014 in / out list.
In: Clintons / Out: Cuomo
IN: President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will literally be center stage at de Blasio’s swearing in ceremony on Wednesday. President Clinton will conduct the ceremony using a Bible on loan from the FDR museum in Hyde Park, NY.
OUT: Gov. Andrew Cuomo will also be at the ceremony, foregoing his traditional open house in Albany to make the trip downstate. He and de Blasio have a long working relationship which both characterize as positive. But Cuomo kicks off his re-election year with efforts to curb taxes across the state — which runs directly counter to de Blasio’s grassroots universal preschool campaign that relies on state lawmakers increasing the income tax on New York City residents making more than a half million dollars.
In: Gracie Mansion / Out: Park Slope (temporarily)
IN: It took them a while to decide, but the de Blasio’s will officially take up residence in the traditional home for the city’s Mayor, Gracie Mansion. New Yorkers are invited to check out the new digs on Sat., Jan. 5, when the Mayor and his wife Chirlane McCray will host an open house, scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. The event is currently sold out.
OUT: That leaves de Blasio’s Brooklyn neighborhood Park Slope on the outs. Sure, de Blasio was officially sworn in there at 12:01 this morning by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. But the family will move to Gracie Mansion in the coming months. Rest assured, though, neighbors like John Hodgman plan to keep a watchful eye on the de Blasio homestead.
In: Government Experience / Out: Big business Bona Fides
IN: While the de Blasio administration furiously takes shape, a consistent theme among his appointees has been their deep government and public sector experience. De Blasio acknowledged that he will at least temporarily be keeping on three current Bloomberg commissioners: Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty; head of the Office of Emergency Management Joseph Bruno; and Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano.
OUT: When Michael Bloomberg assembled his administration, he recruited leaders from high finance like Dan Doctoroff, who took on the post of Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. But Mayor-elect de Blasio took pains to reject the notion that he was having trouble recruiting people to leave higher paid jobs to join his administration.
“I have found plenty of talented, extraordinary people ready to drop what they are doing to come and serve the city of New York. So I’ve chosen people who I know can actually achieve the goals we’ve set forward,” said de Blasio at a press conference Tuesday.
In: Large Sugary Drinks / Out: E-cigarettes
IN: The Bloomberg administration’s proposed legislation curbing the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces didn’t hold up in court. So those big sodas are not currently “banned.” But de Blasio has signaled that he supports Bloomberg’s public health initiatives. Now it will be up to his new Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter to pursue the appeal.
OUT: In his final bill ceremony, Mayor Bloomberg signed legislation that adds e-cigarettes to the city’s current smoking ban. That means no “vaping” in offices, restaurants, bars and city parks. The law will take effect in four months.
In: Green Cabs / Out: Carriage Horses
In: The Taxi and Limousine Commission's apple-green outer boro taxis hit the streets in 2013. So far, the city has sold all 6,000 licenses it was legally allowed to sell in the program’s first year. It’s hard to imagine the city without them. But candidate de Blasio had been consistently skeptical of outer borough cabs and sharply critical of outgoing TLC Commissioner David Yassky.
Out: Kiss those romantic horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park goodbye. At a press conference Monday morning, de Blasio reiterated his campaign pledge that the city's 220 horses have to go.
"We're going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape in New York City," he said. "They're not humane, they're not appropriate to the year 2014. It's over."