Mayor de Blasio heads to Iowa, so who’s in charge at City Hall?

Mike Montone
May 17, 2019 - 10:14 am
De Blasio

Photo by Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News/TNS/Sipa USA

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A day after announcing his candidacy for president, Mayor Bill de Blasio hit the road.

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He was in Iowa on Friday, touring an ethanol plant with former governor and agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack.

Over the weekend he'll be in South Carolina.

When the mayor is away campaigning, First Deputy Mayor Dean Fulihan will be in charge.

If the mayor is away for more than nine days, the law says the public advocate assumes the mayor's responsibilities -- that would be Jumaane Williams, who said he doesn't think that's going to happen.

"I ran to be public advocate," Williams said, "I'm not running to be mayor."

Freddi Goldstein, a spokeswoman for City Hall, told the Wall Street Journal that the law putting a deputy in charge in the mayor's absence predates cell phones, and the mayor will be able to run the city remotely while he's out of town.

“I’ve traveled before and been on the phone here to make sure everything’s moving properly and I’ll continue to do that,” Mr. de Blasio said at a press conference.

Some officials aren't so sure.

“I think it’s been harder to engage the administration and that’s only going to get worse because if you’re running for president, you need to do that 110%,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens), “Something’s gotta give and something’s gotta suffer.”

Other democrats were quick to pile on.

“Neglecting the day to day management of the city, for a quixotic run for president, strikes me as irresponsible,” Councilman Ritchie Torres (D-Bronx) said.

Among other things on the city's to-do list are a $93 million budget that needs to be done by July 1, along with a number of high-level staff positions that need to be filled.

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