Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bloomberg Curries Favor With City Council Republicans by Elizabeth Benjamin - The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

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Mayor Bloomberg administers the oath of office to the five members of the City Council's new Minority Conference. From left to right: Council Member Eric Ulrich of Queens, Council Member James Oddo of Staten Island, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Council Member Peter Koo of Queens, Council Member Vincent Ignizio of Staten Island and Council Member Dan Halloran of Queens. Photo Courtesy of Steven Stites - Halloran Campaign

Mayor Bloomberg today congratulated the City Council Republicans and their leader, Jimmy Oddo, for their "historic membership increase" and said he's looking forward to working with the five-man conference in the coming year.

"Let me congratulate you for an historic membership increase for 2010," the mayor said. "Is this the largest percentage increase in Republicans ever? Probably is. One fell swoop. Two to five. Can anybody do the math in terms of the percentage increase? Well, it’s 150 percent. Just to get the numbers right."

(There was some disagreement as to whether the mayor's math was correct. A few people said the answer is actually 250 percent. But, according to the DN's Bill Hammond, who is far better than I am at figures, the new number is 250 percent of the old number, but the percentage change is indeed 150).

At Oddo's request, the mayor conducted a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony in the Council chamber of the Republican lawmakers - newcomers Dan Halloran and Peter Koo and incumbents Oddo, Vincent Ignizio and Eric Ulrich.

The brief ceremony took place after Bloomberg met privately with the conference in Oddo's office.

Before conducting his swearing-in duties, Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, made a point of stressing that governing should be an a-political undertaking.

"We’re going to work together - not as Republicans, not as independents not as Democrats - but as New Yorkers," Bloomberg said. "The challenges that face city government are nonpartisan challenges. They are real life challenges."