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2003-12-10 / Front Page

Councilman Fidler Loses Chair Of Brooklyn Delegation

Councilman Fidler Loses Chair Of Brooklyn Delegation

Councilman Lew Fidler

In a 15-0 vote in the New York City Council, the role of chairman of the Brooklyn delegation was relinquished by Councilman Lew Fidler to two council members who staged a semi-revolt in a hastily-held caucus last week.

Fidler, whose district covers Canarsie, Mill Basin, parts of Marine Park and other local communities, had held the post for the past two years, ever since taking over the council seat vacated by Herb Berman because of term limits restrictions.

In the meeting, held on Thursday, December 4, Councilmen Bill DeBlasio (D-Park Slope) and Al Vann (D-Bedford Stuyvesant) were named the co-chairmen. The two will become co-leaders of the delegation on January 1, 2004.

Fidler accepted the vote of the delegation graciously, saying that, afterwards, he offered DeBlasio and Vann "a half-congratulations each."

"Obviously, the majority of my colleagues in the Brooklyn delegation feel we ought to be doing something different and I accept that," he said. "I still expect to be a significant voice in this council both for Brooklyn and the city."

Although the vote was overwhelming, sources told the Canarsie Courier that it had been 8-7 for the change and Fidler released the final seven votes. Fidler said that, although he was not at the caucus, he heard there were "at least three" other people not in the room when the vote was taken, suggesting there were only 12 voters.

In an exclusive interview, Fidler said he felt having the two council members represent the rest of the delegation would eventually have conflicting interests and there would be problems.

"But at this point it’s not my judgment to make," he said. "I still have a strong voice for Brooklyn and I will use it to the best of my ability."

Fidler, along with others, including DeBlasio and Vann, has been mentioned as a successor to Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who, because of term limits, will relinquish his council seat at the end of 2005. Miller is expected to run for mayor in the next election.

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