After plenty of fighting against a bill that would increase the City Council’s powers over his appointments, Mayor Eric Adams didn’t wield his veto pen. 

What You Need To Know

  • On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams declined to veto a bill that would expand the City Council’s oversight of his appointments

  • Adams had until Monday night to veto the legislation that the City Council passed in June with a veto-proof majority

  • The mayor explained that his lack of action on the bill was due to not wanting to squabble with the City Council any longer

  • The legislation still needs to be approved by voters in a general election in order to take effect

On Tuesday, during his weekly question-and-answer session with reporters, the mayor explained why he let the bill pass. 

“This administration’s success has been overshadowed by all of these back-and-forth debates … back and forth, back and forth. I’m just not doing that anymore,” the mayor said.  

The legislation, known as advice and consent, passed with a veto-proof majority in June. 

Under the legislation, the City Council would have oversight over 20 additional commissioner appointments for agencies like sanitation, buildings and homeless services.

Adams has been vocal about his opposition to the bill arguing it’s a power grab by the City Council.  

“I don’t want to pick the speaker’s chairs off her committees. I don’t want to have to sign off on who she wants as a chair. Her chairs are equivalent to my commissioners,” the mayor told NY1 in May.  

Adams’ inaction on the bill comes as he and the City Council have been at odds over many issues, including public safety and most recently over the city budget. 

The mayor seems to be done with the public squabbling. 

“What I’m not going to do, and you’re going to notice this as the days go on, I’m not going to get involved in these petty debates around these issues,” Adams said.   

The mayor’s unexpected move closes the door on a veto override that the City Council was prepared to take later this month. The override would have been the third one this year. 

But the legislation still faces some major hurdles. Since the bill changes the power of the City Council, it needs to be approved by voters on a general election referendum ballot. 

However, Adams’ own Charter Revision Commission could knock the bill off the ballot if it proposes separate ballot initiatives in November. 

A City Council spokesperson alluded to this possible result.

“Mayor Adams’ inaction is tacit approval of this proposal expanding advice and consent, or a blatant admission that his Charter Revision Commission’s mission is simply to block New Yorkers from exercising this democratic right,” Julia Agos, a spokesperson for the City Council, wrote in a statement late Monday night. 

The statement calls on the commission to wait until the 2025 general election to place initiatives on the ballot and let the legislation get a vote this November. 

On Tuesday, Adams rejected the notion the commission has anything to do with the legislation. 

“We already had a Charter Revision in place when residents came to us. We learned about the bill after,” said Adams. “It has nothing to do with the charter revision. It has to do with I don’t want New Yorkers to believe I’m fighting with someone, I’m fighting for New Yorkers.” 

The last public hearing for the commission is set for July 25. The commission’s preliminary report didn’t include anything on advice and consent, although that could change with the bill’s passage.