NEW YORK CITY — City Councilmembers who supported two NYPD oversight bills that Mayor Bloomberg vetoed earlier this week have promised to double down on their veto-proof support of the legislation, despite the mayor's doubts the Council will win out.
Bloomberg and his allies have spent the last month trying to chip away at the Council’s support for the inspector general and bias bills, but backers say the onslaught of negative ads, mailings and even an attempt to recruit a candidate against a Queens councilman who voted for the legislation have only hardened members' resolve.
On Thursday, Bloomberg said he didn’t believe a different approach with councilmembers could have changed their minds.
“You mean bribe them or something? I don’t know what else you could have done,” Bloomberg said at a Governors Island press conference, later claiming that his administration “had a great experience working with the City Council for the last 12 years.”
However, Bloomberg pushed back on Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s assertion that she expected the votes would be there to override the vetoes.
“I don’t know that she’s right,” he said. “There hasn’t been a vote yet on overriding.”
Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm, who voted in favor of both the inspector general and bias bills, disagreed.
“Once you've taken a vote on it the first time, it's even harder to turn around and change your mind on it,” Dromm said, predicting that “34 or more” councilmembers would vote to override the bias bill veto.
Dromm said the two bills would never have been needed if the Bloomberg administration had done more to listen to community concerns on stop-and-frisk.
“The reason we're passing this legislation, the reason we're going to override, is because of their lack of actions on stop-and-frisk in the first place,” Dromm said.
Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander, a co-sponsor of the bills, agreed with Dromm, saying Bloomberg had failed to listen to concerns, despite ample opportunities.
“Not only did they choose not to engage, they choose to dismiss the concerns of thousands and thousands of New Yorkers,” Lander said.