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Weathering some heated exchanges, City Councilmember Erik Martin Dilan was expected to be named head of the Brooklyn delegation in Council proceedings as this paper went to press, according to several sources. City Councilmember Lew Fidler said Dilan has lined up 11 of the 17 City Council member votes to attain that position. The final vote is slated for February 3, after this paper goes to press. As delegation head, Dilan is responsible for being the official borough spokesperson in the City Council and has a lot of say about doling out Council money to individual districts. Im very appreciative of having the confidence of my colleagues to put me in this position on behalf of Brooklyn, said Dilan, who represents East New York, Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Ocean Hill-Brownsville and Wyckoff Heights. I look forward to working with each and every one of the delegation to continue to make Brooklyn a vibrant borough, and make sure Brooklyns priorities are clearly represented in the City Council, he added. According to Fidler, the 11 votes came from Dilan and fellow council members Fidler, Simcha Felder, Michael Nelson, Vincent Gentile, Kendall Stewart, Davis Yassky, Sara Gonzalez, Domenic Recchia, Dianna Reyna and James Oddo. Voting against Dilan were Bill de Blasio, Charles Barron, Al Vann, Darlene Mealy, Letitia James and Yvette Clarke. The only other person seeking the office within the Council delegation was James, who upon seeing the vote, dropped out for the sake of borough unity. On the other hand, several other opponents of Dilan reportedly walked out of the meeting, and Vann and Barron said they refuse to vote on February 3, according to sources. It [the meeting] got pretty ugly and intense. At one point, Councilmember Dilan was crying, said one source. The source said the Brooklyn delegation is split pretty much between new Kings County Democratic boss Vito Lopez and de Blasio, who recently lost a close battle to Christine Quinn for the City Council Speaker position. However, Dilan said he remains committed to working with everyone from the delegation. It [the Brooklyn delegation] will stay divisive for some time. However, they are all members of the delegation and despite any hard feelings, I would encourage participation from every member, said Dilan. Dilan replaces de Blasio and Vann, who were co-heads of the delegation for the last few years. In attaining that position, de Blasio and Vann themselves pulled something of a coup in unseating Fidler. Also at the meeting, Stewart was tabbed to head the delegation in budget negotiations. Im honored because it means I can go forth to make sure Brooklyn gets its fair share and more. Ive been doing good by bringing back a lot of funding for schools and senior centers in my district and have been in the City Council for four years, said Stewart. They [the delegation] see what I do and how I communicate with the Speaker and people in authority and I get respect back, he added.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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