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Mayor of New York City

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His/Her Honor

Inaugural holder
Thomas Willett


Gracie Mansion

17th century

Mayor of New York City

Term length
Four years; may serve two consecutive terms

The Mayor of the City of New York is head of the executive branch of New York City's government. The mayor's office administers all city services, public property, police and fire protection, most public agencies, and enforces all city, state and federal laws within New York City.


The budget overseen by the mayor's office is the largest municipal budget in the United States at $70 billion a year. The city employs 325,000 people, spends about $21 billion to educate more than 1.1 million students (the largest public school system in the United States), levies $27 billion in taxes, and receives $14 billion from the state and federal governments.

The mayor's office is located in New York City Hall; it has jurisdiction over all five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens. The mayor appoints a large number of officials, including commissioners who head city departments, and his deputy mayors. The mayor's regulations are compiled in title 43 of the New York City Rules. According to current law, the mayor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms in office. It was changed from two to three terms on October 23, 2008, when the New York City Council voted 29–22 in favor of passing the term limit extension into law. However, in 2010, a referendum reverting the limit to two terms passed overwhelmingly.

Current mayor

The current mayor is Democrat Bill de Blasio, who was elected on November 5, 2013.

History of the office

In 1665, Governor Richard Nicolls appointed Thomas Willett as the first mayor of New York. For 156 years, the mayor was appointed and had limited power. Between 1783 and 1821 the mayor was appointed by the Council of Appointments in which the state's governor had the loudest voice. In 1821 the Common Council, which included elected members, gained the authority to choose the mayor. An amendment to the New York State Constitution in 1834 provided for the direct popular election of the mayor. Cornelius W. Lawrence, a Democrat, was elected that year.

Gracie Mansion has been the official residence of the mayor since Fiorello La Guardia's administration in 1942. Its main floor is open to the public and serves as a small museum.

The mayor is entitled to a salary of $225,000, but early 21st century mayor Michael Bloomberg, the 16th-richest man in the world, declined the salary and instead was paid $1 yearly. Bloomberg had an estimated net worth of $33 billion as of 2014.

In 2000 direct control of the city's public school system was transferred to the mayor's office. In 2003 the reorganization established the New York City Department of Education.

Tammany Hall

Tammany Hall, which evolved from an organization of craftsmen into a Democratic political machine, gained control of Democratic Party nominations in the state and city in 1861. It played a major role in New York City politics into the 1960s and was a dominant player from the mayoral victory of Fernando Wood in 1854 through the era of Robert Wagner (1954–65).

Deputy mayors

The mayor of New York City may appoint several deputy mayors to help oversee major offices within the executive branch of the city government. The powers and duties, and even the number of deputy mayors, are not defined by the City Charter. The post was created by Fiorello La Guardia (who appointed Grover Whalen as deputy mayor) to handle ceremonial events that the mayor was too busy to attend. Since then, deputy mayors have been appointed with their areas of responsibility defined by the appointing mayor. There are currently four deputy mayors, all of whom report directly to the mayor. Deputy mayors do not have any right to succeed to the mayoralty in the case of vacancy or incapacity of the mayor (the order of succession is the city's public advocate, then the comptroller).

The current deputy mayors are

  • First deputy mayor: Anthony Shorris
  • Advises the mayor on citywide administrative, operational and policy matters.
  • Deputy mayor for housing and economic development: Alicia Glen
  • Oversees and coordinates the operations of the Economic Development Corporation, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Buildings, the Department of City Planning, Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Housing Development Corporation and related agencies.
  • Deputy mayor for health and human services: Herminia Palacio
  • Oversees and coordinates the operations of the Human Resources Administration, Department of Homeless Services, the Administration for Children's Services, New York City Health and Hospitals, and related agencies.
  • Deputy mayor for strategic policy initiatives: Richard Buery
  • Tasked with implementing and overseeing the expansion of universal prekindergarten, the interagency "Children's Cabinet," the Community Schools Initiative, and the ThriveNYC mental health reform initiative. Oversees and coordinates the operations of the Department for the Aging, Department of Youth and Community Development, Department of Veterans Services, the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. Manages City's relationship with the City University of New York.

    Notable former deputy mayors

  • Daniel L. Doctoroff, Stephen Goldsmith 2010–11, Patricia Harris 2002–13, Robert K. Steel, Dennis M. Walcott, Howard Wolfson—under Michael Bloomberg
  • Joe Lhota—under Rudolph Giuliani
  • William Lynch 1990s—under David Dinkins
  • Herman Badillo 1977–79—under Ed Koch
  • Robert W. Sweet 1966–69
  • Lilliam Barrios-Paoli 2014-16
  • Offices appointed

    "The mayor has the power to appoint and remove the commissioners of more than 40 city agencies and members of City boards and commissions."

  • New York City Police Commissioner
  • New York City Fire Commissioner
  • New York City Criminal Court judges
  • New York City Marshals
  • New York City Schools Chancellor (as of 2002)
  • New York City Housing Development Corporation
  • New York City Commissioner of Health
  • Board member

    The mayor of New York City is an ex-officio board member of the following organizations:

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • Brooklyn Children's Museum
  • Brooklyn Museum of Art
  • Brooklyn Public Library
  • Carnegie Hall
  • El Museo del Barrio
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Museum of Jewish Heritage
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • New York Hall of Science
  • New York Public Library
  • New York Shakespeare Festival
  • Public Design Commission
  • Queens Borough Public Library
  • Queens Botanical Garden
  • Queens Museum of Art
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center
  • Staten Island Botanical Garden
  • Staten Island Children's Museum
  • Staten Island Historical Society
  • Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences
  • Staten Island Zoo
  • Wave Hill
  • Wildlife Conservation Society
  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum
  • Local tabloid newspapers often refer to the mayor as "Hizzoner," a corruption of the title His Honor.

    Spin City, a 1990s TV sitcom, starred Michael J. Fox as a deputy mayor of New York under Barry Bostwick's fictional Mayor Randall Winston.

    Several mayors have appeared in television and movies, as well as on Broadway, most notably in The Will Rogers Follies. In the 1980s and '90s, Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani appeared on Saturday Night Live on several occasions, sometimes mocking themselves in sketches. Giuliani and Bloomberg have both appeared, as themselves in their mayoral capacities, on episodes of Law & Order. Giuliani also appeared as himself in an episode of Seinfeld. Giuliani has made cameos in films such as The Out-of-Towners and Anger Management. Bloomberg has appeared on 30 Rock, Gossip Girl, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Horace and Pete.

    In 24th episode of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Recycled Koopa, King Koopa dumps his garbage into the Brooklyn and the southern tip of Manhattan (since it seen falling onto City Hall). The people of New York start transforming into Koopa Zombies, and when the brothers try to go to the mayor for help, he, too, succombs to the toxic waste. This episode aired during the reign of David Dinkins, but the depiction of the mayor seems to be a generic old white man and not based on Mayor Dinkins himself.


    Mayor of New York City Wikipedia

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