By Eric Jankiewicz
The political landscape in Queens continues to shift after Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) announced he would be stepping down to join Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff. Council members in the borough unanimously elected Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) to replace Weprin as the chairman of the Queens delegation.
“I will do my utmost to maximize the effectiveness of my fellow Queens legislators in advocating for the interests of Queens,” she said. “I am both humbled and gratified by the confidence that they have placed in me today.”
While the position is mostly symbolic and ceremonial, it has a larger role in the budget negotiation process, when the city and state go back and forth over how to spend money.
The vote took placen June 4, ahead of Weprin’s move to Albany. He announced that his last day in the council would be June 15, after accepting the administrative position with Cuomo. While Weprin’s position as head of the Queens delegation was quickly taken by Koslowitz, the vacant council seat—representing Oakland Gardens and surrounding areas—won’t be filled until after elections in September.
“Karen has the experience, stature and moxie to be a great delegation chair, and to make sure Queens gets its fair share of resources and input into the issues facing our borough,” Councilman Rory Lancman said.
Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejank