De Blasio held more meetings at Gracie Mansion than City Hall
It took six months after his election before Mayor de Blasio finally moved into Gracie Mansion — but now he won’t leave.
De Blasio has gotten so comfortable in the official mayoral residence on the Upper East Side that he held more meetings there than at City Hall in the first half of the year, records show.
From December 2017 to May 2018, de Blasio’s schedule shows meetings at City Hall on 65 weekdays, an average of 11 days per month.
Over that same stretch, the latest for which records are available, he held court from Gracie Mansion on 66 weekdays.
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That has forced staffers, commissioners and other agency personnel to schlep to the Upper East Side from government offices in lower Manhattan, where most are concentrated around City Hall.
“It’s a total pain in the ass. Staff hate it and it’s incredibly inefficient,” said one source familiar with the Gracie meetings.
“He avoided moving into Gracie like the plague. Who knew he’d turn it into a hermitage?”
On April 2, 2018, the mayor appears to have gone out of his way to avoid coming into the office.
He met incoming Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza for a photo-op lunch at Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side — a 1.5-mile drive from City Hall.
After eating, he went 6.3 miles to Gracie Mansion for a one-hour meeting with 14 staffers instead of going to City Hall. He then came all the way back down to Chelsea — a 5.7 mile trip — for an interview on NY1.
The records also show that at one meeting on Dec. 6, 2017, the mayor met for an hour and a half with 74 staffers at Gracie Mansion to prepare for an upcoming town hall.
Many of the meetings at the manse were in the afternoon or evening, sometimes following morning meetings at City Hall.
Sources say the allure of Gracie Mansion is its comfortable and spacious meeting rooms — including a library and a dining room — and the frequent perk of free food.
City Hall also offers less privacy for Hizzoner, with reporters on site.
City Hall spokesman Eric Phillips denied the mayor has been summoning folks to his home base more often than in prior years.
“There’s been no purposeful shift,” he said.
But during the same six-month stretch early in de Blasio’s first term, from December 2014 to May 2015, Hizzoner held meetings at City Hall on 97 weekdays — 32 more days than in the recent period.
Phillips said most staffers travel to Gracie Mansion by subway, approximately a 35-minute one-way trip.
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