Coney Island/Bensonhurst Councilmember Mark Treyger is the new co-chair of the City Council’s Brooklyn delegation, chosen to replace Councilmember Carlos Menchaca during a closed-door meeting on Thursday, February 5.
“This is really less about an individual person and more about the state of the delegation,” said Treyger. “The delegation makes sure that the needs of the borough are being heard and being addressed and so I take this role very seriously, and I take my job in the City Council very seriously.”
In the past, Treyger – a former history teacher at New Utrecht High School elected to the council in November of 2013 – has served as a delegate for the United Federation of Teachers and now holds significantly more power in terms of the city’s budgetary negotiations.
According to reports, the delegation originally intended to dissolve the leadership and later voted whether to remove both Menchaca and fellow co-chair Councilmember Darlene Mealy from their positions. While Mealy was able to keep her seat, Menchaca, who represents Red Hook, Sunset Park and Greenwood Heights, was instead ousted in what many are calling a “coup” within the Brooklyn Democratic Party.
The vote came just weeks after what became a standoff between Menchaca and the de Blasio administration after the Sunset Park pol stood in the way of a $115 million redevelopment of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) that, he said, would have curtailed community input.
So strongly did Menchaca feel about the situation on the Sunset Park waterfront that he took to Facebook the day after he was ousted as co-chair of the borough’s delegation and wrote an extended post defending his stand, never directly mentioning his loss of clout in the Council, though he alludes to the conflict, noting, “ I know I am not the only council member who is frustrated at the apparent attempt to exercise a centralized control of projects in neighborhoods like the ones I represent. Perhaps I am just the first affected member whose dispute has become so public.
Whatever the reason, Treyger said he is committed to better serving both the council and the borough in his upgraded position.
“Brooklyn is home to over two million people, and many organizations that do great work and service the millions of people that live here,” he told this paper. “Their needs need to be heard.
“I’m looking forward to working with my co-chair and everyone in the borough delegation to make sure the needs of our borough are being addressed and advanced,” he said.”
By press time, Menchaca’s office had not responded to a request for comment.