Today’s news:

Simcha Felder steps down to work for comptroller

In an unexpected move, popular City Council member Simcha Felder resigned his post to join incoming Comptroller John Liu as a Deputy Comptroller of Budget and Accounting.

Felder, whose 44th Council District includes Borough Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst, was recently elected to his third four-year term.

As a City Council member his salary was $125,500 including $112,500 as a council member and $13,000 as chair of the Governmental Operations Committee.

His new salary will be $179,000.

“It has been my honor to serve in the City Council, where I have had the privilege to serve a community where my family and I have lived in our entire lives,” said Felder in a statement.

“That said, I am excited to take on the responsibilities inherent in working in the Comptroller’s office on behalf of all New Yorkers. I’ve worked with Comptroller John Liu in the Council for the past eight years, and I look forward to working closely with him,” he added.

Felder comes to his new position well qualified, as he previously worked for the New York State Assembly, the City Comptroller’s Office, and as a tax auditor for the New York City Department of Finance.

He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Management from theZicklin School of Business at CUNY’s Baruch College.

The Deputy Comptroller for Budget and Accounting leads a staff of about 120 employees.

The position is responsible for putting together the Comptroller’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, it oversees the payment of the City’s bills, and leads the design and management of the accounting functions of the City’s central accounting and budgeting system, Financial Management Systems.

“I am excited to have Councilman Felder joining my staff. He has shown exceptional leadership and financial acumen, and impeccable integrity through his work in the Council, and I am confident that he will help my office perform at the highest level,” said Liu.

Felder’s resignation is expected to set off a mad dash among local civic leaders to replace him in a special election, which Mayor Bloomberg is expected to set in the next few days.

Among those expected to be front-running candidates are Sephardic Community Federation Executive Vice President David Greenfield and former City Councilmember and current Civil Court Judge Noach Dear.

“I am absolutely a candidate to fill the seat,” said Greenfield, an attorney who went to Georgetown Law School. “I am not concerned with who else is running because I believe I’m the best candidate and the most effective advocate for the residents of this district.”

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