by John DeSio
Riverdale Review, 06/09/2008
One of Riverdale’s most well respected citizens could be throwing his hat into the ring for City Council.
Charles Moerdler, who currently serves as Community Board #8’s land use chairman, is giving serious consideration to his own run for the 11th District City Council seat, which includes Riverdale and Kingsbridge.
According to multiple sources Moerdler, who is also a partner at the prestigious white shoe law firm of Stroock, Stroock & Lavan, is set to change his enrollment from Republican to Democrat in order to run in that primary, which in all likelihood would decide the winner of the contest.
Moerdler would also reportedly self-finance his campaign, a move that would more than level the playing field given his potential opponents current fundraising advantage. Sources indicate that Moerdler also feels that spending his own money on the race would allow him the ability to speak freely on a variety of topics without offending donors.
Moerdler was in Europe at press time, and could not be reached for comment.
The seat is currently held by City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell, who cannot run for reelection in 2009 due to term limit laws. Other announced or presumptive candidates for the seat include Ari Hoffnung, co-president of the Riverdale Jewish Community Council; Helen Morik, vice president for government and community affairs at the Columbia University Medical Center; Anthony Perez Cassino, former chairman of Community Board #8; and Jamin Sewell, who serves as legislative counsel to Koppell.
Moerdler served as buildings commissioner under Mayor John Lindsay in the 1960’s. He currently serves as the governor’s representative to the New York City Housing Development Corporation, and has been appointed to that post by three Democratic governors and one Republican.
He is also a prominent labor attorney, and has helped to guide the career paths of many notable New Yorkers, including Governor David Paterson and United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
In addition that work Moerdler is a member of the New York City Board of Collective Bargaining. Since 1999, he also served as the vice chairman of the Committee on Character and Fitness of Applicants to the Bar of the State of New York, and has been a member of that board since 1977.
Other highlights in his illustrious public service background include a stint as New York City's Commissioner of Buildings from 1966 to 1967, member of New York City's Air Pollution Control Board from 1966 to 1967, and consultant to the Mayor of the City of New York on Housing, Urban Development and Real Estate from 1967 to 1973.
Moerdler has also served as the panel chairman of the Disciplinary Committee for Appellate Division, First Department from, 1998 to 2004; served as a member of the Mayor's Committee on Judiciary from 1994 to 2001; and also served as the Chairman of the New York State Insurance Fund from 1955 to 1997 and as its commissioner and vice chairman from 1978 to 1995.
Moerdler is also a trustee at St. Barnabas Hospital, a position that he's held since 1986. He's also worked on the Board of Overseers for the Jewish Seminary of America, as a trustee for Long Island University, as an advisory board member for Columbia University's School of International Affairs, and as an American Jewish Congress lecturer.
He has also been included in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in Finance and Industry and Who's Who in The World.