A thoughtful reader wrote in to note the individuals to whom Mayor Bloomberg reached out recently to discuss potential replacements for outgoing Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler have strong Albany ties and wondered if this is a sign that the mayor is re-thinking his traditionally combative relationship with the Legislature.

The Post’s David Seifman reported Monday that Bloomberg sent out “feelers” to Marc Shaw and Bruce Bender, seeking their input on a potential Skyler successor.

Shaw, who was first deputy mayor in the initial incarnation of the Bloomberg administration, has had a long career working at a variety of government posts – including a stint with the Senate Finance Committee. He also served as the executive director of the MTA, and some speculated he might again he headed in that direction when he joined the Paterson administration as a senior adviser in November 2008.

Shaw quietly left his post with Paterson – there was nary a public word about his departure – and resurfaced as interim chief financial officer at CUNY.

Bender served as chief of staff to former Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr. and is now executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, developer of the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

Bender has close ties to a number of state lawmakers from Brooklyn, including Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson and Sen. Carl Kruger, as well as to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has had an up-again/down-again relationship with Bloomberg.

A City Hall insider confirmed that forging a better relationship with Albany may indeed be a goal for Bloomberg in the third term, particularly since it might be his last chance (he has insisted a fourth term is not in the cards) for him to push through any legacy projects of the sort the Legislature has heretofore rejected like congestion pricing and the West Side Stadium.

However, this same insider cautioned that the budget and dealing with Albany is merely one aspect of deputy mayor for operations job that Skyler is leaving. The main focus is getting the trains to run on time – that is, making sure water comes out of the faucet when you turn it on and making sure the streets are safe.

The other component of Skyler’s job is labor negotiations, which could be particularly difficult in the coming years, given the ongoing fiscal woes and the city and the state.

Names that have been floated to date include Jeff Kay, director of the mayor’s Office of Operations, and John Feinblatt, the mayor’s criminal justice coordinator, who flirted briefly with a Manhattan DA run last fall.

Earlier today, I heard a new name in the mix: Sharon Greenberger, who heads the city’s School Construction Authority.