New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a Democrat and former member of the state Assembly, said this morning at the Association for a Better New York that Speaker Sheldon Silver should not “step aside” but “down down” from the post he’s held since 1994.

“I don’t think this is a time to step aside, I think this is a time to step down,” Stringer said.

The Assembly leadership, under a plan devised Sunday evening, would allow five members to assume Silver’s responsibilities when it comes to negotiating the state budget and other issues on a temporary basis.

The push to make the change comes as Silver faces corruption and fraud charges.

Stringer said today, however, that Silver should stay in power through the retention of his title.

“Allow a new leader to come forward, a new leader who can fight for the interests of working people,” Stringer said. “That’s what the assembly’s always been – it’s the people’s house. And I think we should stop trying to process this, make this a process game. And let’s get on to the budget, and the things we have to do. Were it not for the snow, I would be going to Albany with the mayor, testifying on the budget. that’s going to happen in the next few days. And when we get there, that’s the time we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and do some business.”

Stringer said that if Silver is cleared of the charges it’s up to the members to determine whether the Manhattan Democrat should get the post back.

But he was hopeful a strong leader could potentially emerge to take control of the Assembly during an unusually turbulent time.

“I think there’s a real chance that by the time we testify in Albany, it just seems to me that one strong leader will emerge,” Stringer said. “I’m not going to comment on who I would like. I think it’s really up to the members to caucus. As I said, we do not give credit to the talent that we have in the state assembly. Both members that are in leadership positions, but also if you look at the new leaders who are just getting elected. They are independent, they are ready to work in Albany. They worked very hard to get elected. I think we should give them a chance.”