The circumstances of Martha Stark’s departure from the Bloomberg administration had nothing to do with race. But two Democrats took the occasion to raise the issue of racial diversity in the administration.
City Councilwoman Helen Foster of the Bronx, who, like Stark, is African-American, said, “I think it’s clear there is a lack of diversity in his administration, and if you just walk into City Hall and look on his side of the hall, outside of his security, you’re pressed to find a person of color. So, that part of it is very simple. There is a lack of diversity.”
City Councilwoman Letitia James said that Stark was “an exemplary public servant, highly knowledgeable and a great caretaker of the city’s finances.” She also said that “Mayor Bloomberg’s administration is looking more and more like Rocky Mountain High.”
Bloomberg’s spokespeople did not respond to questions surrounding Stark’s departure, and whether she was asked to leave. For the record, Stark’s departure leaves at least two African-American commissioners in the Bloomberg administration. They are Roger Newman at the Mayor’s Office of Veteran Affairs, and Patricia Gatling at the Commission on Human Rights [added].