Michael Bloomberg said today that in terms of hiring decisions for top-level staff for his administration, diversity factors have no impact. "None whatsoever," he said.
He is aware that his administration is not as diverse as the city's population, "but we're going in that direction," he said.
The mayor was speaking to reporters inside St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, on the first day the school has been open since the outbreak of swine flu.
I asked Bloomberg about diversity in his staff in light of the resignation last week of Finance Commissioner Martha Stark, one of only three African-American commissioners in Bloomberg's administration.
"I like to make sure we have as broad a spectrum of candidates for every job," Bloomberg said, before outlining the hiring process. A selection committee searches for and vets potential candidates, he said, then recommends three from which to choose.
"I do really think that if you expand your search, you get good diversity by picking the best person. But the public has the right to pick the best people and that's what they'll do. The diversity of our administration has not been as diverse as the city itself, but we're going in that direction, and we'll continue to reach out."
Bloomberg aides told The New York Times this weekend that the "percentage of minority commissioners and agency heads is roughly the same" as it was under Rudy Giuliani.
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