After Quick Departure, Some Question Goldsmith's Role in Bloomberg's Admin

goldsmith mrb333 After Quick Departure, Some Question Goldsmith's Role in Bloomberg's Admin

Mayor Bloomberg today appointed Stephen Goldsmith, the nation’s premier expert on innovation in government and the former Mayor of Indianapolis, as Deputy Mayor for Operations. April 30, 2010 (Photo Credit: Edward Reed)

Republican City Councilman Jimmy Oddo is sad to see Deputy Mayor Goldsmith leave the administration.

But he’s not surprised.

“I don’t think he was cast in a position to succeed,” Oddo said, calling from his cell phone after pulling his car over to the side of the road. (He was on his way home to Staten Island to  get softball equipment for tonight’s game against the mayor’s office.)

“I believe a deputy mayor for operations needs to be a tactician,” said Oddo, who called Goldsmith’s replacement, Cas Halloway, “the perfect selection” because “he learned at the knee of Ed Skyler, who was running 4/5 of the city for all intents and purposes.”

City Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito, a Democrat from Manhattan, said Halloway “is a good choice” and “feel he is responsible and responsive, which is important.”

Oddo said he shared Goldsmith’s political philosophy — relying less on public sector unions and shrinking the role of government — but felt Goldsmith should have been a special advisor, instead.

“It’s like asking a shortstop to play linebacker,” said Oddo. “To be the deputy mayor of operations was a mistake from the inception.”

Goldsmith’s yearlong stint is the second major appointment to end abruptly for Bloomberg. Earlier in this third term, Bloomberg’s hand-picked appointee to run the New York City’s public schools, Cathie Black, was pushed out in three months. To replace Black, Bloomberg picked Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcot, who, like Halloway, was a long-time aide who have been passed over for the initial opening.

“I think Cas is as close as you’re going to get as the Ed Skyler success, given the fact that it’s 2011,” said Oddo.

One City Hall insider said the mayor’s administration was “adrift” and questioned if Bloomberg was clearly focused on a specific set of priorities when he pushed for an additional term in office.