De Blasio Evasive on Key Questions at Year’s End

de Blasio high-fives kids after the press conference today.

Bill de Blasio exchanges high-fives with kids after the press conference today.

On the second-to-last day before he’s sworn into office, Bill de Blasio still won’t answer many questions about his new administration, including who will run the city’s emergency services come January 1.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference in Brooklyn, the mayor-elect wouldn’t even say where he’s going to be at midnight tomorrow when he officially become mayor. 

“At midnight. Phil, am I allowed to say that?” Mr. de Blasio asked one of his press aide in response to a reporter’s question. “I’m not allowed to say that. Phil Walzak is controlling my thoughts using a special mind control apparatus he developed. You know, you’re always anxious to know more. And soon you will know more.”

Several other questions–pelted at the mayor-elect after he unveiled his school chancellor’s appointment earlier today–fared little better in terms of responsiveness.

Asked about the status of important emergency-response commissioners–notably fire, sanitation and the entire Office of Emergency Management–Mr. de Blasio said Politicker should “know better” than to push on the subject before he is ready to make formal announcements about which current officials will remain in place.

“I appreciate the attempt, but you know better. We will make our announcements when we’re ready to make our announcements,” he said. “We said yesterday, I’ll repeat it: There has been a very conscientious effort over the last few weeks, led by our incoming first deputy mayor–who I remind you is one of the most experienced people in government you will ever meet in your life, God help him–to make sure … that every agency knows exactly where they stand in terms of carry-over leadership when we don’t have a new leader in place.”

Although Mr. de Blasio didn’t name which commissioners have been asked to stay on as he fills his administration at a historically slow pace, he continued to express confidence in the ultimate outcome.

“The fundamental reality is we know exactly who we’re dealing with. We are absolutely comfortable that the operational dynamics of government are going to move very, very smoothly, and that everyone knows their role and how we’re gonna get things done,” he said.

And, asked how he will spend his last day before becoming mayor, Mr. de Blasio joked about being promised “a lovely day by the beach in the Caribbean” before vaguely vowing to a busy schedule over the next two days.

“I am deeply involved in the personnel process,” he said. “I will continue to be deeply involved in that in that in next 48 hours. Then that will be a rolling dynamic through January. The transition will certainly be fully up and running through January and, as everyone knows about every government, it takes a certain amount of time, you know you have to fill every deputy commissioner, assistant commissioner spot, etc. Obviously a lot of preparation going into Inauguration Day as we speak.”

“So it will be a very busy last 48 hours,” he added.