Mayor Bill de Blasio said he plans to make a “flurry” of appointments next week as his transition efforts begin to wind down nearly a month after taking office.
Speaking to reporters after giving an award at the Daily News‘ annual Hometown Heroes event this morning, Mr. de Blasio did his best to assure that his historically slow appointment process is in fact right on track.
“Next week you’re going to see a flurry of appointments, which we’re very, very excited about,” said Mr. de Blasio, who went on to tout his growing administration’s efforts so far.
“We’re also thrilled that coming into this administration, starting literally mid-year with our schools, in the middle of the winter and all the dynamics that happen when you pick up the ball on January 1, we think there’s been tremendous continuity, great teamwork, and things are functioning really, really well. And we’re going to just keep filling out things over the coming weeks, and we feel great about it,” he added.
As Politicker first reported, Mr. de Blasio’s foot-dragging has led to frustrations and confusion at many city agencies about how long holdover staffers from the Bloomberg administration are supposed to stay on. Mr. de Blasio has yet to appoint commissioners to lead a host of city agencies, from the Department of Finance to the Parks Department. At many, deputy commissioners have stepped in temporarily, but at least two–the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment–remain without acting commissioners. At other agencies, many deputy commissioners have also departed, hollowing out their ranks.
But Mr. de Blasio rejected that picture at this morning’s press conference and said he’s confident in his progress.
“We feel great about the situation across the board. We are making decisions on personnel in the same way we said we would from the beginning: We want highly effective people, we want people who share the values of this administration, we want people who reflect the diversity of New York City. One by one, we’re finding folks at the highest quality levels,” he said.
“We’re doing great.” he added. “And one by one we’re filling those positions.”
The mayor also announced today that work by his transition committee, headed by Carl Weisbrod and Jennifer Jones Austin, is winding down and will increasingly be done out of City Hall.
Last year, Mr. de Blasio said that “every transition continues on into January and even sometimes February.”