Bill de Blasio Replenishes City Hall With New Chief of Staff

Mayor Bill de Blasio last week. (Photo: Kena Betacur/AFP)

Mayor Bill de Blasio last week. (Photo: Kena Betacur/AFP)

Mayor Bill de Blasio has named Thomas Snyder, a labor organizer and veteran of Boston’s City Hall, to become his new chief of staff, his office announced this morning.

Mr. Snyder, 62, will replace Laura Santucci, a former White House staffer who unceremoniously left City Hall after Brooklyn failed to win the contest for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“On day one, our administration pledged to provide New Yorkers with strong and effective leadership that will deliver for all our city’s residents. By putting the Mayor’s Office in Snyder’s experienced and capable hands, we continue to build on this pledge today,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement.

Mr. Snyder is a longtime operative in the progressive circles Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, knows well. He worked under Mr. de Blasio’s cousin, John Wilhelm, at Unite Here, the hotel and restaurant workers’ union that Mr. Wilhelm once led. Mr. Synder focused on international affairs at the union.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Synder oversaw budgets, personnel, finances and labor relations for the administration of Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn. Mr. Flynn told the New York Times that Mr. Synder was his “right-hand man.” In his role with Mr. de Blasio, he will earn $209,000 annually.

“From organizing hotel workers to helping lead the city of Boston, my mission has always been to ensure working people have the opportunity to succeed–and I know Mayor de Blasio shares this deep conviction,” Mr. Snyder stated.

Mr. Snyder will be reunited with Police Commissioner Bill Braton, a Massachusetts native and former police commissioner in Boston. Mr. de Blasio himself is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The arrival of Mr. Synder marks a new phase in Mr. de Blasio’s tenure after the departures of several top aides. Ms. Santucci and Peter Ragone, the mayor’s senior adviser, left City Hall early in 2015: Mr. Ragone to return home to California and Ms. Santuccci for a job with the United Nations. Last fall, Mr. de Blasio’s wife’s chief of staff, Rachel Noerdlinger, was forced to resign after her boyfriend’s criminal past was brought to light. She now works for Mercury Public Affairs, a leading consulting group.

Mr. de Blasio is still seeking to fill the role of press secretary. He recently reshuffled his oft-criticized press office following the promotion of his old press secretary, Phil Walzak, to fill Mr. Ragone’s role.