In 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets, to the newly created New York City Transit Authority. Under late Governor Nelson Rockefeller in the ’60s, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was created. The Governor appointed four board members. The Mayor also appointed four and the rest by suburban county Executives. No one elected official controlled a majority of the votes. As a result, elected officials have historically taken credit when the MTA or any operating subsidiary such as New York City Transit would do a good job.
Bill of Education
What Bill Bratton, the incoming police commissioner, and Anthony Shorris, the new first deputy mayor, have in common–beyond the tremendous scope of their new authority and years of experience–is one rather simple fact: they are both white men in a city where the majority of people are not.
Bill Bratton is a professional crime-stopper. Anthony Shorris is a professional manager and a government insider. Both are welcome additions to the incoming administration of Bill de Blasio, a man who campaigned as a government outsider, as a critic of the sort of policing Mr. Bratton has championed.
Transition Time out
With just over three weeks to go before he takes office on January 1, Bill de Blasio is taking things slowly.
The mayor-elect has yet to announce the vast majority of the most important hiring decisions of his administration. Indeed, Mr. de Blasio has yet to even begin interviewing commissioner candidates for many major agencies, according to a source familiar with his transition progress.
Hamlet on the Slope
To move or not to move? That, for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, is still the question.
Bill of Education
Bill de Blasio will be unveiling “important” new appointments in the near future, but don’t expect his schools chancellor pick to be among them.
Asked today about his decision-making process for the chancellor pick, the mayor-elect described it as deliberate and methodical and said new candidates are still being considered even as his January 1 inauguration looms a few weeks away.
Incoming Police Commissioner Bill Bratton this morning tried to turn the page on soured relations between police and many minority communities, promising “freedom and equality for all” in his first public appearance since his appointment.
Mr. Bratton, who also served as top cop under Rudy Giuliani, vowed to “get it right” in a city where many communities of color feel under siege following a dramatic spike in stop-and-frisks that rarely lead to arrests. He was speaking with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio in front of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network at a memorial for the late anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela in Harlem.
The candidates vying for City Council speaker mostly hailed Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of Bill Bratton to lead the police department, though one was willing to openly criticize the pick.
In a lengthy statement yesterday, Councilman Jumaane Williams took issue with Mr. Bratton’s “mixed” record when he held the same job under former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose police force was repeatedly accused of crossing the line in its efforts to drive down crime.
Bill de Blasio, who is set to take office on January 1st, is quickly gaining a reputation for tardiness.
The mayor-elect, starting to return to a regular schedule of public events following a sparse post-election calendar, has increasingly made a habit of keeping the press and public waiting when he does hold events, drawing scorn from some members of the media.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio insisted today he’s still on track to reform the NYPD, even though he just chose a member of the old guard to lead the department in his administration.
“I could not be more enthusiastic,” said Mr. de Blasio of his pick, Bill Bratton. “This is one of the choices that a mayor gets to make–that is most difficult–for the people of our city. It is a sacred choice.”