Mayor Bill de Blasio’s foot-dragging on moving to Gracie Mansion prompted the hosts of Hot 97′s morning show to stage an intervention.
Mr. de Blasio called into the show this morning to chat charter schools, stop-and-frisk and House of Cards–but was also pressed on why he had yet to decamp from his Park Slope row house to the Upper East side more than three months after his election.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed the notion that he’s dragged his feet in filling his new administration, insisting that very few posts remain vacant.
“I’m not a lawyer … but I will be on the watch for premises that may not be accurate. A large number of agencies is a debatable point,” said Mr. de Blasio when asked about the criticism at a press conference today announcing three new hires.
Steve Banks, the chief attorney at the Legal Aid Society, has been appointed to lead the city’s Human Resources Administration, and Nisha Agarwal will serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this afternoon.
Mr. Banks has lead the organization, which provides free legal service, since 2004. Three years earlier, he ran unsuccessfully against Mr. de Blasio in a City Council race.
Emily Lloyd has been tapped to return to her old gig as the commissioner for the Department of Environmental Protection, and Donna Corrado will serve as the next commissioner of the Department for the Aging, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
Ms. Lloyd is currently the president of the Prospect Park Alliance. She served as DEP commissioner in the Bloomberg administration from 2005 to 2009 and previously served as the commissioner of the Department of Sanitation under the Dinkins administration, according to the city.
Still transition time
Mayor Bill de Blasio spent nearly than an hour this evening meeting with ex-members of the Russian feminist punk band Pussy Riot–longer, some noted, than he’d spent meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder last month.
The women–Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who both spent time in Russian prison for their performances–were warmly greeted by the mayor and his wife, Chirlane McCray, exchanging hugs and kisses on the cheek.
off the record
Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed Carl Weisbrod, the co-chair of his transition team, to be the new chair of the City Planning Commission.
Mr. Weisbrod has more than three decades of experience in city government, which Mr. de Blasio touted this afternoon as he announced the appointment at a press conference at City Hall.
Last week, the Daily News’ gossip page took a break from covering Justin Bieber to report on something less flashy but more pertinent to our interests: A top City Hall reporter, Capital’s Sally Goldenberg, is dating Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press secretary, Phil Walzak. The couple started dating on the campaign trail and have since become a serious item, said the tabloid.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said he plans to make a “flurry” of appointments next week as his transition efforts begin to wind down nearly 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.
Many transit riders are disappointed that a proposal submitted by one of New York City’s premier developers to pay for construction to reopen the old Hilton Corridor was never approved by City Hall. The Vornado Realty Trust, had offered to do open the Hilton Corridor in exchange for a zoning variance to construct a high rise office building at 7th Avenue and 32nd Street.
Mayor Bill de Blasio made his latest round of appointments Monday, naming half-a-dozen advisers who will oversee community affairs, the Mayor’s Office of Operations and the Department of Youth and Community Development.
Bill Chong, currently a deputy commissioner with the Department for the Aging, will serve as Commissioner of the Department of Youth and Community Development, leading the new administration’s efforts to expand after-school programs for middle school kids, Mr. de Blasio said at his first press conference in the Blue Room of City Hall.