While holding court at the “Talking Transition” tent in lower Manhattan today, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio brushed aside any suggestions that rarely-scheduled public events meant his transition team lacked transparency.
“No,” Mr. de Blasio declared at the rare appearance, rebuking a question from Politicker about whether his paucity of public events–today’s transition team announcement marked the second time he’s been available to the media since Veterans Day–was violating his vow of transparency.
“The work we have to do to organize the leadership of our administration, to put together our legislative agenda, to put together our approach to the budget–it requires a lot of hands-on work and it’s exactly what I should be focused on,” he said, suggesting that he’d be more available to the public in the coming weeks.
“And as we have announcements, we are going to offer them up and obviously make ourselves available to the media to respond to any questions about those announcements. So I think we’re right on track,” Mr. de Blasio said.
The mayor-elect’s slackening pace of public events first raised eyebrows after he won the Democratic primary in September. Multiple media outlets noted that Mr. de Blasio, who once crammed many campaign events into a single day, seemed to be employing a “Rose Garden strategy” in the general election against his underdog rival, Joe Lhota. (Mr. de Blasio denied that he was avoiding the media or employing the tactic.)
Today, another reporter pressed Mr. de Blasio on what exactly he had been doing in the two weeks since winning the election. After a quip about holding transition meetings at a favorite Brooklyn pizzeria, Mr. de Blasio again offered few hints.
“We have moved the transition office to Di Fara Pizzeria in Midwood, Brooklyn,” he joked. “I have been meeting with prospective candidates, I have been meeting with the transition leadership in a variety of locations, some in our transition office, sometimes in other locations.”