Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio Asks Some Bloomberg Officials to Stay on Until Replaced

NY Daily News - December 28, 2013

by ANNIE KARNI

With the pace of his transition lagging, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has asked some of Mayor Bloomberg’s commissioners to stay past Inauguration Day because their replacements have not been selected, the Daily News has learned.

De Blasio takes office in four days, on Jan. 1, and so far, just three agency heads have been named — for the Police Department, the Administration for Children’s Services and the Office of Management and Budget.

Commissioners overseeing a host of important city agencies, including the fire, sanitation, law, buildings, parks, transportation, cultural affairs and corrections departments have yet to be chosen.

De Blasio’s transition team has told at least some city agencies that a decision on new leadership is not imminent, sources told the Daily News.

Officials leading some agencies — including the Office of Emergency Management and the city’s Economic Development Corp. — have been asked not to submit their resignations and to remain on the job beyond Dec. 31, the sources said. Fire Chief Salvatore Cassano is also expected to stay on in the new year, and the Daily News reported earlier that long-serving Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty would likely stay through the snow season.

“We’re continuing to work until instructed otherwise,” one official said.

De Blasio spokesman Phil Wolzak said, “We expect more announcements in the days ahead.” He added, “We are in close contact with agencies to ensure a smooth transition.” He declined further comment.

A new schools chancellor is expected to be named early next week.

In previous mayoral transitions, some commissioners have remained on the job for a few weeks until their replacements could be named.

But unless a flood of appointments is announced by New Year’s Eve, an unusual number of city departments and agencies will be headed by holdovers or have no top leaders at all.

In addition to the three agency heads he selected, de Blasio has named three deputy mayors.

Sources familiar with the transition said he might not name any more deputies, which would represent a significant streamlining of operations at City Hall.

When he took office on Jan. 1, 1990, Mayor David Dinkins had five deputy mayors.

During most of his mayoralty, Rudy Giuliani had four deputies under his command at City Hall.