Bill de Blasio to start transition work
Bill de Blasio says his transition to the New York City mayor's office -- including the work of finding, vetting and appointing members of his administration -- begins Tuesday "in earnest."
De Blasio said Monday that he will get to work lining up the city's new leaders -- its first change of guard in 12 years. He had just returned from a four-day trip to Puerto Rico for a political conference and a brief postelection vacation with his wife.
"It was really downtime," de Blasio, a Democrat, told reporters. "The work in earnest on the transition will begin on Tuesday."
He demurred when asked for details about appointees. "We'll have announcements in the coming days about our approach and timeline," he said.
De Blasio, the city's public advocate, was elected in a landslide one week ago Tuesday and last Wednesday announced four members of his transition team, including the executive and deputy directors. The team launched a transition website asking New Yorkers for input, as well as a Twitter account.
The team has offices in Manhattan at 250 Broadway and in the Hudson Square area, de Blasio spokeswoman Lis Smith said. She did not disclose the team's budget or its target staff size.
De Blasio has vowed to install a new police commissioner, schools chancellor and taxi and limousine commissioner, and to make other personnel changes.
De Blasio and his family -- wife Chirlane McCray and children Chiara, 18, and Dante, 16 -- have yet to decide whether they will move to Gracie Mansion, the mayoral residence on the Upper East Side, or stay in their Park Slope town house when he begins his term Jan. 1.
"I don't think we're going to make a decision right away. I think it's something we're going to have to think about as a family," de Blasio said Monday. He noted that Chiara will not return from college until Thanksgiving, "so probably around then is when we'll really focus on it."
De Blasio last week said the decision also depended on Dante, whose commute to his Brooklyn high school would be significantly longer from the Upper East Side.
During a ceremony before the annual Veterans Day Parade Monday, the mayor-elect paid tribute to his late father, Warren Wilhelm, an Army veteran who lost his leg in the Battle of Okinawa in World War II and committed suicide when de Blasio was 18.
"He carried the physical and emotional challenges ever after," de Blasio told a crowd of hundreds of spectators.