When Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith announced the demotion of about 100 senior city officials last fall, he emphasized that he would not involve himself in the fine details of how the personnel changes were carried out.Goldsmith's name is often tied with Mayor Ballard's deals that enrich the well connected at the expense of the public. Goldsmith not only has counseled Ballard on Indianapolis matters, but, if the rumors are true, made huge sums of money off Ballard's bad deals at the same time.
A reporter, incredulous, asked him, “They report to you, don’t they?”
Mr. Goldsmith described his role differently: “I’m their liaison.”
Mr. Goldsmith, 64, occupies perhaps the most hands-on job at City Hall: deputy mayor for operations, with responsibility for police, fire, sanitation and nearly a dozen other agencies that provide the services most visible to ordinary New Yorkers. But he has often seemed quite distant.
During the Christmastime blizzard, he was at his Washington town house, uninvolved in the critical conversations about whether to declare a snow emergency, and writing “Good snow work by sanitation” on Twitter the evening of Dec. 26.
On Monday, most New Yorkers will get their first look at the still obscure deputy mayor, when he is called before the City Council to explain what went wrong during the blizzard. But some current and former city officials are already suggesting that Mr. Goldsmith, who was the mayor of Indianapolis in the 1990s and until last year had never lived or worked in New York, is the wrong man for his high-pressure position. His immediate predecessor, Edward Skyler, was so maniacal about making the city work he was called “Batman” and once tackled a would-be mugger in Midtown Manhattan.
Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, said Mr. Goldsmith reminded him of an outside management consultant.
“I think he’s very intelligent and very steeped in the work of government,” Mr. de Blasio said. “But this seems to be an abstract enterprise for him: it’s not his city, and he’ll be here as long as he wants to be here. There’s something about City Hall that’s supposed to be more than a job. It’s supposed to be a lifestyle and a total commitment.”
Saturday, January 8, 2011
A friend of mine circulated a New York Times article involving Indy's former Mayor, Stephen Goldsmith that I found quite interesting. The article by reporter David Chen is titled "Hands-On Job Has Deputy Mayor Taking His Lumps". It begins: