How did it get so late so soon?*


Last week, David Greenfield (44th District, Brooklyn) was selected to chair the City Council’s Land Use Committee, but a number of key agency appointments in the de Blasio administration remain vacant or unconfirmed.  With turnover being widely reported at the top of City Planning, Landmarks, the BSA and HPD (to name just some) we, along with many others with an interest in land use and real estate, eagerly await word on those and other appointments.

City Planning Commission/Department of City Planning:  Amanda Burden, who served on the City Planning Commission since 1990, was named Chairperson on January 15, 2002, so in terms of his/her own immediate predecessor, the next CPC Chair will be making a late entrance.  But — presumably — s/he won’t be too far behind Joe Rose, who preceded Burden as Chair after being appointed on January 31, 1994.

Landmarks Preservation Commission:  Current Chair Robert Tierney — who may in fact be retained for the foreseeable future — was appointed on January 2, 2003, which sounds like an early-bird appointment, except that then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg had been sworn in one day and a full year earlier.  Tierney’s immediate predecessor, Sherida Paulsen, was named Chair on April 16, 2001; and before her, Jennifer Raab was named in September of 1994, nearly a year after the ceremonial mayoral inauguration.

Housing Preservation and Development:  RuthAnne Visnauskas was appointed HPD Commissioner in September of last year, and while we don’t rule out Visnauskas being retained, we note the apparent absence of any press release announcing her appointment.  Her immediate predecessor, Matthew Wambua, who stepped down to enter the private sector, had been appointed in late March of 2011, more than a year into Bloomberg’s third term.

Board of Standards and Appeals:  Depending on how one views these appointments, the BSA Chair position offers the least revealing precedent by which to gauge de Blasio’s timing — here he is “on pace” with his predecessors.  Possibly because of its relatively small size, and the relatively greater probability of being elevated from within, the BSA Chair’s term has been consistently out of sync with Mayoral turnover, at least in the recent past.  Current Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan was appointed in 2004, approximately midway through Bloomberg’s first term, and her predecessor James Chin was promoted to the Chair in 1996, after being appointed as a Commissioner the year before — also approximately midway through a mayoral term.


* How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? — Dr. Seuss