New York City

The positions Eric Adams hasn’t filled yet

The New York City mayor has been busy making appointments, but he’s still got a long way to go.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announces at City Hall on Monday the appointments of his climate leadership team that will focus on environmental protection and environmental justice.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams announces at City Hall on Monday the appointments of his climate leadership team that will focus on environmental protection and environmental justice. Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been filling out his government, appointing more than 50 top officials ranging from deputy mayors to the school chancellor and transportation commissioner. But he’s still got a long, long way to go. Based on the city’s list of agency and office officials, Adams still has more than 80 positions to either fill or reappoint.

It isn’t clear if the mayor actually plans to fill all these positions – will he have a chief democracy officer like former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did? Or a chief privacy officer?Other positions, it wasn’t even clear if it was the mayor’s responsibility to appoint. Does Adams have to name an administrative justice coordinator? Commissioner David Goldin, who has held the job since 2006, didn’t immediately respond. And the mayor’s office declined to comment on whether the mayor – who appointed a chief efficiency officer and has talked extensively about eliminating waste in government – would be filling rarely heard-of positions such as executive director of the New York City Children’s Cabinet

Politico New York reported that Adams has slowed his appointment process after some picks received criticism, such as his brother Bernard Adams as senior advisor for mayoral security, Carlo Scissura as president of the Economic Development Corporation and Phil Banks as deputy mayor for public safety. But Adams hasn’t been particularly slow, from a historical perspective. De Blasio didn’t appoint a buildings commissioner until mid-July, more than six months into his mayoralty. 

Still, high profile positions have yet to be filled, such as parks commissioner, fire commissioner and buildings commissioner. 

Leadership of some agencies has been limbo, even as they dealt with emergencies. Edward Grayson was appointed sanitation commissioner by de Blasio in 2020, and Adams hasn’t made an announcement yet about whether he will remain in that position, or whether somebody else will take over. And Christina Farrell has served as acting emergency management commissioner since the beginning of the year after Andrew D’Amora, who had served as commissioner for just a couple months, retired. Both Grayson and Farrell were on hand with Adams Friday at a salt shed in Manhattan as the city prepared for a snow emergency. When the mayor was asked if he had communicated with them about whether they would remain in their leadership positions, he praised them for not asking questions.

“Professionals, they do their jobs. They don’t spend time asking if they will have a job or not have a job,” he said. When they’re on the job, they do the job.” He added that private conversations he has had with his commissioners would remain private.

The mayor’s press office was similarly tight-lipped, saying that they wouldn’t comment on pending appointments, and additional appointments will be announced when they’re finalized and vetted. “Mayor Adams is choosing the best people for the best jobs in the best city in the world,” read a statement from the press office. “He has already assembled a stellar team of public servants to deliver for New Yorkers, and looks forward to continuing to make announcements about new appointments to his administration in the days and weeks ahead.”

That’s good news for the countless Adams supporters still hoping to get jobs in the fledgling administration. And while specific appointments have been criticized, major appointments have been well received by the city’s political class. 

“The mayor still has a number of important agencies to address, including Buildings, Fire (and) Parks, but at this point he’s appointed incredibly qualified people to senior positions and agencies,” said George Fontas, a consultant who has been tracking appointments on his website. “I’m eager to see all that talent begin putting in place strategies to achieve the mayor’s vision. “