Three weeks after his re-election to a second term, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced changes to his inner management circle.
Most notable, and a poorly kept secret since right after election night, was the departure of First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris, with Office of Management and Budget Director Dean Fuleihan promoted to take his place. Succeeding Fuleihan at OMB will be Melanie Hartzog, a current deputy for health and human services at MOB.
She is pegged to be the city's first African-American budget chief.
De Blasio also promoted longtime aide Emma Wolfe to chief of staff, while Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Richard Buery will depart. The mayor named no successor to Buery, although he will promote Chief Administrative Officer Laura Anglin, a Shorris deputy, to the new job of deputy mayor for operations.
Deputy mayors Alicia Glen and Herminia Palacio will remain. Glen oversees economic development and housing, while Palacio coordinates on health and human services.
“Known to all, Dean has been in the center of everything this team has done,” de Blasio said of Fuleihan during Thursday’s news conference in the City Hall Blue Room. “Everything that we’ve attempted to do was audacious, was difficult, in many cases was never done before. That was a huge undertaking over these last four years. Dean has led that effort brilliantly.”
Fuleihan ran point for the city’s $86 billion operating budget, which passed well before the required June 30 deadline.
“Our fourth successful budget of this administration is not just the earliest in decades. It really mirrored the principles that we began with in our very first preliminary budget in 2014,” Fuleihan said on a recent Bond Buyer podcast.
Before City Hall, Fuleihan was the principal fiscal and policy adviser and top staff negotiator for the state General Assembly and after leaving the Assembly, an executive vice president at the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
As first deputy mayor, Fuleihan will run the city when de Blasio is out of town.
Shorris, a longtime public official, spoke on behalf of the city Thursday at urban planning group Regional Plan Association’s release of its fourth regional plan. The blueprint called for a major long-term overhaul of the region’s transportation landscape.
“Ambition is what built this city and built this region, not fear or incrementalism,” Shorris said at the New School in Greenwich Village.
Hartzog, said de Blasio, “is also from that modern and progressive school of what an OMB director should be someone who is actually thinking from the grassroots up. Thinking about what we do and what it means for human beings. And I always saw that in Melanie’s work, keen analytical mind but a lot of heart, too.”