Friday, December 22, 2006

Daniels Gets Permanent Appointment

A. Raiford Daniels won City Council advice and consent Wednesday (Dec. 20, 2006) to become director of the city’s largest department.

He will be in charge of fiscal and social service activities as head of Administration, Finance, Health and Social Services. The other two city departments mandated by its special charter are Public Affairs & Safety and Public Works & Urban Development.

Daniels was named to his post in acting capacity on Nov. 13 by Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs. In a letter dated Nov. 28, Robinson-Briggs asked for council advice and consent, but at the Dec. 4 council meeting, his name was withdrawn due to a family matter that took him away from City Hall. The vote Wednesday gives him tenure in the post until the mayor’s term expires on Dec. 31, 2009.

Daniels was not sworn in after the vote, as is customary. Staff in the City Clerk’s office did not know when he would be sworn in.

Asked whether he has determined any priorities for the large department, Daniels said Wednesday, “My focus is going to be as per the mayor’s dictates that we prioritize the best financial management and departmental supervision that can be provided.”

The department includes the senior center, a focus of attention this year as officials worked out a plan for a long-desired new senior center. The Planning Board on Dec. 7 approved a site plan for the new center and a condo complex above it.

The directorship has been vacant since March, when Norton Bonaparte left the city to become the first city manager of Topeka, Kan. Bonaparte had been city administrator in the prior administration and was given the directorship in acting capacity when Robinson-Briggs took office.

After Bonaparte left, City Administrator Carlton McGee was informally covering duties for the department as well. McGee left at the end of October to become chief financial officer for the Atlanta school district.

The council has also given advice and consent to the appointment of Marc Dashield as the new city administrator, but Dashield was not present at the Dec. 6 meeting for the vote. He is not expected to come on board until after the New Year, Corporation Counsel Dan Williamson said, because he has to wrap up obligations as chief financial officer in Franklin Township, Somerset County.

--Bernice Paglia


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