Mayor: Brown Arriving April 1
The City Council approved the appointment of David Brown II to the post at the Jan. 1 reorganization. Brown was not present for the meeting, although Wenson Maier was in the audience. No mention was made of a delay in his taking office, nor was there any designation of Wenson Maier as acting director.
The news comes on the heels of an announcement that newly-appointed acting City Administrator and director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services Bibi Taylor will be leaving at the end of January for a post in East Orange.
That leaves Public Affairs & Safety Director Martin Hellwig, also the police director, as the only one of three department heads to have a clear four-year term concurrent with that of the mayor.
While the mayor has the power to make acting appointments without City Council approval, such actions have not always been openly communicated. In 2006, former City Administrator Norton Bonaparte was named director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services. He left in March 2006 to become the first city manager of Topeka, Kans. But no successor was named and apparently former City Administrator Carlton McGee additionally served in acting capacity as department head until he resigned in October 2006.
The current council does not seem to be inclined to accept half-measures or partial communication. By the next agenda session (Jan. 11, 2009), it is likely that the governing body will want the situation to be spelled out.