Cabinet: Half Empty or Half Full?
On Jan. 1, Bibi Taylor was named acting city administrator and also acting director of Administration, Finance, Health & Social Services, with a departure date of Jan. 31.
The City Council's approval of David Brown II to head Public Works & Urban Development on Jan. 1 turned into a deferment to April 1, leaving rejected director Jennifer Wenson Maier in place until that date.
Public Affairs & Safety Director/Police Director Martin Hellwig was approved for the full four-year term concurrent with that of the mayor, but his proposed demotions of police captains have resulted in a Police Benevolent Association recommendation of a vote of no confidence.
Now Taylor is up for the permanent title of City Administrator, but Wenson Maier is leaving in two weeks for a post in Hoboken.
Is Taylor still acting director of AFH&SS? Who will be director of PW&UD until Brown's supposed advent April 1?
The city also still lacks a permanent Chief Financial Officer, despite state mandates to hire one.
The bottom line on cabinet posts must be known soon, so an effective transition can take place.
The exit of Wenson Maier means someone must pick up on vital though not exciting follow-through on things like brownfields remediation for future development. Let's hope there will be an exit interview or report in which she outlines the loose ends to be tied up.
The new roster of City Council committees may play a significant role in clarifying administration functions and conveying their roles to the public. In difficult economic times, the administration must show what it is doing with taxpayer dollars.