Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Leaves the Bloomberg Administration
By Heather Grossmann
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — The Department of Homeless Services Commissioner, Robert V. Hess, became the latest in a string of high-level departures from the Bloomberg administration on Monday as the mayor looks to shake things up in his third term.
Hess has been at the agency for four years, during which the DOH has been under fire as the number of homeless living in shelters has increased from 31,000 to 36,000.
The city is also facing blowback over a plan to charge homeless people with jobs rent for staying at city shelters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Monday afternoon announcement of Hess' departure focused very briefly on Hess before moving on to tout his replacement, Seth Diamond, who previously served as the executive deputy commissioner at the Human Resources Administration.
During his remarks Diamond emphasized that "work, works," saying the most important thing in social service programs is to have a working adult in the household.
When asked whether Hess' exit was reflective of a third term strategy to bring new blood to City Hall, Bloomberg said, "It’s always good to have somebody new come in."
In the past few months, several high-profile officials in the mayor’s administration have departed, including Deputy Mayors Ed Skyler and Kevin Sheekey, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg seemingly seeks to avoid the curse of the third term — former Mayors Koch, Wagner and La Guardia all had disastrous final terms.