MANHATTAN — Deputy Mayor of Operations Stephen Goldsmith, who was widely blamed for the city's botched handling of the Christmas blizzard debacle, is stepping down after just 14 months on the job in a surprise move that is the latest in a string of high profile personnel departures for the Bloomberg administration.
Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, who was hailed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a "superstar" when he was brought in from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, said he is leaving “to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance,” according to a lengthy statement Thursday.
“After thirty years of long hours in public service, the change will provide me, at age 64, with more flexibility for me and my family and a secure foundation for our future,” Goldsmith said.
“Now that we have the ball rolling on our initiatives, I am comfortable that the person taking over for me will do an exceptional job moving things forward."
Goldsmith — who oversaw the police and fire departments as well as the Office of Emergency Management, Office of Management and Budget and Office of Labor relations — had become one of the most public faces of the administration during his short tenure, and had taken the fall for Bloomberg at a heated City Council hearing about the city's failures during the Christmas blizzard.
In addition to taking the reins of the new CityTime payroll system after it was marred with scandal, Goldsmith had been charged with running Bloomberg’s “NYC Simplicity” agenda, which promised to cut waste and make the city more customer-friendly.
The resignation caps a string of high-level departures during the mayor's third term. Last week, ACS Commissioner John Mattingly announced he would be leaving after seven years on the job. And April, disastrous Schools Chancellor Cathie Black was ousted after less than four months on the job.
Goldsmith was replaced by Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway, who had held his post since 2010.
“As New Yorkers, we were extraordinarily lucky to have Steve Goldsmith make our city government more innovative and efficient,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Just as he did at DEP, Cas Holloway is going to jump right in, and build on everything that Steve has been able to accomplish and continue the progress he has made in reforming our government and making it work better.”
Holloway previously served as chief of staff to former Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler.
“Building on the foundation Steve Goldsmith has built, we will continue to transform city services to ensure that government is doing all it can to work efficiently and effectively for the millions of people who live and work in New York City,” Holloway said.