NEW DORP — Staten Island's borough president-elect James Oddo plans to be ready to work on the first day he steps into his new office in January, and has put GOP County Clerk Stephen Fiala in place to head his transition to Borough Hall.
Speaking at his campaign office in New Dorp, a day after his huge win over Democrat Lou Liedy, Oddo said Fiala and he will start to assess staff needs soon and have it all in place before his administration starts.
"We want to do this the right way, and make sure we have the right people in the right place to be as efficient an office as possible so that we can hit the ground running," Oddo said.
He said that his first order of business would be to restore the sense of urgency for Hurricane Sandy recovery, and get residents the help they still need a year after the storm.
"Let's restore the urgency, let's get the help that's in the pipeline and let it flow," Oddo said.
"For those folks who don't have a home still, for those folks who have a home but don't know if they have a buy out or are going to have to rebuild or can afford flood insurance, those are the folks in the most need and they demand attention immediately."
Oddo plans to meet with mayor-elect Bill de Blasio before they both take office, and make sure de Blasio doesn't forget about the fifth borough.
To prepare for the transition from James Molinaro's long tenure to Oddo's, Fiala said a team of four will separately look at Borough Hall and assess what needs to change or stay the same.
"The gates are open, we're at the starting line," Fiala said. "Fifty-five days to do a lot of ground work so that on day one the 'it's a new day vision' gets started in earnest."
They will meet around Thanksgiving time and develop an action plan, and Fiala, a former councilman, said Oddo would be the most prepared borough president on day one.
Oddo said he didn't intend to have a formal swearing in ceremony, but that the community should expect to see him in the streets as soon as he starts work.
"Folks in Mariner's Harbor down to Tottenville are going to see me immediately," he said.
"I'm going to stop in unexpectedly in schools, stop in unexpectedly to community meetings. I want them to know early on and set a tone early on that it wasn't just rhetoric last night. I'm going to be as hands on as possible."