Stephen Goldsmith, who oversaw operations as a deputy to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, announced on Thursday that he would resign after just 14 months in the position.
Mr. Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, said he was leaving to pursue opportunities in the private sector after 30 years of government service.
“The change will provide me, at age 64, with more flexibility for me and my family and a secure foundation for our future,” Mr. Goldsmith said in a statement . . .
Mr. Goldsmith entered office last year with much fanfare: a Harvard professor and expert in innovation poached from the ivory tower. But his short tenure was complicated by controversies, most notably after the city’s slow response to a crippling snowstorm in December. At a raucous City Council hearing following the blizzard, he was the one dispatched by the mayor to deliver a personal apology and to acknowledge wide-ranging mistakes.
Still, Mr. Goldsmith managed to push through a series of changes to make government more efficient, by consolidating information technology and real estate operations and creating a Web site to allow city residents to submit cost-cutting ideas.
Mr. Goldsmith, who has been on leave from Harvard since joining city government last year, said he also planned to return to academic work.The New York Post is describing Goldsmith's
His departure is an earthquake that hit the administration," said one official outside the administration
"This is a very public admission that the core of the mayoral operations was not functioning. It's something people have said for a very long time."
The official said Goldsmith didn't leave of his own volition.
"Encouraged I think is the word somebody used to me," the official said.
The New York Daily News was even more critical of him:
Critics blasted him as clueless, claiming his compliment stood in stark contrast to the images of unplowed streets and stranded ambulances across the five boroughs.
"He was brought here a year ago to reinvent government and the only thing he's put his stamp on is two snowstorms," said one high-ranking City Hall source.
Though Goldsmith's handling of the blizzard - and the demeanor of some of his aides - rubbed some government insiders the wrong way, the deputy mayor defended his track record.Bloomberg obviously didn't know what the hell he was getting into when he hired Goldsmith. He clearly didn't do a background check that should have looked at his financial ties to companies looking to cash in on his city hall connections as he blatantly did after Ballard's election as Indianapolis mayor. Goldsmith didn't even bother to register as a lobbyist even though he was spending a lot of time on the 25th floor convincing the clueless Ballard to take actions to benefit his clients and screw over the taxpayers of this city. If the Justice Department's task force in Washington ever turned over a few of those stones, they may be surprised at what they discover.
UPDATE: Ouch! A New York Post headline today reads, "Mike cans blizzard botch aide." The story claims Goldsmith was "sacked" by Mayor Bloomgberg and was a "marked admission that Goldsmith was a bad choice." The New York Times says city hall aides complained that Goldsmith engaged in "conversations that divulged at times into convoluted academic discussions that resolved little" and that his decisions "proved problematic enough that they were overturned." Aides were also surprised that he continued to divide his time between New York and Washington and waited until a few months ago to buy a home in the city.