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D.C.’s Gray defends pace of transition
New aides named, but not top cop, schools chief
Defending the pace of his efforts to staff his incoming administration, D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray on Thursday announced a second round of appointments, but revealed no picks for key posts for city schools, the police department or other major agencies.
Saying he would not be rushed, Mr. Gray told reporters he is being a deliberate chief executive who wants to have the “best possible people” to help him lead the city.
So far, Mr. Gray’s nominees over the past two days are a group of familiar City Hall faces, including five of the seven appointments announced Thursday and two made on Wednesday.
Part of the portfolio for Ms. Jackson, who has worked as a government liaison for the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, will be to handle relations between the executive and the City Council and help the new mayor deal with a U.S. Congress, in which conservative Republicans will hold a much stronger hand next year.
“Fortunately, we have several congressmen who have served as mayors,” Ms. Jackson said. “They understand how cities work.”
• Eric Goulet, the D.C. Council’s budget chief, who will direct the mayor’s budget and finance office. Mr. Gray said he will again be leaning on Mr. Goulet as he constructs a balanced fiscal 2012 budget.
• Brain Flowers, the council’s general counsel, who will become general counsel to the mayor. The post has been a political hot button after Mr. Fenty elevated family friend Peter Nickles from general counsel to city attorney general. Mr. Gray said the legal lines of distinction for both positions are clear.
The general counsel “should deliver impartial opinions in the best interest of the government,” he said in announcing Mr. Flowers’ appointment.
As for the attorney general, a mayoral appointment that will become an elected position in 2014, Mr. Gray said: “I don’t want an attorney general who doesn’t think the client is the people of the District of Columbia.”
• Cynthia Brock-Smith, manager and keeper of operations and records for the Council, will head the D.C. Office of the Secretary, where she will have the same duties for the entire city government.
• Crystal Palmer, who for more than 20 years ran the Office of Motion Picture and TV Development, will resume that role in 2011. Ms. Palmer, wife of former Council member Harold Brazil, replaces Kathy Hollinger, who was brought in by Mr. Fenty in 2008.
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About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
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