By Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH’-zee-oh) is appointing the veteran mayoral aide who spearheaded the transformation of Times Square to lead the city’s planning commission.

Carl Weisbrod has worked for four previous mayors in more than 35 years of government service.

Weisbrod was president of the 42nd Street Development Project. It helped clean up the formerly crime-ridden Times Square into a safe tourist destination.

He also led the Alliance for Downtown New York as the area was rebuilt after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

De Blasio says the planning commission will focus on developing affordable housing.

Weisbroad was a co-chair of de Blasio’s transition team. But de Blasio says Weisbrod did not nominate himself for a position in the administration.

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