NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio announced several dozen more members of his transition team on Wednesday but has yet to make any appointments to his administration.
De Blasio, a Democrat, will take office Jan. 1. He has rarely been seen in public since his landslide victory earlier this month. But in remarks to reporters, he gave a brief glimpse into his methods of populating city government and revealed that he has interviewed three candidates to take over the nation's largest police department.
De Blasio said he met with Bill Bratton, a former NYPD commissioner under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani; Philip Banks, the department's top chief; and Rafael Pineiro, the department's first deputy commissioner.
The mayor-elect said he was impressed with all three but would not discuss the nature of their conversations. He had also consulted with Bratton during the campaign and said Wednesday he plans to meet with all three men again.
Both Bratton and Pineiro have taken the unusual steps of openly campaigning for the job.
"I make my decision based on looking at a candidate's records, getting to know them as individuals, looking for alignment on values, looking for the ability to communicate in shared vision," de Blasio said. "So whatever people choose to do publicly is their business. I'm going to make my decision based on my conversations."
De Blasio named 60 people to his transition committee, including several religious leaders, labor and social justice activists, members of the Dinkins and Bloomberg administrations, developers, criminal justice experts, corporate leaders and heads of nonprofits.
Several of his campaign's key supporters also made the list, including union leader George Gresham, former Clinton administration official Harold Ickes and "Sex and the City" actress Cynthia Nixon. De Blasio's wife, Chrilane McCray, was not listed but the mayor-elect has said she will be his "sounding board" on all potential hires.
When questioned about the lack of appointments to the administration, de Blasio preached patience.
"Have faith," he said, adding that he's encouraged by the large pool of strong candidates.
"There are a lot of high-quality people out there, there is no lack of talent," de Blasio said. "We feel great about where we stand on the timeline."
De Blasio spoke at "Taking Transition," a glitzy soaring temporary structure erected in lower Manhattan and funded by liberal philanthropist George Soros and 10 philanthropic foundations.
The 15,000-square-foot tent has a message wall where residents can post sticky notes and use computers to register their thoughts about the challenges facing the city. De Blasio, who was dismissive of the suggestion that his transition process has not been transparent, briefly toured the facility and said his team would review the input.