Bloomberg’s New/Old Man In Albany
Mayor Bloomberg announced today announced the appointment of Joseph N. Garba as director of the Mayor’s Office of State Legislative Affairs, which means he’ll be heading up the lobbying and communications effort on behalf of Hizzoner here in Albany.
Garba is not actually new to either the Bloomberg administration or the state Capitol.
He started working for the mayor in April 2010 and currently serves as a legislative representative in Albany. He has had a hand in negotiating several key items on Bloomberg’s Albany agenda in recent years, include raising the charter school cap, creating a new pension tier, expanding taxi service to the outer boroughs, giving the administration control of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governor’s Island and overhauling the juvenile justice system.
Garba will replace Wendy Saunders, who has served as acting director since April 2012 when Bloomberg’s previous Albany point man – Micah Lasher – departed to join the education reform advocacy group Students FirstNY.
Saunders will return to her post as assistant vice president of intergovernmental affairs for the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation.
“Joe has been a key part of a team that has delivered for our city time and again,” Bloomberg said. “…Joe has been a rising star in Albany, and his talent and passion will help us continue to advance the reforms and State legislation needed to build on the progress we have made in our city. I also want to thank Wendy Saunders for stepping up and leading the office for the last nine months – we didn’t miss a beat thanks to her hard work.”
Prior to joining the Bloomberg Administration, Garba served as deputy director of Governor’s Office of Taxpayer Accountability, which was created by former Gov. David Paterson, to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse in state government. He also worked in the Paterson administration as assistant secretary to the governor on state operations and staff secretary.
Garba was actually a holdover from the Spitzer administration, where he was deputy director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and before that, he worked for NYSUT.
Unlike Lasher and his predecessors, Garba is actually a resident of the Capital District (Rensselaer), which will likely assist him in what has traditionally been a difficult job as serving as the upstate face of a man who has not tried to hide his downright disdain for Albany and state government in general.
Bloomberg also has had a rocky relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, part of which is due to the inherent and historic tension between the NYC mayor and the governor of New York. But the fact that Bloomberg and Cuomo are both aggressive and headstrong executives who don’t suffer fools gladly and are used to getting their own way hasn’t helped the relationship, either.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on January 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm, and is filed under Downstate NY, Michael Bloomberg. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|