Earlier today Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named Anthony Shorris to the post of first deputy mayor. An experienced public official whose resume in city government extends back to the Koch administration, Shorris will be tasked with the day-to-day running of the city. His selection is seen as reassuring the city’s business establishment without alienating de Blasio’s progressive base.
As the Tri-State Transportation Campaign noted, Shorris has some transportation-related bullet points on his CV. In 2007, he was appointed to head the Port Authority, where he carried out Governor Eliot Spitzer’s agenda. In that capacity, he served on the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission, which crafted and approved the congestion pricing proposal that Albany legislators eventually rejected (contrary to the popular belief that it was all Michael Bloomberg’s idea). He was also a booster of expanding Stewart Airport in the Hudson Valley.
It wasn’t long before Spitzer was shamed out of office and David Paterson replaced Shorris with his own pick. In his relatively brief tenure, transit advocates say Shorris was an accessible agency chief — something that can’t be said for everyone who’s occupied the post.
While Shorris will certainly hold some sway over transportation and planning decisions, the full extent isn’t clear yet. Dana Rubinstein at Capital New York reports that “the police commissioner and education chancellor will take their orders directly from the mayor, but the majority of other commissioners and deputy mayors will report to Shorris.” Under Bloomberg, the posts with more direct influence on agencies like NYC DOT and the planning department were the deputy mayor for operations and the deputy mayor for economic development.