BY SAM SPOKONY | The longtime commissioner of the city’s Department of Small Business Services will soon leave office to start his new job as a college professor — but there’s still been no word from Mayor Bill de Blasio on who will replace him.
Commissioner Rob Walsh, who was appointed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2002, will officially vacate the post after his final day tomorrow, according to an S.B.S. official.
He generally received high marks in Lower Manhattan for his efforts to help small businesses recovering from the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.
Walsh is joining the faculty at Baruch College, where he will teach courses in urban economic development.
And amid de Blasio’s overall slow pace in making new agency appointments, it’s unclear who will be stepping in to take over at S.B.S, which, among things, oversees a vital loan and grant program for businesses recovering from the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
An S.B.S. official, speaking on the condition she not be named, said her agency still hasn’t heard anything from de Blasio’s office about a new appointment, and added that there’s been no explanation from the new mayor about what to do in the interim if a replacement isn’t announced tomorrow.
The official also said she wasn’t sure if de Blasio’s team is actually aware that tomorrow will be Walsh’s final day.
De Blasio’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
But speaking at a press conference today alongside new Police Commissioner William Bratton, the mayor said he’s generally comfortable with the pace of his transition efforts so far.
“In the first days of an administration a lot has to happen very quickly, but we’re very proud of the fact that everyone is at their station doing their work and everything is functioning smoothly,” de Blasio said.
With reporting by JOSH ROGERS