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July 13, 2017

This Week: Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced Kristina Rasmussen as his new Chief of Staff

On Tuesday, July 11, Oklahoma held two special elections to fill vacancies within the state’s legislature. In Senate District 44, Democratic candidate Michael Brooks-Jimenez won against Republican Joe Griffin. Brooks-Jimenez works as a mentor to students in Oklahoma City. In House District 75, Democrat Karen Gaddis won over Republican Tressa Nunley. Gaddis is a former teacher, and now the first Democrat to hold the District 75 seat since the early ‘90s.
 
This week Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced Kristina Rasmussen as his new Chief of Staff. Rasmussen previously was the president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Policy Institute. She also was the director of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union. Rasmussen’s predecessor, Richard Goldberg, served as Chief of Staff for Rauner since January 2016.
 
In Indiana, State Senator Luke Kenley announced this week that he would be retiring from the Indiana Senate effective September 30. Kenley has served as the District 20 Senator since 1992. Prior to his legislative career, Kenley spent time in the U.S. Army and served as a city court judge. His replacement in the legislature will be determined by representatives of the Republican Party in his district.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Joslyn Carter as the new Administrator for the Department of Homeless Services.  She previously served as Associate Commissioner of Family Intake with the department.  In a press release, Mayor de Blasio said, “Earlier this year, we announced a new borough-based approach to the shelter system designed to help homeless New Yorkers stay close to their support networks in order to get back on their feet and move out of shelter. Joslyn Carter has dedicated her life’s work to helping homeless New Yorkers, and I am confident that her leadership will further strengthen the agency.”
 
San Diego, CA – Mayor Kevin Faulconer appointed Aimee Faucett has his new Chief of Staff, effective July 17, 2017.  She replaces Stephen Puetz, who had served as the Mayor’s Chief of Staff since Faulconer took office in March 2014.  Faucett previously served as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and also served as Chief of staff to Faulconer when he was a City Council Member.  In a press release, Mayor Faulconer said, “I’m happy to welcome Aimee back to my staff. Her years of experience at City Hall, both in the Mayor’s Office and on the City Council floor, will allow her to hit the ground running."
 
 
Counties and Authorities: 

Anne Arundel County, MD – County Executive Steve Schuh appointed Phil Hager as the next County Planning and Zoning Officer. Hager, who has most recently served as Carroll County’s Legislative Liaison and Director of Legislative Affairs, is scheduled to start in his new role on July 31, 2017. In a press release, County Executive Schuh said, “I am excited Phil has agreed to bring his extensive planning experience to Anne Arundel County as we chart the course for the future.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2017

This Week: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made two appointments to his administration

Illinois Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno resigned from her seat as the state entered its third fiscal year without a comprehensive state budget. Radogno, who was elected to lead the caucus in 2009, was the first female caucus leader in Illinois General Assembly history. Senator Bill Brady was elected as the new Senate Republican Leader for the remainder of the legislative session. Radogno’s District 41 Senate seat will be filled by appointment from the Republican Party in her district.
 
Delaware Governor John Carney announced his appointment of Claire DeMatteis as a temporary special assistant to the governor at the Delaware Department of Correction. DeMatteis was previously a senior counsel to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden, as well as serving as general counsel for Affinity Health Plan Inc. Carney stated that DeMatteis will be focusing her efforts on reforming management practices and training, working together with Corrections Commissioner Perry Phelps. 
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner made two appointments to his administration.  Stephen Wright will serve as the new Director of Parks and Recreation, pending city council approval. He replaces Lisa Johnson, who has been serving as Interim Director since March 2017.  Turner also appointed Alan Bernstein as Communications Director, effective July 10, 2017. He replaces Darian Ward, who has been serving as Interim Communications Director since April 2017.  Bernstein previously served as a reporter and columnist for the Houston Chronicle.  In a press release, Mayor Sylvester said, “I am familiar with Alan’s work in media relations, strategic planning and team building. He will be a welcomed addition to lead our communications team.  We are counting on his ability to develop a comprehensive and effective communications strategy highlighting my administration’s efforts to move Houston forward.”
 
Fullerton, CA – The Fullerton City Council approved the appointment of Ken Domer as the new City Manager, effective July 24, 2017.  He replaces Allan Roeder who has been serving as Interim City Manager since January 2017.  Domer is a 25 year veteran of the public sector, current serving as Assistant City Manager in Huntington Beach, CA.  In a press release, Mayor Bruce Whitaker said, “Ken is very familiar with north Orange County and the challenges faced by mature, full service cities.  His wide ranging experience and a focus on high quality service delivery will be an asset to Fullerton.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Newly appointed Chairman of the Board Joseph Lhota started in his position this past week, taking over for Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer. Ferrer succeeded Thomas Prendergast, who retired earlier this year. Lhota, who was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and approved by the State House, had previously served as Chairman of the MTA from 2011-2012. “Joe Lhota is a tested and experienced leader with the proven track record needed to address the enormous challenges facing the nation’s largest mass transportation system," Governor Cuomo said in a press release when Lhota was first nominated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 29, 2017

This Week: California Department of Water Resources Acting Director William R. Croyle announced his retirement, effective July 1

This week, California Department of Water Resources Acting Director William R. Croyle announced his retirement, effective July 1. Croyle has worked at the Department of Water Resources for ten years, most recently serving as Deputy Director for Statewide Emergency Preparedness and Security. Croyle had planned to retire in January of this year. However, he delayed those plans when Governor Edmund Brown asked him to serve as Acting Director. Cindy Messer, currently the department’s Chief Deputy Director, will step up to be Acting Director on July 1 until a new director is appointed.
 
On Tuesday, June 27, Iowa held a special election to fill the vacant District 22 seat in their State House of Representatives. Republican nominee Jon Jacobsen won the special election with 44% of the vote.  Jacobsen, a former political radio show host, will serve the remainder of his predecessor’s term, and has already said he plans to run for reelection in 2018.
 
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced the selection of Beverly Walker to serve as the new Director of the Department of Children and Family Services. Walker previously served as the Commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Human Resources, as well as working in the Illinois Department of Human Services. Walker’s predecessor, George Sheldon, resigned on May 31 to take a position with a nonprofit organization in Florida.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Rapid City, SD – The city held a runoff election for the open Ward 5 City Council seat. Laura Armstrong defeated Ron Sasso and will be sworn into office on July 3, 2017.  In a report, Armstrong said, “I impressed upon the voters the importance of exercising their right to vote and told them how important it was for the benefit of this city to get out and vote so the best person could win.”
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction resigned, effective June 30, 2017.  He has served as Commissioner since 2014.  In a press release, the Mayor said, “I deeply appreciate Feniosky Peña-Mora’s extraordinary service to New York City. From his work awarding nearly $1.2 billion in M/WBE contracts, to instituting wide reforms that have already made the agency more responsive, to improving our response to Hurricane Sandy, he made our City a better place.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Port of New Orleans – The Port Board of Commissioners elected new leadership, with Robert Barkerding serving as Board Chairman and Laney Chouest as Vice Chairman for the coming year. In a press release, Barkerding said, “The Port of New Orleans is one of our region’s largest economic engines and an emerging leader in the global transportation industry.  I am excited to work with the Board, staff, and all stakeholders and I look forward to leading the Port as it reaches its maximum potential.”
 
Erie County, NY – Erie Community College selected its next President, Dr. Daniel Hocoy. Hocoy will take over after current President Jack Quinn retires on June 30, 2017. In a press release, Board of Trustees Chairman Dennis Murphy said, “We at Erie Community College are excited to welcome Dr. Hocoy as the 11th president in our community college’s history. Our leadership endured a comprehensive search to find the right candidate, one that could lead our faculty, staff and students forward. We believe Dr. Hocoy is this candidate, and we’re very confident that he’ll provide the direction we need to solidify our role as an indispensable higher education entity for Western New York.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

June 22, 2017

This Week: Former City Council Member Anthony Williams was elected Mayor of Abilene, Texas

On Tuesday, June 20, South Carolina held two special elections to fill vacancies within the state’s House of Representatives. In House District 48, Republican candidate Bruce Bryant won against Democratic candidate Bebs Barron Chorak. Bryant was the York County Sheriff for twenty years. The seat was previously occupied by Ralph Norman, who resigned the position to run for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District seat. In District 70, Democratic candidate Wendy Brawley won against Republican candidate Bill Strickland. Brawley is chief executive of IMARA Woman magazine. The seat was previously held by Joe Neal, who passed away earlier this year after holding the seat for 25 years.
 
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced that Henry Darwin, Chief of Operations at the Office of the Governor, would be departing. Darwin was selected to serve as Chief of Operations for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. Darwin has been in the Office of the Governor since 2015, and had previously served as Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. In a statement, Governor Ducey said “Henry has been an exceptional leader who has spearheaded our efforts to create a more efficient, responsive, and effective government. I’m glad to see him take that talent to the federal level.”
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Abilene, TX – Former City Council Member Anthony Williams was elected Mayor in a runoff election held June 17.  Williams replaces Norm Archibald, who chose not to run in the election.  Williams will be sworn into office on June 26, 2017.  In a report, Williams said, “They said that we couldn’t do it.  In fact, they said we wouldn’t do it. They said it wasn’t our turn. You know what? It’s Abilene’s turn.”
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti announced some changes in his administration.  Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Raymond Chan will retire effective June 30, 2017.  William Chun will replace Chan as Deputy Mayor.  The mayor also appointed Miguel Salumbides Sangalang as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation.  He replaces Matt Szabo, who was appointed Garcetti’s Deputy Chief of Staff earlier this year.  In a press release, Mayor Garcetti said, “Our economy has made incredible progress over the last four years, and William has the experience and dedication to help us keep that momentum going.  William knows how business is done in this city — he's a strong leader, and I’m proud to name him my next Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
DeKalb County, GA  – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal placed DeKalb County Sheriff Jeff Mann on forty days’ leave while he is investigated for alleged misconduct, and released an executive order to that effect. Ruth Stringer has been appointed Acting Sheriff during this period.
 
Cook County, IL – County Commissioner Robert Steele passed away suddenly this week. Steele, who had served on the Board of County Commissioners since 2006, also served on the board of the National Association of County Officials. In a press release, County President Toni Preckwinkle said, “His contributions to the board were many. He was President Pro-Tempore of the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the Forest Preserve District Board. He served as chairman of the Environmental Control Committee and the Contract Compliance Committee and as vice chairman of the Health and Hospitals Committee. Robert was a lifelong Chicagoan and he cared deeply about his community of North Lawndale.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 15, 2017

This Week: Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter has selected Lt. Col. Jeffery Weak to become the state's first Director of Information Security

On Tuesday June 13, Virginia held its primary elections for Governor. Lieutenant Governor Ralph S. Northam won out over former Congressman Tom Perriello, winning the Democratic nomination with 56 percent of the vote. Northam has served as Governor Terry McAuliffe’s Lieutenant Governor for four years.  The Republican nominee is Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee. He faced off against two other challengers and won with 44 percent of the vote. Current Governor Terry McAuliffe was unable to run in this election due to term limits. The Lieutenant Governor primary winners are Justin Fairfax for the Democratic Party and Jill Vogel for the Republican Party.
 
Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has selected Lt. Col. Jeffery Weak to become the state’s first Director of Information Security. Weak is retiring from the United States Air Force after a twenty year career in Air Force information technology and cybersecurity. In a statement, Governor Otter said “With his impressive experience and proven leadership abilities, Colonel Weak brings tremendous assets to this new role.” This new position is part of the newly formed Idaho Office of Information Security that will open July 1, 2017. Weak will assume his new position August 1. 
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
San Antonio, TX – Current City Council Member Ron Nirenberg defeated incumbent Ivy Taylor in the runoff election for Mayor of San Antonio.  Taylor has been serving as Mayor since 2014. Nirenberg will be sworn in on June 21, 2017.  In a report Mayor-elect Nirenberg said, “Tonight, the voters got it right — on a lot of things. Tonight, the voters rejected the politics of division and false choices.  And they said yes to a bigger and brighter vision of inclusion, of diversity, of fairness, or respecting each and every person in San Antonio, no matter if you live on the North Side, the South Side, the East Side, the West Side or any place in between. Tonight, the voters said yes to a mayor for all of San Antonio.”
 
San Francisco, CA – Mayor Ed Lee appointed Lind Gerull as the new Director of the Department of Technology and Chief Information Officer, effective July 17, 2017.  She replaces Ken Bukowski who has been serving as Acting CIO since November 2016.  In a press release, Mayor Lee said, “Linda’s unique combination of public and private sector experience will help the Department of Technology continue to strengthen its services and the City’s overall IT infrastructure.  I especially welcome Linda’s proven track record of delivering technology solutions which improve government services.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Riverside County, CA – George Johnson stepped into the role of County Executive Officer this week, after being appointed to the position by the County Board of Supervisors in May. Johnson most recently served as Chief Assistant Executive Officer for the County. In a press release, County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Tavaglione said of Johnson, “We couldn’t have picked a better man. George knows the organization well and brings stability as we work to transform county operations during difficult financial times. I could not be happier with his selection.”
 
Alameda County, CA – The County Board of Supervisors appointed Joseph Angelo as Director of Human Resource Services for the County, starting July 3, 2017. The current Interim Director, Kathy Mount, announced she will resign on June 30. In a press release, Board of Supervisors President Wilma Chan said that, “The County extends its sincere thanks to Kathy Mount for her service and a warm welcome to Joe as he assumes this key executive leadership position.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1, 2017

This Week: San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee appointed Jason Elliot as his new Chief of Staff

On Thursday, May 25, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced Adam Gregg would serve as acting Lieutenant Governor for the state. The appointment came after several days of legal debate as to whether or not Governor Reynolds had the power to name a new Lieutenant Governor. To avoid a legal challenge, Reynolds specified that Gregg’s new position would be as “acting Lieutenant Governor.” This allows him to serve in the office, but exempts him from the line of succession, should Reynolds need to leave her position as Governor before her term expires in January 2019. Adam Gregg is a Republican attorney who previously served as State Public Defender since 2014.
 
Governor Chris Christie announced that Jared Maples will become the new Acting Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP), effective June 5th. Maples is currently serving as the OHSP’s Director of Administration. Before joining the OHSP, Maples spent over a decade working in a variety of roles for the CIA. The current Director of the OHSP, Christopher Rodriguez, is stepping down for a role in the private sector. He has served as the OHSP Director since 2014. 
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
San Francisco, CA - Mayor Edwin Lee appointed Jason Elliott as his new Chief of Staff.  He replaces Steve Kawa, who is retiring on June 30, 2017.  Elliott has served Mayor Lee as Deputy Chief of Staff since 2014.  In a press release, Mayor Lee said, “Jason has worked closely with me since I became Mayor in 2011.  There is no person better prepared and better trained to bring continuity and steady progress toward my priorities. He is a tireless worker and an effective communicator, and I know that he will bring a determined enthusiasm and commitment to this position every day.”
 
Oakland, CA – Erica Terry Derryck left Mayor Libby Schaaf’s staff, where she had been serving as Communications Director since January 2015.  She accepted the position of Communications Director at Mozilla.  Special Assistant to the Mayor Michael Hunt is handling all communications in the Mayor’s office.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District – Carlos Rojas was sworn in as Chief of Police for the Transit District this week. Rojas most recently served as Chief of Police for the Santa Ana Police Department. In a press release, Rojas said, “It will be critical for us to continue offering one of the best training programs for officers in California. De-escalation, cultural competence and fair and impartial policing are all important concepts of law enforcement in the 21st century.”
  
Calcasieu Parish, LA – Dr. Charles Mackey was sworn in as interim District 5 Police Juror this week afterPolice Juror Nicholas E. Hunter resigned the position to serve as Mayor of the City of Lake Charles. Mackey, who has previously held the seat for over a quarter of a century, will serve until the seat can be permanently filled by a special election on October 14, 2017. In a press release, Dr. Mackey said, “I love being on the jury. It’s a first-class program. It’s always had, what I consider, an excellent administration.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 25, 2017

This Week: Mayor Eric Garcetti hired Charles Small as his Federal Affairs Liaison in Washington, DC

On Monday, May 22, Governor Terry Branstad announced he would be stepping down from his position as Governor of Iowa to become the U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Branstad served two stints as Governor, the first from 1983 to 1999, and the second from 2011 to 2017. The transition took place on Wednesday, May 24, when Kim Reynolds became Iowa’s 43rd Governor. Reynolds was a State Senator from 2009 to 2010, and became Lieutenant Governor in 2011. Per Iowa’s Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is first in the line of succession should the Governor leave office. Reynolds is the first woman to serve as Governor in Iowa’s history. She is expected to name a new Lieutenant Governor for the state by the end of the week.
 
On Tuesday, New Hampshire held two special elections to fill vacancies in their House of Representatives. Democrat Edith DesMarais won the Carroll County District 6 seat in a surprise turnover. DesMarais is the first ever Democrat to be elected to that seat. In Hillsborough County District 44, Republican Mark McLean was elected. He previously served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives representing Hillsborough District 15 from 2014 to 2016.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti hired Charles Small as his Federal Affairs Liaison in Washington, DC.  He previously served as Associate Director of Federal Affairs for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Small also worked as a Congressional Affairs Specialist in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama Administration.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Polk County, FL  – County Manager Jim Freeman selected Ryan Taylor as Assistant County Manager this week. Taylor, who recently oversaw the establishment of the Polk Regional Water Cooperative, will start on June 26, once he is confirmed by the Board of County Commissioners. In a press release, Freeman said, “I am pleased to appoint Ryan to this important leadership position. He had earned the respect of city officials throughout Polk County, which will be valuable as the county and city partners continue our work on issues important to Polk County’s future quality of life and economic vitality.”
 
Hillsborough County, FLSheriff David Gee announced this week that he plans to retire in September after 40 years in law enforcement. In a statement, State Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “For nearly four decades, Sheriff David Gee has served the citizens of Hillsborough County with humility, integrity and selflessness—sacrificing so much to protect the community we love. His dedication has earned him the reputation of being one of the hardest working, trustworthy and respected leaders in Florida. To this day, Sheriff Gee will still stop to assist a stranded motorist, or go out of his way help anyone in need. He is known for his soft-spoken, strong leadership and genuine compassion for the people he has sworn to protect. His career exemplifies what it means to be a servant-leader.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

May 18, 2017

This Week: Georgia Republican Kay Kirkpatrick was elected to fill the vacant District 32 State Senate seat

On Tuesday, May 16, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced the appointment of Ken Schnoll as General Counsel for the California Department of Insurance. Scholl comes from Dentons US LLP, where he was a partner focusing on insurance regulation and health care practices. In a statement, Scholl said, “I'm looking forward to joining Commissioner Jones and his team to take on the tough issues facing California's insurance market.” Previously the position was held by John Finston, who left the Department to return to private practice. 
 
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey appointed Vernon Barnett to serve as Commissioner for the state’s Department of Revenue, the fifth change to the Governor’s cabinet since she took office in April. Barnett previously served as Executive Counsel for the Department of Environmental Management, and has also held positions within the Department of Corrections and the Attorney General’s Office. Barnett will officially start on May 22. His predecessor, Julie Magee, resigned on May 5.
 
On Tuesday, Georgia Republican Kay Kirkpatrick was elected to fill the vacant District 32 State Senate seat in a run-off special election. Kirkpatrick is an orthopedic surgeon, having earned her medical degree from the University of Louisville. The date when Kirkpatrick will be sworn-in has not yet been determined.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Chicago, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel made several changes in his administration this week.  Randy Conner was appointed as the new Commissioner of the Department of Water Management, replacing Barrett Murphy, who is resigning.  Conner, currently serving as First Deputy Commissioner with Chicago’s Department of Transportation, will start on June 3, 2017, pending City Council approval.  In a press release, Mayor Emanuel said, “Randy Conner’s extensive track record of experience strengthening City infrastructure and improving City services for residents will allow him to hit the ground running at the Department of Water Management.”  The Mayor also announced Samantha Fields as the new Budget Director, pending City Council approval.  She replaces Alexandra Holt who served as Budget Director for six years.  Fields currently serves as Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.  Rosa Escareno replaces Holt at the Business Affairs Department.  In a press release, Mayor Emanuel said, “I am grateful for Alex Holt’s exemplary service to the City of Chicago. Alex has been an invaluable and thoughtful partner in reducing the City’s budget deficit, eliminating the bad financial practices of the past, putting our pension funds on the path to solvency and creating a strong, sustainable future for the City of Chicago.  I know that Samantha Fields will build on Alex’s record of results as Chicago continues on the path of fiscal reform. Likewise, Rosa Escareno has proven that she will be a strong advocate for Chicago’s consumers and small businesses in her new role as BACP Commissioner.”
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council approved C.J. Messiah as the permanent Director of the General Services Department.  Messiah had been serving as Interim Director since November 2016.  He is a 23 year veteran of the Houston Police Department as well as serving in the U.S. Air Force.  In a press release, Mayor Turner said, “I have had the pleasure of working with C.J. over the last year.  He is a man of his word and knows how to get the job done, and I am confident in his ability to lead this Department. I look forward to working with C.J. and the great City employees that work in the General Services Department to ensure that the lights come on in our buildings and that our facilities are clean, well-maintained and secure.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
San Diego Unified Port District  –  Port Commissioner Bob Nelson resigned from his position this week, citing conflicts of interest with his business interests. Nelson, who has been on the board since 2011, represented the City of San Diego. In a press release, Port Chairman Robert Valderrama said, “I have been honored to work with Commissioner Nelson and benefit from his passion for public service, his deep appreciation for the people and businesses of the Port, and his reverence for the Port’s stewardship of the waterfront on behalf of the People of California.”
 
Riverside County, CA – V. Manuel Perez was sworn in as a new County Supervisor Friday. Perez, who was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown, fills the vacancy left by the death of Supervisor John Benoit this past December. Perez will finish out Benoit’s term, which lasts through 2018. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 11, 2017

This Week: State Representative Joe Souki resigned from his position as Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives

On Friday, May 5, Governor Kay Ivey appointed Kenneth Boswell to serve as the next Director of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Boswell resigned from his position as Mayor of Enterprise, Alabama, which he had held since 2003. He will begin his new position within state government on May 15, 2017.
 
State Representative Joe Souki resigned from his position as Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives on Thursday, May 4. Souki, 84, cited the failure of the Hawaii Senate and House to reach an agreement over funding for Honolulu’s rail transit as a reason for stepping down. Souki had served as Speaker since 2013, and he previously held the same position from 1993 through 1999. In a vote held later in the day, Majority Leader Scott Saiki was elected to serve as the chamber’s new Speaker. Saiki has represented District 26 since 1996.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Escondido, CAChris Vogt is the new Fire Chief in Escondido.  He replaces Russ Knowles, who retired after serving as chief for less than a year.  Vogt is a 30 year veteran of fire service, serving in several California fire departments before being promoted to Deputy Chief of Operations in Escondido in 2016.  In a press release, Interim City Manager Jeff Epp says, “Chief Vogt is the ideal candidate to continue the traditions of excellence, efficiency, integrity and outstanding public service that characterize the Escondido Fire Department.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Lake County, FL – The Lake County Board of Commissioners announced that Jeff Cole will be the next County Manager, effective June 3, 2017, when current County Manager David Heath retires. Cole first came to Lake County in January 2016 and has served as Director of Public Resources since. In a press release, Vice Chairman of the County Commissioners Leslie Campione said of Cole, “His past experience, his education, his demeanor, his presence, his ability to adapt – I think that’s a critical part of this job – his appreciation for and attention to service, I have seen that firsthand.”
 
Howard County, MD – Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Renee Foose retired this week with three years left on her four year contract. Michael Martirano, who recently served as Superintendent of St. Mary's County Schools, was immediately appointed Acting Superintendent.  In a press release, Board of Education Chairman Cynthia Vaillancourt said, “The Board of Education of Howard County wishes to express its appreciation to Dr. Renee Foose for her commitment and service to the Howard County Public School System. During her tenure, Howard County was consistently ranked the top school system in the state and one of the top systems in the country.  We are grateful for her leadership.  The Board has appointed Dr. Martirano as Acting Superintendent until the search is completed for a new Superintendent.  The Board remains committed to maintaining the tradition of excellence in public education in Howard County.”

 

 

 

 

 

May 4, 2017

This Week: New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu nominated Charlie Arlinghaus to be Commissioner of the state's Department of Administrative Services

Two former U.S. Representatives officially announced this week that they are running to become Florida’s next Governor. Current Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam announced his campaign for the Republican nomination on Monday, May 1. Putnam represented District 12 in the U.S. House from 2001 to 2011. Democrat Gwen Graham, who represented District 2 in the U.S. House from 2015 to 2017, announced her candidacy on Tuesday, May 2. In an early morning tweet, Graham wrote, “My love for Florida runs deep – but my patience for inaction has run out. That is why I’m running for governor.” Graham is the daughter of former Florida Governor, U.S. Senator, and presidential candidate Robert Graham.  Current Republican Governor Rick Scott is term-limited, and has announced he will challenge U.S. Senator Bill Nelson in 2018. The two candidates will join Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and attorney Chris King, who announced their campaigns for the Democratic nomination earlier this year.
 
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu nominated Charlie Arlinghaus to be Commissioner of the state’s Department of Administrative Services. Arlinghaus has served as Budget Director in the Office of the Governor since Chris Sununu was sworn in last January. Gov. Sununu said in a statement, “Charlie has a deep knowledge and understanding of the budget and state agencies.” If confirmed by the Executive Council, he will replace Vicki Quiram, who will resign from office on May 12.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Baltimore, MDTisha Edwards, Mayor Catherine Pugh’s Chief of Staff, announced that she will resign effective June 1, 2017.  Edwards has served as Chief of staff since Pugh was sworn into office in January 2017.  She has accepted a position as President of BridgeEDU, an educational technology company.  In a press release, Mayor Pugh says, “Having known Tisha as the Chief of Staff and Interim CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools and working alongside her this past year, she has demonstrated strong leadership qualities and a passion for children that has prepared her for the position of President of BridgeEDU.”
 
Elizabeth, NJJohn Brennan is the new Chief of Police in Elizabeth. He replaces Patrick Shannon, who retired in December 2016.  Brennan is a 34 year veteran of the police department, most recently serving as Deputy Chief since 2012.  In a press release, Mayor Bollwage said, “In his many years with the department, Chief Brennan has proven a dedication to the Elizabeth community and a commitment to ensuring the safety of all residents, businesses and visitors.  He possesses the right combination of law enforcement skills and leadership ability to move the department forward. I extend my best wishes for continued success in this new role.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Fairfax County, VA – This week, Fairfax County Executive Ed Long announced plans to retire in September 2017. In the coming months, the County Board of Supervisors will conduct a national search for his replacement. In a press release, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova said, “Ed Long has done great work for this county, both during his time as director of Management and Budget and as county executive. He has balanced very difficult budgets for our board to consider and has served as a transformational leader and manager within Fairfax County Government.  I feel extremely fortunate to have worked alongside Ed for many years and will miss him in retirement!”
 
Sedgwick County, KS – Dr. Jeff Ettling was named the next Executive Director of the Sedgwick County Zoo this week. Ettling, who most recently served as Curator of Herpetology for the St. Louis Zoo, will start in the position on May 22. Mark DeVries, President of the Sedgwick County Zoological Society Board of Trustees, said in a press release, “We’re excited to welcome Jeff back to Sedgwick County Zoo as executive director. His decades of experience in curator and zoo management positions, including animal husbandry, safety, budget development and oversight, strategic planning and more will guide the Sedgwick Country Zoo to our next successful era.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 27, 2017

This Week: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of Maria Comella to serve as his new Chief of Staff

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of Maria Comella to serve as his new Chief of Staff.  Comella has an impressive resume working for nationally-known Republicans. She served on the presidential campaigns of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and most recently Chris Christie. The hiring suggests that Gov. Cuomo is gearing up for a presidential run of his own and one targeting the centrist wing of the Democratic Party.  Comella is replacing Melissa DeRosa, who now serves as Secretary to the Governor.
 
Two special elections were held in the Connecticut House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 25. Joshua Hall, a member of the Working Families Party, defeated Democrat Rickey Pinckney to win the race in District 7 representing northern Hartford. Republican Joe Polletta defeated Democrat Louis Esposito by a margin of 78 percent to 22 percent in District 68. The special elections were called to replace members Douglas McCrory and Eric Berthel, who were elected to the Connecticut Senate on February 28.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Berkeley, CAAndrew Greenwood was sworn in as the city’s new Police Chief.  He previously served as Interim Police Chief since August 2016, replacing Michael Meehan who resigned.  In a report, Chief Greenwood said, “The highlight of the ceremony was being able to talk to our people directly but in public, to commend them and thank them for their work.  It was really a wonderful event.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
San Luis Obispo County, CA – Marvin Rose was named Interim Planning and Building Director, as the County launches a national search for a permanent replacement. He replaces James Bergman, who resigned last week to take on the role of City Manager in Arroyo Grande, CA. In a press release, County Administrative Officer Dan Buckshi said, “We will begin actively recruiting for this position very soon and expect to make a hiring decision by August at the latest. Mr. Rose did a fantastic job for us as the Interim Central Services Director. We are glad to have him on board to oversee Planning and Building Department operations while we conduct our search.”
 
Will County, IL – Debbie Militello was sworn in as a member of the Will County Board, representing the Sixth District. Militello will finish out the term of Ragan Freitag, who resigned to serve as Chief of Staff to the County Board.  In a press release, Democratic minority leader Herb Brooks said, “Debbie has a wealth of knowledge that will serve the constituents of District 6, and Will County, very well. I look forward to working with her in the months to come."

 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2017

This Week: New York, Kansas, and Alabama Governors Made Appointments

On Monday, April 17, 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of Melissa DeRosa as Secretary to the Governor. DeRosa succeeds William Mulrow, who left the Office of the Governor to serve as Chair of the Andrew Cuomo for Governor reelection campaign. The position of Secretary to the Governor is the second most powerful in the Executive Chamber following the Governor. DeRosa is the first woman to hold this position. She has worked in Gov. Cuomo’s office since 2013, holding the positions of Communications Director and Chief of Staff. DeRosa also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Attorney Eric Schneiderman from 2011 to 2013.
 
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced the appointment of Jake LaTurner to serve as State Treasurer. LaTurner will replace Ron Estes, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in a special election held on April 11. LaTurner is currently representing District 13 in the Kansas Senate as a Republican. He also served as Constituent Services Representative in the Office of U.S. Representative Lynn Jenkins before getting elected to the state legislature. In a statement, Gov. Brownback said, “Jake LaTurner is a dedicated public servant with a keen intellect who will serve the people of Kansas well.”
 
New Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced key members of her immediate staff this week after she ascended to office following the resignation of Robert Bentley. Steve Pelham will serve as Chief of Staff to the Governor, after being Chief of Staff to then-Lieutenant Governor Ivey since 2011. Veteran reporter Eileen Jones will serve as Ivey’s Press Secretary. Former State Senator Bryan Taylor will serve as Chief Counsel to the Governor.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Long Beach, CA – The Port of Long Beach hired Mario Cordero as Executive Director, effective mid-May 2017.  He is a member of the Federal Maritime Commission, also having served as the Commission’s Chairman.  Cordero replaces Duane Kengay, who has been serving as Interim Executive Director since late 2016.  In a press release, Harbor Commission Chairman Lori Ann Guzmán said, “Mario not only has a deep understanding of the maritime industry from his leadership of the Federal Maritime Commission, but his service as a member of the Long Beach Harbor Commission gives him extensive knowledge of the needs of our carriers, terminal operators, cargo owners, and other trade partners. Mario approaches challenges from a bipartisan, collaborative perspective and as we seek to keep our port thriving, his combination of national and local experience is well-suited to carry us into the future.”
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Alex Comisar as his new Press Secretary.  He replaces Carl Marziali, who left for a position with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Comisar has been working with the Mayor’s communications team since 2015.  In a press release, Mayor Garcetti said, “Alex’s irrepressible work ethic and range of experience have been valuable assets to my administration.  I know that he will do an excellent job of communicating my agenda with the media and people of Los Angeles.”
 
Counties and Authorities:
Macomb County, MI – Director of Health and Community Services Steve Gold announced he will be retiring on May 5, 2017. Rhonda Powell, who is currently Director of Macomb Community Action, will succeed him. In a press release, County Executive Mark Hackel said of the transition, “Steve is a kind, caring and compassionate man with the intellectual ability to know what programs to implement to best serve our residents and positively impact their quality of life. He will be greatly missed. People like Steve are hard to find, but I am confident Rhonda will use her expertise to continue this tradition.”
 
Norfolk County, MA – Massachusetts State Senator James Timilty will resign his position to serveas Treasurer for the County of Norfolk effective May 2, 2017. In a statement, Timilty said, “I am excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve as Norfolk County Treasurer. I firmly believe my experience both in the County and in the State Senate have prepared me for the position and I look forward to continuing my work for the people of Norfolk County.”

 

 

 

 

  

April 13, 2017

This Week: Alabama Governor Robert Bentley resigned from office and Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey was sworn in as the state's newest governor

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley resigned from office on the afternoon of Monday, April 10, 2017, and Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey was sworn in as the state’s newest governor. Bentley has been embroiled in a scandal for more than a year after it was revealed he had an inappropriate relationship with a member of his staff and used state funds to facilitate the affair. Bentley’s resignation was part of a plea deal to avoid serving jail time and a likely impeachment. Bentley, a Republican, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, will serve a year of probation, and can never hold public office again. Kay Ivey had served as Lieutenant Governor since 2011, and was previously State Treasurer from 2003 to 2011. Ivey is the second woman to serve as Governor in Alabama’s history; Democrat Lurleen Wallace, the wife of four-term governor George Wallace, was elected Governor in 1966 and served until her death in 1968.
 
The New Hampshire Executive Council unanimously confirmed Gordon MacDonald to serve as Attorney General on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Each member of the five-member council, consisting of three Republicans and two Democrats, publicly praised MacDonald, who was nominated by Republican Governor Chris Sununu in March. MacDonald will be sworn in on Thursday, April 13. He succeeds Joseph Foster, a nominee of former Governor Maggie Hassan, who resigned on March 31 after serving as Attorney General for four years.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Springfield, MOKen McClure was sworn in as the new Mayor of Springfield.  He replaced Bob Stephens, who served as Mayor since May 2012.  McClure is a former member of the Springfield City Council where he served as Mayor Pro Tem since 2015.  In a press release, Mayor McClure said, “We have a real opportunity now to move our city forward in the right direction in the right way. We’ll take the time and we will exert the effort that we need to chart the course that’s transparent, strategically planned and do it in the right way.”
 
St. Louis, MOLyda Krewson was elected Mayor of St. Louis, effective April 18, 2017.  She replaces Francis Slay who did not run for another term as Mayor.  Slay served as Mayor since 2001.  Krewson has represented Ward 28 on the St. Louis Board of Aldermen since 1997.  
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Prince William County, VA – The Board of County Supervisors selected Robert Mancini as the County’s next Chief Information Officer. Mancini, who most recently served as Chief Information Officer for Lexington Technology, takes over for Tom McQuillan, who retired in February. In a press release, Mancini said, “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to return to public service. I want to thank the Board of County Supervisors and reinforce my commitment to deliver innovative technology-based strategies and solutions that will best serve Prince William County."
 
Adams County, CO – County Manager Todd Leopold resigned this week after four years in the position. Deputy County Manager for Operations Ray Gonzales will serve as Interim County Manager, until a replacement can be found. In a press release, County Commissioner Eva Henry said, “Under Todd’s leadership, the county improved service delivery to residents while identifying operational efficiencies within the organization. We are grateful for the dedication and passion that Todd brought to the county and wish him well moving forward."  

 

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2017

This Week: Ohio Governor John Kasich named Jillian Froment as the new Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance

Ohio Governor John Kasich named Jillian Froment as the new Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance on Friday, March 31, 2017. Froment had served as Deputy Director of the agency since 2011. Froment replaces Mary Taylor, who announced her candidacy for governor in February. In a statement, Gov. Kasich said, “Jillian has worked closely with Mary since the beginning of the Administration and has a deep knowledge of the insurance industry and the Department and I am confident that she will be able to continue Mary’s record of steady, professional management.” Taylor had been serving as both Lieutenant Governor and Director of the Department of Insurance since January 10, 2011. She will continue to serve as Lieutenant Governor until her term expires in January 2019.
 
On March 29, 2017, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin named former State Senator Clark Jolley to serve on the Oklahoma Tax Commission. Jolley is succeeding Dawn Cash, who resigned earlier in the month. Jolley served in the Senate as a Republican representing District 41 from 2004 to 2016. In a statement, Gov. Fallin praised Jolley, saying, “Clark will work to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, both in government agencies and as it relates to the state’s many tax credits and economic incentives.” If confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate, Jolley will serve a term set to expire on January 10, 2023.
 
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper appointed Air Force Major General Michael A. Loh to serve as Adjutant General of the state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Loh is replacing Major General H. Michael Edwards, who retired on March 31, 2017. Maj. Gen. Loh’s most recent assignment was serving as Mobilization Assistant to the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. His appointment is effective April 10, 2017.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
San Francisco, CA – The Board of Directors of the San Francisco Unified School District appointed Vincent Matthews as the new Superintendent of Schools, effective May 1, 2017.  Matthews replaces Myong Leigh, who has been serving as Interim Superintendent since September 2016.  Matthews comes to San Francisco from the Inglewood, CA Unified School District, where he is serving as the appointed State Trustee for the school system.  In a press release, Mayor Ed Lee says, “I am pleased to welcome Dr. Vincent Matthews as the new Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.  Dr. Matthews is an accomplished educator with an impressive history of bringing positive changes to various educational institutions, and he has shown a dedicated and tireless approach to improving the lives of the many students he has taught over the years. We know that he will work productively with Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh to develop a seamless transition at the SFUSD.”
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner hired Marvalette Hunter as his new Chief of Staff.  Hunter previously served as Chief Operating Officer with the Harris County Housing Authority, and as Project Manager with the Houston Planning and Development Department.  In a press release, Mayor Turner said, “I have worked with Marvalette for many years.  She is a go getter with a unique combination of experience in both the public and private sectors that will serve the city and my administration well.  I am pleased to have her on my team and look forward to working with her as we continue to create a tomorrow for Houston that is better than today.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
King County, WA – King County Library System Director Gary Wasdin resigned suddenly this week, following a conduct investigation. No replacement has been named. In a press release, Library Board of Trustees President Jim Wigfall said, “When it came to our attention that Mr. Wasdin violated KCLS’ code of conduct, the Board took immediate action. Mr. Wasdin has chosen to resign his position effective immediately, and the Board fully agrees with this decision.”
 
Burlington County, NJ – Scott Coffina was sworn in as County Prosecutor this week, having been appointed to the position by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Coffina was most recently Senior Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor, and previously served as Assistant United States Attorney. In a press release, Coffina said, “To county residents, I pledge to do everything within my power to make our streets and communities safe for your families. To the municipal police chiefs and officers on the beat, I look forward to becoming familiar with the operations of your departments and working together for the betterment of Burlington County.”

 

 

 

 

 

March 30, 2017

This Week: New Hampshire State Representative Steve Vaillancourt passed away on Monday, March 27th

U.S. Representative Tim Walz announced his candidacy for Governor of Minnesota on Monday, March 27. Walz will join a crowded Democratic primary that already includes State Representative Erin Murphy, State Auditor Rebecca Otto, and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. Each of the candidates is running to replace outgoing Governor Mark Dayton, who decided not to run for reelection to a third term in office.
 
The former Minority Leader in the Hawaii House of Representatives announced she is leaving the Republican Party to seek membership in the Democratic Party. Beth Fukumoto issued a statement on March 22, 2017 citing concerns with President Trump’s “unabashed prejudices” as a reason for her decision. She also wrote, “No matter how many walls are build and travel bans enacted, America’s demographics will keep changing, and the Republican Party can’t keep marginalizing voices like mine and the people that care about what I’m saying.” Fukumoto was ousted from her position as Minority Leader by fellow Republicans after speaking at the Honolulu Women’s March event the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
 
New Hampshire State Representative Steve Vaillancourt passed away on Monday, March 27. Vaillancourt was a Republican who represented the Hillsborough-15 District in three separate stints. In a statement, Governor Chris Sununu wrote, “I knew Steve and had deep respect for his commitment to fight for what he believed in and doing what was right for the people of Manchester and for all of New Hampshire.” Vaillancourt was 65 years old.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed David Reiss and Hilary Botein to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, filling two vacancies.  Reiss is the founding director of the Community Development Clinic and Botein is an associate Professor at Baruch College.  In a press release, Mayor de Blasio said, “Professors Reiss and Botein are experts in real estate law and urban policy planning and will serve New Yorkers fairly as they work to strike the right balance on any rent adjustments.  I am honored to have them accept these positions on the Rent Guidelines Board as we work to make this City more just and more equitable.”
 
Anacortes, CA – John Small was promoted to as Chief of Police, effective April 1, 2017.  Small started with the department in 1993 and has been serving as Administrative Captain since 2008.  He replaces Bonnie Bowers, who is retiring after serving as Chief of Police since 2008.  In a press release, Mayor Laurie Gere said, “The City of Anacortes and the Anacortes Police Department are fortunate to have a strong internal candidate, Captain John Small, who is capable and prepared to transition to Police Chief.  Captain Small has my support, the support of the Anacortes Public Safety Council Committee and the City Council Personnel Committee, in addition to City staff and police department support.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Tulare County, CA – Michelle Baldwin was appointed County Registrar of Voters by the Board of Supervisors this week. Baldwin, who has been serving as Interim Registrar since December 2016, replaced Rita Woodard. Woodard resigned last December after several major complications occurred with tallying votes during the November presidential election.

 

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2017

This Week: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has appointed Dave Lopez to serve as Secretary of State

On Wednesday, March 22, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu nominated attorney Gordon MacDonald to serve as the state’s next Attorney General. MacDonald is a Partner at Nixon Peabody LLP in Manchester, and previously served as Press Secretary, Legislative Director, and Chief of Staff in the Office of U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey. In a statement, Gov. Sununu said, “Throughout this distinguished legal career, Gordon has demonstrated exceptional legal talent with the highest levels of respect for the rule of law.” MacDonald’s nomination must be confirmed by the five-member Executive Council. If confirmed, MacDonald will replace current Attorney General Joseph Foster, who was nominated by previous Governor Maggie Hassan.
 
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has appointed Dave Lopez to serve as Secretary of State. Lopez previously served as Secretary of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce in the Fallin administration from 2011 to 2013. He left state government to be Interim Superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools from 2013 to 2014. Fallin praised Lopez as “a successful businessman and tremendous civic leader with connections all around the nation.” Lopez, who will begin work on March 27, will be the third Secretary of State in less than a year. Previous Secretary of State Mike Hunter served only five months before resigning to become Attorney General, and Hunter’s predecessor Chris Benge left the office in October 2016 to become Gov. Fallin’s Chief of Staff. 
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Honolulu, HI – Mayor Kirk Caldwell appointed Gary Kurokawa as his new Chief of Staff, effective April 3, 2017.  He replaces Ray Soon, who has served as Chief of Staff since August 2013.  Kurokawa currently serves as Deputy Director for Honolulu’s Department of Budget and Fiscal Services.  He is a 27 year veteran of the department.  In a press release, Mayor Caldwell said, “Gary’s understanding of how the city functions and what it takes to get initiatives off the ground will be a tremendous benefit to the members of our administration and the people of Honolulu.  He knows how to listen and will be a strong ‘bridge builder’ as we continue to create lasting partnerships to tackle the issues that lie before us over the next four years.”   
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner made two appointments to his administration last week.  Karun Sreerama will serve as the new Department of Public Works and Engineering Director, effective April 3, 2017, pending city council approval.  Department Deputy Director Carol Haddock is currently serving as Interim Director.  In a press release, Mayor Turner said, “Karun has developed an impressive 100 day transition plan.  He is focused on the organization’s culture and spending as well as collaboration with City Council, neighborhoods and the engineering community.  He definitely understands the important role the city plays in boosting quality of life for all Houstonians.”  The Mayor also appointed Lisa Johnson as Interim Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, effective May 1, 2017.  She replaces Joe Turner, who is retiring.  Johnson has worked for the City of Houston since 2002, most recently as Division Manager in the General Services Department.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Arlington County, VA – Claude Williamson was named Acting Director of the Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development. Williamson, who has been with the department since 1997, takes over for Steve Cover, who left the county last week for a position in Sarasota, FL.  In a press release, County Manager Mark Schwartz said of Williamson, “Claude brings a wealth of experience and tremendous professionalism to the Acting Directorship of this critical County department. He has a deep understanding of our community and of the planning principles that have successfully guided Arlington for decades.”
 
New York Metropolitan Transit Authority – Phil Eng was appointed Chief Operating Officer to fill a vacancy at the Authority. Eng most recently served as a Deputy Executive Commissioner for the New York State Department of Transportation. In a press release, Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim said, “Phil is a dedicated transportation professional with the knowledge and experience necessary to lead and improve the vital and vast transportation network of the MTA.”

 

 

 

 

 

March 16, 2017

This Week: North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum appointed Shawn Riley to serve as chief information officer and head of the Information Technology Department

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum appointed Shawn Riley to serve as chief information officer and head of the Information Technology Department. Riley and his family will move to North Dakota from Minnesota, where Riley worked for the Mayo Clinic as Information Technology Section Head. In a statement, Gov. Burgum praised Riley, saying, “His experience overseeing the IT efforts for a world-class health care organization like Mayo Clinic will prove invaluable as technology continues to transform the way government services are delivered in North Dakota.” Riley will begin work on April 17, 2017. Dan Sipes, who is currently serving as interim chief information officer following the departure of Mike Ressler in December, will return to his role as director of operations and deputy chief information officer. 
 
On Friday, March 10, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Eileen McNulty will be retiring from her position as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. McNulty has led the agency since January 2015. Her final day is April 21, at which point Deputy Secretary of Tax Policy C. Daniel Hassell will take over as her acting replacement. In a press release announcing the staff transition, Gov. Wolf said, “As a former Revenue Secretary, I know firsthand how challenging and demanding a task the job can be. Eileen has handled her job with distinction and took a tremendous amount of pride in the work.”
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Doane Liu as executive director of the Department of Convention and Tourism Development, effective March 27, 2017.  He replaces Bud Ovrom who is stepping down after serving as executive director since 2012.  Liu has been serving as deputy executive director and chief of staff for the Port of Los Angeles since 2015.  In a press release, Mayor Garcetti said, “I am committed to making Los Angeles even more competitive as a convention and tourist destination, and we need a strong, experienced leader to get that job done.  Doane has proven again and again that he can lead effectively, and think creatively to overcome difficult challenges. I can’t think of a better leader for our Department of Convention and Tourism Development during such an exciting time for the Convention Center.”
 
Edmond, OK – J.D. Younger was appointed chief of police in Edmond, effective May 1, 2017.  He replaces Tim Dorsey who has been serving as Interim chief since February 2017.  Younger is a 23 year veteran of the Norman, OK Police Department, most recently serving as Commander of the Operations Bureau.  In a press release, City Manager Larry Stevens said, “We had four strong finalists for Police Chief, and we are excited to have J.D. Younger take on this important leadership role.  He is the right fit at this time for the Edmond Police Department, the City of Edmond and the community that we serve.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – Geoffrey Cherrington was announced as the Authority’s next Inspector General. Cherrington, who will be officially appointed at next week’s board meeting, is slated to start on April 17, 2017. In a press release, Metro Audits and Investigations Committee Chair Jim Corcoran said, “With nearly 30 years of public sector experience, Mr. Cherrington brings a wealth of knowledge and investigative expertise to this role at a critical time for Metro.”
 
Jacksonville Port Authority – After the sudden resignation of Chief Executive Officer Brian Taylor, Eric Green has been named Interim CEO for the authority. Green, who has served as the Port’s Senior Director of Government and External Affairs, will serve as CEO until a permanent replacement can be found. Of Taylor’s departure, Jacksonville Port Authority Board Chair Jim Citrano said in a press release, “We look forward to working with Brian in the private sector in the future. We have every confidence in Eric's ability to take our efforts to the next level and enable JAXPORT to fulfill its promise of economic development and job growth for the community.”

 

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2017

This Week: Carol Morey Viventi was appointed Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Darrel Galera resigned from the Hawaii Board of Education on March 6, 2017, after publicly stating his intent to apply for the soon-to-be-vacant position of Superintendent of the Department of Education. Galera was appointed to the Board by Governor David Ige in October 2016. Current Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi will be leaving the Department of Education on June 30, 2017.
 
Carol Morey Viventi was appointed Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Viventi is replacing Colleen Pero, who is leaving state government to serve as Chief of Staff of the Michigan Republican Party. Viventi most recently served as Director of Special Projects at the Department of Health and Human Services, and was Secretary of the Michigan Senate from 1995 to 2015.
 
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has announced his candidacy for Governor of Florida. Gillum, age 37, is the first major Democratic candidate to join the 2018 race, but former U.S. Representative Gwen Graham and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine are expected to join him soon. Geoff Burgan, the former Press Secretary at the Office of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schulz, has joined Gillum’s campaign as Communications Director.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Oakland, CA – This week, Andrew “Pete” Peterson was hired as the city’s new Chief Information officer.  Peterson is a 25 year veteran of the information technology industry, most recently serving as Chief Operating Officer for ConnectSolutions in San Francisco.  In a press release, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth says, “Pete brings valuable private sector insight that will help the City embrace the latest IT solutions to more effectively deliver services to the Oakland community.”
 
Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney announced the resignation of Office of Emergency Management Director Samantha Phillips, effective March 31, 2017.  Phillips is leaving the Kenney administration for a position with the State University at Albany’s National Center for Security and Preparedness.  Office of Emergency Management Deputy Director Dan Bradley will serve as Acting Director.  In a press release, Mayor Kenney says, “I feel personally indebted to Sam for her decade of service to Philadelphia. She has been a critical leader during our greatest tragedies, including the Amtrak derailment and Hurricane Sandy. She has also successfully overseen emergency operations for enormous special events, including the papal visit and the DNC. We are very sorry to see her go, and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors.  I have absolute confidence that Dan Bradley will serve the city well as Acting-Director. His experience in homeland security and special events will continue the Office’s record of excellence.”
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Jeffrey D. Friedlander to the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, effective April 1, 2017.  Friedlander served as First Assistant Corporation Counsel in New York City’s Law Department until his retirement in 2015.  In a press release, Friedlander says, “At a time when public confidence in our institutions is eroding, it is so important that government officials act in conformance with the highest ethical standards. The COIB plays a vital role in achieving this end, and I am honored that the Mayor and City Council have given me the opportunity to contribute to its important work.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Fairfax County, VA – Members of the newly established Police Civilian Review Panel were appointed, including Chairman Adrian L. Steel Jr. The Commission was established on the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, which completed their report to the County Board of Supervisors in October 2015. In a press release, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors Sharon Bulova said, “The Police Civilian Review Panel will promote further transparency and openness in community policing. Each appointed member will bring a valuable perspective, extensive knowledge and years of community involvement to the table.”
 
Summit County, OH – County Executive Ilene Shapiro has selected June Carr to serve as Deputy Director of Employee Benefits in the county’s Department of Law, Insurance and Risk Management. Carr, who has worked for two decades in the Insurance industry, will be in charge of insurance benefits and workers compensation for county employees. In a press release, county Executive Shapiro said, “June Carr has the background and skills needed to lead our Employee Benefits programs and initiatives. We are excited to continue to provide our employees with benefit options that best suit their personal and family needs.”
 

 

 

 

 

March 2, 2017

This Week: Montana Governor Steve Bullock appointed Pam Haxby-Cote to serve as Director of the Montana Department of Commerce

Democrat’s maintained control of the Delaware Senate after Stephanie Hansen defeated Republican John Marino by a margin of 58 percent to 41 percent in a special election held Saturday, February 25. Hansen’s victory gives the Democratic Party control of 11 of the 21 seats in the chamber, and ensures Delaware remains one of only six states in which Democrats control both house of the legislature and the governor’s office. The special election was ordered after Bethany Hall-Long won the election to be Lieutenant Governor and was forced to resign from her Senate seat. The race garnered enormous media attention and former Vice President Joe Biden actively campaigned for Hansen. Over 35 percent of the district’s eligible voters cast a ballot, which is an unusually high figure for a special election held in February.
 
Montana Governor Steve Bullock appointed Pam Haxby-Cote to serve as Director of the Montana Department of Commerce onThursday, February 23. Haxby-Cote will replace Meg O’Leary, who left the department in January. She has served as Butte Office Field Director in the Office of Senator Jon Tester and most recently as Executive Director of the Butte Local Development Corporation. In a statement announcing Haxby-Cote’s appointment, Bullock said, “I’m confident her leadership and dedication to public service will strengthen Montana’s economy and ensure our state remains one of the best places to live, work, recreate, and start a small business.” Haxby-Cote will start her new job in March.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Frederick Schaffer as the new Chair of the New York City Campaign Finance Board.  In a press release, Mayor de Blasio said, “The Campaign Finance Board is essential to the City’s electoral system and ensures a level of transparency in electoral proceedings.  We are fortunate to have Frederick Schaffer as the new chair of the board as he demonstrates exactly the kind of intelligent, impartial and independent leadership that the CFB requires. He brings an abundance of experience and knowledge that will help the Board to properly apply the law and ensure the program’s integrity.”
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner appointed Maria Town as the director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.  She previously served as Senior Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement for the Obama administration.  In a press release, Mayor Turner says, “Maria has amassed quite an impressive list of professional accomplishments.  She is energetic and passionate about ensuring that the diversity of the disability community is represented in issues related to healthcare, education, criminal justice reform and community integration. She also brings the unique perspective of the millennial generation.  I am excited to have her join my administration.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Port of New Orleans – This past week, Darryl Berger was sworn in as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans. Berger, a real estate developer, succeeds Scott Cooper as a representative of Orleans Parish. In a press release, Port President and Chief Executive Officer Brandy Christian said of Berger, “He brings a wealth of experience in real estate, planning, and financing to our organization. We look forward to his contributions.”
 
Jefferson Parish, LA – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Jack Rizzuto to fill a vacancy on the Jefferson Parish Council representing District 4. A special election to fill the seat will take place on October 14, 2017. In a press release, Rizzuto said, “I am honored to serve in this capacity, and I appreciate the confidence Gov. Edwards has placed in me. Serving the citizens of my home parish is important to me, and I am committed to working together for the people of Jefferson Parish.”
 
Placer County, CA – Devon Bell was sworn in this week as Sheriff of Placer County. Bell, who previously served as Undersheriff, succeeds Ed Bonner, who retired last month. Wayne Woo has been appointed to take Bell’s place as Undersheriff. 

 

 

 

 

February 23, 2017

This Week: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin appointed Secretary of State Mike Hunter to serve as Attorney General

On February 20, 2017, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin appointed Secretary of State Mike Hunter to serve as Attorney General. Hunter is replacing Scott Pruitt, who stepped down from the office on February 17, 2017 after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Cara Rodriguez served as Acting Attorney General during the interim period. Hunter was First Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General, but left in October 2016 after being appointed Secretary of State. Hunter has a long career in Oklahoma politics. He served three terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1984 to 1990, service as Chief of Staff in the Office of U.S. Representative J.C. Watts, Jr. from 1995 to 1999, and an earlier stint as Secretary of State from 1999 to 2002. Assistant Secretary of State Tod Wall is currently serving as Acting Secretary of State until Gov. Fallin names Hunter’s replacement.
 
William Howell, the longtime Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, announced he will not be running for reelection in November 2017, bringing his three-decade long tenure in the chamber to a close. Howell was first elected to the House in November 1987, and became Speaker in 2003. He represents District 28, which covers portions of the City of Fredericksburg and Stafford County. Howell announced his retirement of his website, saying, “Serving as the Speaker of the House for 15 years now truly has been the greatest professional honor of my life.” 
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed David Hansell as Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services, effective March 6, 2017.  Hansell previously served five years as Managing Director and Head of Global Human and Social Services Center of Excellence at KPMG.  In a press release, the mayor said, “Our most solemn responsibility is to provide vulnerable children with the care and support they deserve.  David Hansell understands this mission deeply – and that’s why I know he’s the right choice to lead ACS and implement an aggressive reform agenda focused on preventive services for kids and families. David has spent his career on the frontlines working with at-risk communities, and I have no doubt he’ll tackle this job with the same focus and intensity that’s defined his career.”
 
Atlanta, GA – Mayor Kasim Reed appointed William Johnson as Commissioner of the Department of Public Works.  Johnson previously served as Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the city.  He also had been serving as Interim Commissioner of Public Works since former Commissioner Richard Mendoza stepped down in December 2016.  In a press release, Mayor Reed said, “I am confident that his leadership and operating experience in the public and private sectors will enhance the Department’s focus on operational efficiency and customer service. With more than 20 years of experience in infrastructure management and emergency response, I believe he is uniquely qualified to serve in this new capacity.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Orange County, CA – This past week, Director of Orange County Community Resources Steve Franks announced that he will be retiring at the beginning of March and taking on the role of City Manager in Villa Park, CA. Dylan Wright, current Director of Orange County Waste and Recycling, will succeed him. In a press release, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel said of Franks, “Steve has had a long and successful tenure at the County of Orange. We thank him for his service and wish him well in his next endeavor as City Manager of Villa Park.”
 
Allegheny County, PA – James Reardon is the new Director of the Department of Facilities Management for Allegheny County. Reardon, who started with the county as an electrician in 1980, most recently served as Deputy Director for the department.
 
Middlesex County, NJ – Leslie Koppel was sworn in as a Freeholder of Middlesex County last week. Koppel, who fills a vacancy left by Freeholder Carol Bellante when she retired earlier this year, will serve the remaining year of Bellante’s term. According to a press release, “She is committed to improving the quality of life for all residents, including helping to bring quality programs and services to our residents at costs they can afford.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

February 16, 2017

This Week: Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed Steven Marshall to serve as the state's newest attorney general

On February 10, 2017, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed Steven Marshall to serve as the state’s newest attorney general. Marshall earned his law degree from the University of Alabama and has served as District Attorney of Marshall Country since 2001. He replaces Luther Strange, who vacated the Office of the Attorney General on February 9 after Gov. Bentley appointed him to replace new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the United States Senate. Alice Martin served as Acting Attorney General for the four-day period between Strange’s resignation and Marshall’s swear-in.
 
Republican Anne Neu won a special election held Tuesday to fill the vacant District 32B seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Neu, a Republican activist and campaign manager, defeated Democratic nominee Laurie Warner by a margin of 53.2 percent to 46.7 percent. The race, held in the heavily Republican Chisago County, was necessitated after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in September 2016 that former incumbent Bob Barrett did not live in the district and was unable to run for reelection. The results of the November 2016 election will preemptively declared invalid and a special election date was set for February 14, 2017. Neu’s victory gives the Republican Party a 20-seat majority in the 134-member chamber.
 
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Jim Atterholt, the Chief of Staff to former Governor Mike Pence, to serve as Chair of the Indiana Utilities Regulatory Commission. Atterholt previously served as Chair of the agency from 2010 to 2014. He also served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1998 to 2002 and as Commissioner of the Department of Insurance from 2005 to 2009.  
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – In a special election held this week, Bill Perkins was elected to the open District 9 seat on the City Council.  Perkins, a New York State Senator, replaces Inez Dickens, who resigned in January, following her election to the New York State Assembly. Also in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed James Perrino to the city’s Board of Correction.  Perrino worked at the Department of Corrections for 27 years.  In a press release, the Mayor stated, “James Perrino spent nearly three decades working at the Department of Correction, and he will bring invaluable experience to the Board. He cares deeply about the safety of staff and inmates, and he’s been a leader in DOC’s adolescent reforms.”
 
Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney appointed Amber Hikes as Executive Director of the Office of LGBT Affairs, effective March 6, 2017.  She comes to the Kenney administration after serving as Director of Upward Bound, a student service program at California State Long Beach.  Hikes replaces Helen Fitzpatrick, who resigned this week.  In a press release, Hikes says, “My diverse experiences in the vibrant Philadelphia LGBTQ community first as a student, then as a professional, then as a business owner and finally as a community leader, afford me the unique opportunities to view LGBTQ community work in this city from multiple vantage points.  I’m eager to serve my community during this pivotal time by increasing the accessibility of the Office, listening to community members and implementing initiatives to serve LGBTQ Philadelphians more efficiently and effectively.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Ramsey County, MN – Recently appointed County Sheriff Jack Serier appointed Booker Hodges as Undersheriff of Administration for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department. Hodges, who has been with the department since March 2016, was previously an Inspector. In a press release, Hodges said, “I would like to thank Sheriff Serier for this opportunity. I am extremely grateful to one of my heroes State Fair Police Chief and retired Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Art Blakely for his pioneering triumph’s as Ramsey County’s first sworn African American deputy some 48 years ago.”
 
Prince William County, VA – The Board of County Supervisors announced this week that Rebecca Horner will serve as the new Planning Director for Prince William County. She was most recently Assistant Planning Director for the county. In a press release, Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart said, “We are very happy to have Rebecca Horner as our Planning Director.  She brings expertise in all functional areas of urban planning and possesses the skill sets that are necessary to effectively lead in an area that is sometimes complex and sensitive."  Also in Prince William County, the Board of Supervisors named Dave Sinclair Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Sinclair steps into the position after serving five years as Budget Technical Manager for the County. In a press release, Sinclair said, “I am humbled and honored at this opportunity.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Board of County Supervisors, Executive Management and county staff to manage the budget in a prudent and responsible manner for the citizens of Prince William County."

 

 

 

 

February 9, 2017

This Week: Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has hired former state comptroller Leslie Munger as Deputy Governor

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced that his Chief of Staff will be retiring at the end of the month. Ben Nevers, a former State Senator who has been Edwards’ Chief of Staff since January 2016, will step down from the Office of the Governor on February 28, 2017. Mark Cooper, the former Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, will replace Nevers. In a statement announcing the staff transition, Edwards wrote, “Mark’s managerial experience will be useful as we continue to lead Louisiana on a path to prosperity. I look forward to working with him, and I know the people of Louisiana will be well-served with Mark advocating on their behalf.”
 
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has hired former state comptroller Leslie Munger as Deputy Governor. Munger, a Republican, became Comptroller of Illinois in 2014 following the death of Judy Baar Topinka, but lost last November’s special election to Democrat Susan Mendoza. In December, Rauner hired Munger’s former Chief of Staff Bradley Hahn to serve as his new Communications Director.
 
Governor Roy Cooper appointed Deb Butler to serve in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Butler, an attorney from Wilmington and a member of the Democratic Party, will fill the District 18 seat recently vacated by Susi Hamilton. Hamilton was elected to her fourth term in office last November, and was a month into her term when she resigned to fill the position of Secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Fairfax, VA – Current City Council Member David Meyer was elected mayor of Fairfax in a special election held February 7, 2017.  He replaces Richard Silverthorne, who resigned in August 2016, following his arrest in a drug related sting operation.  Steven Stombres has been serving as interim mayor of Fairfax since Silverthorne’s resignation.  Meyer will be sworn into office on February 14, 2017.
 
Bridgeport, CT – Mayor Joe Ganim appointed Rowena White as director of communications in Bridgeport.  She comes to Ganim’s administration from Connoisseur Media Group, where she coordinated advertising sponsorships for several radio stations in Connecticut.  White replaces Av Harris, who is now serving as director of legislative affairs and public policy for Mayor Ganim.  In a press release, the mayor says, “Rowena has a deep sense of commitment to our community and has the professional background and skill set to really help put Bridgeport on the map.  This is an exciting time for our city and we have a tremendous opportunity in the near future to redefine who we are as a city, and where we want to go.  I am very pleased that Rowena has agreed to serve the city she loves and help us show how great a place we are to live, have fun and do business!”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Port of Seattle – Port Chief Executive Officer Ted Fick resigned this week, following an investigation into Port of Seattle payment practices. Dave Soike, Port Chief Operating Officer, will serve as interim chief executive officer until a permanent replacement can be found. In a press release, Port of Seattle Commission President Tom Albro said, “We accept the resignation of Ted Fick, and acknowledge his desire to return to the private sector. We are currently working through the details of his departure and will defer further comment until those details are resolved”.
 
St. Louis County, MO – The St. Louis County Council voted to end the employment contract of County Auditor David Makarewicz a year early. The council is conducting a search for a replacement. 

 

 

 

January 26, 2017

This Week: Rex Tillerson was confirmed as Secretary of State by the Senate in a vote of 56 to 43

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper appointed Kim Hunter Reed to serve as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Hunter Reed most recently served as Deputy Under Secretary at the United States Department of Education, and was also Chief of Staff for the Louisiana Board of Regents. In a statement, Gov. Hickenlooper said, “Kim’s knowledge of best practices in higher education and her extensive experience in innovated ways to make college more accessible – as well as her focus on student success – will benefit all Coloradans.” Hunter Reed begins work on February 15. Current Interim Executive Director Diane Duffy will continue to serve in her role as Chief Operation Officer of the department.
 
Trey Walker will serve as Chief of Staff to new South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. Walker has a long career in South Carolina politics. He was Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party from 1993 to 1999. Walker was also Chief Executive Assistant under then-Attorney General McMaster from 2003 to 2007. He then served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs and Communications for Governor Nikki Haley during the first year of her tenure. Walker joined the Office of the Governor on January 25, one day after McMaster’s swear-in.
 
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed Nick Mosby to serve in the Maryland House of Delegates. Mosby, a Democrat, will fill a District 40 located in Baltimore City. The seat was recently vacated by Barbara Robinson, who was appointed to the State Senate earlier in January. Mosby was a member of the Baltimore City Council from 2011 to 2016. 
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Matt Szabo as his Deputy Chief of Staff, effective February 2017.  He replaces Rick Jacobs who has been on leave to work on the Mayor’s re-election campaign.  Szabo is a 17 year veteran of Los Angeles City Hall, currently serving as Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation.  In a press release, Mayor Garcetti says, “In my years of working with Matt, I have seen that he isn’t just a strong leader — he inspires people to work harder, reach higher and embrace new ways of solving our most pressing challenges.  That’s the kind of leadership that Los Angeles needs, and it’s why I know Matt will make an excellent Deputy Chief of Staff.”
 
San Francisco, CA – Mayor Edwin Lee appointed Nicole Bohn as Director of the Mayor’s Office on Disability.  She previously served as Director of the Disability Programs and Resource Center at San Francisco State University.  In a press release, Mayor Lee says, “Ms. Bohn’s 20 years of extensive experience as a San Francisco resident working in the field of disability services and universal accessibility makes her uniquely qualified to advance the important mission of MOD.  As a long-time champion of disability rights and an administrator of physical, programmatic and electronic accessibility programs and laws, I look forward to her leadership in the MOD’s continued goal of being a strategic partner in important San Francisco initiatives that impact the disabled community.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Memphis Area Transit Authority – MATA General Manager and President Ron Garrison resigned this week in light of personal legal issues. Gary Rosenfeld, current Chief Administrative Officer, was immediately appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer and will serve in the position until a permanent replacement is found. In a statement, Chairman of the MATA Board of Commissioners Sean Healy said, “[Garrison’s] resignation in no way diminishes the great work that the entire MATA team has done over the last three years – improvements in performance that will continue uninterrupted while we search for a new CEO.”
 
Metropolitan Transit Authority – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Thomas Pendergast retired this week. President of New York City Transit Veronique Hakim will serve as Interim Executive Director, while Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors Fernando Ferrer will serve as Acting Chairman, until permanent replacements can be found.  While she serves as Interim Executive Director, Hakim’s position will be filled by Darryl Irick, who is currently Senior Vice President of Buses for New York City Transit. In a press release, Hakim said of Irick, “I rely daily on Darryl for his judgment, advice and incredible depth of knowledge and I know with Darryl leading Transit, I can focus on the broad mission at hand assuring the entire MTA network provides the service our customers deserve while we search for a permanent Chairperson.”
 
 
 
 
 

January 19, 2017

This Week: Jim Justice was sworn in as Governor of the State of West Virginia on Monday, January 16th

Jim Justice was sworn in as Governor of the State of West Virginia on Monday, January 16. As he took office, he brought with him an entirely new Cabinet to replace that of his predecessor, Earl Ray Tomblin. Gayle Manchin, the wife of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, is Justice’s appointee to serve as Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Education and the Arts. John Myers was appointed Secretary of the Department of Administration, and Woody Thrasher is Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Austin Caperton now leads the Department of Environmental Protection, and Bill Crouch is Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources. Dave Hardy is Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Jeff Sandy is Secretary of the Department of Military and Public Affairs, and Dennis Davis is Secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance. Finally, Tom Smith will be dual-hatted as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Commissioner of the Division of Highways.
 
The Commander of the District of Columbia National Guard will be stepping down from his post during the middle of Friday’s Presidential Inauguration. MG Errol Schwartz will be relieved of his duties at noon on January 20, the exact moment President-elect Trump will take office. While it is customary for presidential appointees to submit their resignation as a new administration starts, Schwartz referred to the timing as “extremely unusual”, as the DC National Guard will be on duty during the event. Following a slew of negative media attention, the President-elect’s transition team asked MG Schwartz to remain in office for a time to maintain continuity, but Schwartz declined. BG William Walker will be Acting Commander following Schwartz’s departure.
 
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has appointed David Jablonski to serve as Secretary of the New Mexico Corrections Department. Jablonski had been serving as Acting Secretary for the previous three months following the October retirement of Gregg Marcantel. Jablonski has also served as Deputy Superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department. In a statement, Gov. Martinez wrote, “Throughout his long career in public service, David has shown time and again that no challenge is too difficult to overcome and no problem too hard to solve.”
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio announced several changes in his administration this week.  Maria Torres-Springer will serve as Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.  She replaces Vicki Been who is returning to teach at New York University.  Torres-Springer is currently President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation.  Her replacement is James Patchett, who is currently serving as Chief of Staff to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen.  All moves will take place on February 6, 2017.  In a press release, Mayor de Blasio says, “As progressive thinkers and proven deal makers, Maria and James have worked closely with me to advance our most important initiatives. Together, we will continue to build on the successes our first three years, and make this city fairer and more affordable for everyone.”
 
Alexandria, VA – Michael L. Brown has been hired as the new Police Chief in Alexandria, effective January 23, 2017.  He replaces David Huchler, who has been serving as Acting Chief since October 1, 2016.  Brown has nearly forty years of experience in law enforcement, having served in the California Highway Patrol, Deputy Secretary for Public Safety in California, and as Transportation Safety Specialist with the National Transportation Safety Board.  In a press release, City Manager Mark Jinks says, “Chief Brown’s remarkable career has put him at the forefront of neighborhood protection, community policing, traffic safety, strategic planning, and other areas of concern here and around the country.  As an Alexandria resident, Chief Brown is already familiar with local issues and will help the Alexandria Police Department continue to implement 21st-century national best practices fairly and effectively.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Arapahoe County, CO – The Board of County Commissioners chose Commissioner Nancy Sharpe as Chair for 2017. In a press release, Sharpe said, “Our board consists of a talented group of individuals who care deeply about Arapahoe County and are determined to carry on the work of previous commissioners to ensure our county remains financially strong and a healthy place to live, to work and to raise a family. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we address the issues that matter most for the residents of our community.”
 
Sacramento County, CA – The County Board of Supervisors elected Supervisor Don Nottoli as Chair and Supervisor Susan Peters as Vice Chair for 2017. In a press release, Nottoli said, “I am confident that in working together in the year ahead, the Board will be successful in its efforts to address many of the issues facing the communities and people we serve throughout Sacramento County.”

 

 

 

January 12, 2017

This Week: Four new Republican Governors were sworn into office

Four new Republican Governors were sworn into office this week, including three who are replacing a Democratic predecessor. Chris Sununu was inaugurated as Governor of New Hampshire on Thursday, January 5, taking over a role most recently held by new Democratic U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan. Also taking office on January 5 was Vermont Governor Phil Scott, who replaced Democrat Peter Shumlin. On Monday, January 9, Eric Greitens took the responsibilities as Governor of Missouri from Democrat Jay Nixon, and Eric Holcomb replaced Republican Vice President-elect Mike Pence as Governor of Indiana. The increasing Republican takeover of state government is a trend that has coincided with President Obama’s term in office: a Republican is now Governor in 33 states, while only 21 states had Republican Governors in January 2009.
 
Two state senators in Tennessee and West Virginia took the oath of office as Lieutenant Governor this week after being elected to the position by their fellow legislators. Tennessee and West Virginia are the two states in which a member of the State Senate serves in a dual role as Lieutenant Governor and leader of the majority party. Republican Randy McNally took the oath of office as Tennessee’s newest Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Tennessee Senate on Tuesday, January 10. Members of the State Senate voted McNally into this position to replace outgoing Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, who had held the post since 2007. Republican Mitch Carmichael was elected President of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor for the State of West Virginia on Wednesday, January 11. He replaces Bill Cole, who chose not to run for reelection to launch a failed campaign for Governor.
 
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced that Randy Boyd will step down from his position as Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development to return to the private sector. Boyd, who was appointed to the role in December 2014, will leave the department on February 1 and return to his former role as Chairman of Radio Systems Corp. In a press release, Governor Haslam wrote, “I will miss his energy, passion and deep commitment to bringing economic growth and success to every corner of the state, and I am grateful for everything he has done for Tennessee.” Boyd has long been considered a contender in a future gubernatorial race, and with term limits preventing Haslam from running again in 2018, many observers predict that Boyd will announce his candidacy soon.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
San Francisco, CA – Mayor Ed Lee appointed Jeff Sheehy to the City Board of Supervisors, filling a vacancy for the District 8 seat.  He replaces Scott Wiener, who was recently elected to the California State Senate.  Sheehy is an activist for HIV/AIDS and LGBT equality, having previously served as President of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club.  Mayor Lee says in a press release, “Jeff Sheehy has spent his entire life fighting for his community and for what he believes is right, and I know that as Supervisor, Jeff will be a proven fighter for the residents of his district and for our entire City too.”
 
Honolulu, HI – Mayor Kirk Caldwell appointed Cary Okimoto Acting Chief of Police in Honolulu, effective late January 2017.  He replaces Louis Kealoha, who is retiring following an FBI investigation into a public corruption case involving Kealoha and his wife.  In a press release, Mayor Caldwell says, “I thank the Police Commission for taking decisive action on this matter. I believe the Commission made the right decision to accept Chief Kealoha’s retirement, and he made the correct decision for the sake of the police department and the thousands of officers who serve with integrity, respect and fairness.  I thank Chief Kealoha for his more than 30 years of dedicated public service.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Bernalillo County, NM – The Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners met for the first time this year. During the meeting, the Commissioners elected District 1 Commissioner Debbie O’Malley as Chairman and District 2 Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada as Vice Chair for the 2017 session.
 
Lucas County, OH – The Board of County Commissioners met this week to elect Commissioner Pete Gerken as President of the Board for the 2017 session. Gerken also served as Commission President in 2011 and 2012.
 
Hudson County, NJ – The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders met this week to elect leadership. Anthony Vainieri, who served as Vice Chair in 2016, was elected Chairman for the 2017 session.

 

 

 

January 5, 2017

This Week: Indiana Governor-elect Eric Holcomb appointed Tera Klutz to serve as the next State Auditor of the State of Indiana

Three different people have held the title of Governor of New Hampshire this week. Outgoing Governor Maggie Hassan resigned from the position at midnight on Tuesday, January 3, and was sworn into the U.S. Senate later that day. Hassan decided to leave the Office of the Governor two days before her term ended in order to maximize her seniority in the U.S. Senate. Governor-elect Chris Sununu could not take over his new responsibilities until Thursday, January 5. New Hampshire is one of five states that does not have a Lieutenant Governor, and the state constitution mandates that the President of the Senate will act as Governor should a vacancy occur. This led to an unusual situation where Senate President Chuck Morse served as Acting Governor for period of sixty hours. Ironically, Gov. Sununu’s father, John, took over the title of Governor of New Hampshire under similar circumstances in 1983: his predecessor Hugh Gallen died eight days before his term ended and Senate President Vesta Roy served as Acting Governor until he was sworn in.
 
Indiana Governor-elect Eric Holcomb appointed Tera Klutz to serve as the next State Auditor of the State of Indiana. Klutz will fill the remaining two years of current State Auditor Suzanne Crouch’s term after Crouch is sworn in as Lieutenant Governor on January 9. Klutz is currently serving her second term as Auditor of Allen County, the third-most populous county in the state. In a statement announcing his decision, Governor-elect Holcomb wrote, “Having provided efficient and effective government service to the citizens of one of Indiana’s largest counties, I know she will be a valuable asset as we aim to provide exceptional state government service at a great taxpayer value to Hoosiers statewide.”
 
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has appointed State Representative Jack Montoucet to serve as Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Montoucet is filling a vacancy caused by the resignation of Charles Melancon, a former U.S. Representative, whose one-year tenure as head of the agency was marked by public disputes with the state’s congressional delegation, recreational fisherman, and his own employees. Montoucet, an alligator farmer who has represented House District 42 since 2008, will resign from the legislature on January 15 and start his new job at Wildlife and Fisheries a day later. Gov. Edwards issued a press release explaining his decision to appoint Montoucet, saying, “As a businessman, he understands the complex nature of running an organization such as Wildlife and Fisheries, and as an alligator farmer in Acadiana, he shares my belief that nothing should get in the way of Louisiana remaining the Sportsman’s Paradise.”
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Marisa Lago as Director of the Department of City Planning and Chair of the Planning Commission, effective February 2017.  She replaces Carl Weisbrod, who has served as Planning Director since 2014.  Lago is currently an Assistant Secretary with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  In a press release, Lago says, “It’s a great honor to come home to the city I love and be given the chance to make it ever stronger and more equitable.  Change is the one constant in New York, and it is never easy. I’ve had the privilege of learning how to make change work for people and businesses by watching leaders like Carl Weisbrod, and I have spent my entire career finding smart solutions to the tough problems that come with a growing, changing world. We can and we will keep our neighborhoods affordable, our economy competitive, our businesses thriving and our communities strong.”
 
Oakland, CA – Mayor Libby Schaaf appointed Anne Kirkpatrick as Oakland’s Chief of police, effective February 27, 2017.  She replaces Sabrina Landreth, Oakland’s City Administrator, who has been overseeing the department since June 2016.  Kirkpatrick is currently Chief of the Bureau of Professional Standards with the Chicago Police Department.  In a press release, Mayor Schaaf says, “Through our extensive community engagement process that was the cornerstone of our chief search, we heard Oaklanders say clearly that they wanted a leader with integrity and the ability to lead culture change who will improve community-police relations, deliver fair and just policing, prevent violence and increase accountability.  Anne Kirkpatrick is the reform-minded leader Oakland’s been looking for. She is a nationally respected Police Chief and master instructor in leadership development, procedural justice and implicit bias. She has demonstrated she is unafraid to hold officers accountable.  Her deep experience a police chief and sincere excitement about serving the Oakland community will let her hit the ground running and continue Oakland’s momentum in both safety and reforms. In Chief Kirkpatrick Oakland is getting a leader prepared to bring greater accountability, justice and safety to our city.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Saginaw County, MI – The Saginaw County Board of Commissioners met this week to swear in four new members and elect new leadership. At the meeting, the board chose District 10 Commissioner Carl Ruth to serve as Chair for 2017.
 
Marin County, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors met to swear in one new member and elect leadership. Judy Arnold was chosen to serve as Board President, while Damon Connolly and Kathrin Sears were chosen as First and Second Vice Presidents, respectively. In a press release, Arnold said, “It’s going to be a busy year, and I want my colleagues to know how much I appreciate working with you and how seriously this Board takes its work for the county.”
 
Kalamazoo County, MI – The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners met this week to elect new leadership. Republican Dale Shugars was elected Chair, despite a Democratic majority on the Board. Democrat Stephanie Moore was elected Vice Chair. 

 

 

 

December 29, 2016

This Week: West Virginia Governor-elect Jim Justice appointed Woody Thrasher to serve as Secretary of the Department of Commerce

Vermont Governor-elect Phil Scott appointed the state’s Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, Joseph Flynn, to serve as the next Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation. Joseph Flynn previously served as the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Management Office Director. Current Agency of Transportation Secretary, Christopher Cole, has been appointed to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Buildings and General Services.
 
West Virginia Governor-elect Jim Justice has appointed Woody Thrasher to serve as Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Thrasher is currently head of the engineering firm The Thrasher Group, and is the Co-Chair of the Economic Development Policy Committee for the Governor-elect’s transition team. In this role, Thrasher will lead a department of nearly 2,000 employees that oversees the divisions of energy, forestry, labor, miners’ safety, natural resources, and tourism.
 
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will have a new Press Secretary at the beginning of the new year. J.J. Abbott will step into the role after having spent the previously two years as Deputy Press Secretary. Abbott is replacing Jeffrey Sheridan, who is leaving the Office of the Governor to work on the Gov. Wolf’s reelection campaign. In a statement, Gov. Wolf praised Sheridan for his work as Press Secretary, saying, “For the last two years, Jeff has been an integral part of our successful efforts to invest in education, create economic opportunity for middle class families, and challenge the status quo in Harrisburg.”
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed George Kivork as Press Secretary for his administration, effective January 3, 2017.  He replaces Connie Llanos, who has served as Press Secretary since July 2015.   Kivork served as Federal Liaison for Mayor Garcetti in Washington, DC, overseeing federal affairs for the Mayor, since 2014.  From a press release, the Mayor says, “George has been a very effective advocate for L.A.’s goals in Washington.  His understanding of complex federal matters and citywide issues makes him an extraordinary asset to my administration, and I look forward to him joining my team at City Hall.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
New Castle County, DE – New Castle County Police Chief Elmer Setting will retire on January 3, 2017 after a 28 year career including serving as Chief since 2012. In a press release, County Executive Thomas P. Gordon said, “He has performed brilliantly in service to our community and we all owe him a deep debt of gratitude in making our police force one admired across the country.”

 

 

 

December 22, 2016

This Week: Indiana Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb appointed two members of his senior staff

Indiana Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb appointed two members of his senior staff on Thursday, December 15. Joe Heerens will serve as General Counsel in the Office of the Governor beginning January 9, 2017, the day of Holcomb’s inauguration. Heerens is currently General Counsel of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. Susana Duarte de Suarez has been named Executive Director of Strategic Communications. Suarez previously worked in the George W. Bush administration as Chief Compliance Officer of the Peace Corps.
 
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed Linda Miller as the new Director of the Iowa Department on Aging, effective December 16. Miller had served in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2007, most recently representing District 94. During her time in the legislature she served as Chair of the House Human Resources Committee. In a statement announcing the appointment, Miller was quoted, “As our growing senior citizen population ages, we need to be sure that Iowans have the resources and tools available to remain in their homes safely for as long as they wish.” Miller did not run for reelection to her House seat this year; Republican Gary Mohr was elected to replace her.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
San Francisco, CA – Mayor Ed Lee appointed Bill Scott as the next Chief of Police effective January 2017.  He replaces Toney Chaplin, who has been serving as Interim Chief since May 2016.  Scott is currently Deputy Chief of Police with the Los Angeles Police Department.  From a press release, Mayor Lee says, “During the last year, we have made significant steps in building a 21st Century police force. The appointment of Bill Scott as the new Chief of SFPD is our City’s next step on the continued path to reform.  Bill knows first-hand what it takes to not only implement a series of reforms but also the effort it takes to transform a department, rebuild trust and create a transparent and accountable department. He also brings a significant operational and administrative experience needed to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe each day.”
 
Chicago, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel shuffled several positions on his staff this week.  Maria Guerra Lapacek takes over as the Mayor’s Director of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs.  She replaces Anna Valencia, who was recently appointed City Clerk.  Lapacek is currently serving as Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.  Mayor Emanuel appointed Samantha Fields to replace Lapacek at Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.  From a press release, the mayor says, “Sam and Maria are incredibly talented, and time and time again they have shown their commitment to their work on behalf of Chicago residents.  I have always been able to rely on their advice and counsel, and I know they will continue to serve the city well in their new roles.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Dallas County, TX - Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Messina Madson announced last week that she will be leaving the District Attorney's Office on December 30, 2016. Madson has headed the office while the county searched for a successor to former District Attorney Susan Hawk, who resigned in September. In her resignation letter, Madson said, "My passion for criminal justice and my commitment to our community stands strong. I am grateful to this office for preparing me for what lies next in my career as I look forward to new opportunities to make Dallas a thought leader in criminal justice reform."
 
Passaic County, NJ - Assad Akhter was sworn in as County Freeholder last week. Akhter fills a vacancy left by Hector Lora, who was appointed Mayor of the city of Passaic, NJ. Akhter will fill the remainder of Lora's unexpired term, through January 2018.

 

 

December 15, 2016

This Week: Maggie Toulouse Oliver was sworn in as New Mexico's Secretary of State

Doug Burgum officially began his duties as Governor of North Dakota on Thursday, December 15, along with his running mate and new Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford. Jodi Uecker is serving as Chief Operating Officer within the Office of the Governor, and JoDee Hanson will be the Governor’s Chief Administrative Officer. Ron Rauschenberger, the Chief of Staff to North Dakota’s previous two governors, is serving as a Senior Advisor to Gov. Burgum during the transition period. Governor Burgum will have a ceremonial inauguration on January 3, 2017.
 
Maggie Toulouse Oliver was sworn in as New Mexico’s Secretary of State on Friday, December 9. Toulouse Oliver won a special election in November to serve the remaining two years of former Secretary of State Dianna Duran’s term in office. Duran resigned from office in October 2015 after being charged with embezzlement of campaign funds. Immediately upon taking office, Toulouse Oliver named two senior members of her staff. John Blair will serve as Deputy Secretary of State and Chief of Staff after having most recently been Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Theresa Chavez-Romero will be Toulouse Oliver’s Executive Assistant.
 
Delaware Governor-Elect John Carney has named several new members of his incoming administration, including a General Counsel and Communications Director. Danielle Gibbs will leave her position at the Delaware Department of Justice to serve as General Counsel in the Office of the Governor. Jonathan Starkey will be Carney’s Communications Director, after having served as Director of Public Relations at Delaware State Housing Authority for the past year. Carney also announced he will nominate Mike Jackson as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Perry Phelps as Commissioner of the Department of Correction, Jennifer Cohan to continue to serve as Secretary of the Department of Transportation, and Jeffrey Bullock to continue serving as Secretary of State.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
San Francisco, CA – Mayor Ed Lee appointed Brian Strong as Chief Resilience Officer for the city.  He will oversee policy and implementation on resilience, earthquake safety and capital planning.  In a press release, Mayor Lee says, “San Francisco’s leadership on resilience is an example for our nation.  Brian Strong created the City’s Capital Plan and brings more than a decade of proven leadership to this vital resilience work. I am pleased to announce his appointment as San Francisco’s Chief Resilience Officer.”
 
Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney appointed Christine Derenick-Lopez Acting Chief Administrative Officer.  She replaces Rebecca Rhynhart, who served as CAO for the past year.  Derenick-Lopez has 20 years of service in the public sector, most recently as Deputy CAO for the city.  In a press release, Mayor Kenney said, “Rebecca Rhynhart has done a great job during her tenure as CAO, spearheading procurement reform and modernizing city purchasing practices. I wish her well.  I am confident Christine Derenick-Lopez will do a great job in leading this cabinet and continuing to push for innovation and modernization across our Administration.”
 
San Marcos, TX – The city held runoff elections last week, electing John Thomaides as Mayor and Saul Gonzales and Ed Mihalkanin as new City Council Members.  The newly elected officials will be sworn into office on December 21, 2016.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Plaquemines Parish, LA – Amos Cormier III won a runoff election on Saturday, defeating Kirk Lepine for the position of Plaquemines Parish President. Cormier, who starts on January 3, 2017,  will fill the unexpired term of his father, Amos Cormier Jr., who passed away in June 2016.
 
Monmouth County, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders selected Michael D. Fitzgerald to be the county’s next Attorney. Fitzgerald, who had served as a Committeeman for Colts Neck Township, will start in the position on January 9, 2017.

 

 

December 8, 2016

This Week: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory conceded defeat to Roy Cooper in the gubernational race after a four-week long stalemate

On Monday, December 5, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory conceded defeat to Roy Cooper in the gubernatorial race, ending a nearly four-week long series of district recount petitions. Cooper, the state’s Democratic Attorney General, held a slim lead on election night, and the lead continued to grow as provisional ballots were counted. Unofficial elections results on the North Carolina State board of Elections website showed Cooper with a lead of slightly greater than 10,000 votes, which was the threshold for a statewide recount. In a video posted on the Office of the Governor’s YouTube page, Gov. McCrory said, “Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper.” An hour after McCrory’s concession, Buck Newton, the Republican nominee in the Attorney General contest, conceded defeat to Democratic candidate Josh Stein. The race for State Auditor, in which Democratic incumbent Beth Wood leads Republican challenger Chuck Stuber by fewer than 6,000 votes, is going to a statewide recount. Governor-Elect Roy Cooper wasted no time setting up his new administration and named two members of his senior staff on Wednesday, December 7. Kristi Jones will serve as Chief of Staff, continuing the role she has served for Cooper in the Office of the Attorney General. Ken Eudy will be Cooper’s Senior Advisor.
 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Rolando Pablos to lead the Office of the Secretary of State. Pablos will replace Carlos Cascos, will is stepping down from the role on January 4, 2017. Pablos is the current Chair of the Texas Racing Commission, and previously served on the Public Utility Commission of Texas from 2011 to 2013. In a statement announcing the decision, Gov. Abbott said, “Rolando’s extensive record in public service and breadth of knowledge inspires confidence that he will be committed to the constitutional duties of the office and ensure the dispassionate application of election law.”
 
Dino Rossi was appointed to replace the late Andy Hill in the Washington State Senate. The King County Council selected Rossi from a list of three candidates proposed by local Republican Party officials. Rossi served in the State Senate from 1997 to 2003 before running for Governor in 2004, eventually losing to Democratic candidate Christine Gregoire by a margin of 129 votes. After another failed gubernatorial run in 2008 and a loss in the 2010 U.S. Senate race, Rossi spent a second tenure in the State Senate from 2012 to 2013. Rossi will represent District 45, which covers Seattle’s northeastern suburbs.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Redding, CA – The City Council held their reorganizing meeting this week and elected Brent Weaver as Mayor for the 2017 session.  He has served on the City Council since 2014.  Weaver replaces Missy McArthur who did not run in the November election. 
 
Baltimore, MD – Mayor Catherine Pugh was sworn into office on December 6, 2016.  She announced the following staff members in her office: Tisha Edwards as Chief of Staff, Peter Hammen as Chief of Operations, Jim Smith as Chief of Strategic Alliances, Karen Stokes as Director of Government Relations, and Anthony McCarthy as Director of Communications.  From a press release, Mayor Pugh says, “I am very excited to bring this dynamic team with me to City Hall.  This team has an exceptional track record of public service and they will help me to transform Baltimore into a thriving and vibrant city for businesses and residents.”
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that City Administrative Office Miguel Santana will retire December 31, 2016, after seven years of service with the City.  Santana will join the Los Angeles County Fair Association as Chief Executive Officer in January 2017.  From a press release, Mayor Garcetti says, “Keeping our fiscal house in order is one of the most important responsibilities we have to the people of Los Angeles, and Miguel Santana has done an excellent job guiding that effort.  I am grateful for his years of service, and I know the example he set will continue to help us manage Angelenos’ tax dollars as effectively and responsibly as possible.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
San Bernardino, CA – County Supervisor Curt Hagman Appointed Katherine Kolcheva as Chief of staff. Kolcheva, who had previously been Deputy Chief of Staff, replaces Mike Spence, who left last month.
 
Marin County, CA – Brian Washington will serve as Marin County’s next County Counsel. Washington, who is currently Chief Assistant County Counsel, takes over for current Counsel Steven Woodside on January 9, 2017. In a press release, County Administrator Matthew Hymel said, “Brian stood above a very talented field of applicants. He has both the intelligence and experience to provide legal advice to the Board of Supervisors and our County departments.”

 

 

December 1, 2016

This Week: Vermont Governor-Elect Phil Scott announced four appointments to the staff of his incoming administration

On November 23, 2016, President-elect Donald J. Trump announced his intention to nominate South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to serve as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In a press release, Gov. Haley announced she would accept the offer, writing, “When the President believes you have a major contribution to make to the welfare of our nation, and to our nation’s standing in the world, that is a calling that is important to heed.” If the U.S. Senate confirms Haley’s nomination, current Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster would be elevated to the Office of the Governor. McMaster is a Republican who served as South Carolina’s Attorney General from 2003 to 2011.
 
Vermont Governor-Elect Phil Scott announced four appointments to the staff of his incoming administration. Jason Gibbs will serve as his Chief of Staff. Gibbs formerly worked in the administration of Governor Jim Douglas as Press Secretary, Civil and Military Affairs Secretary, and Commissioner of the Forest, Parks and Recreation Department. Rachel Feldman, who currently serves as Chief of Staff to Scott in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, will continue to serve under Scott as Senior Director of Boards, Commissions and Public Service. Brittney Wilson will serve as Civil and Military Affairs Secretary, and Kendal Smith will serve as Director of Policy Development and Legislative Affairs. Scott will be sworn in as Governor on January 5, 2017.
 
As the 2016 election cycle nears an end, races to be held in 2017 are heating up. Ed Gillespie, the former Chair of the Republican National Committee, is the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. Gillespie announced the hiring of several members of his Gillespie for Governor campaign staff on Monday, November 28, including Chris Leavitt as Campaign Manager and Generra Woods as Policy Director. Virginia’s current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam is the only Democrat to have officially joined the race at this time. New Jersey will hold the other gubernatorial election in 2017, and Chris Christie will be forced out of office due to term limits. State Assembly Member John Wisniewski, who served as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Investigations into the Bridgegate scandal, officially declared his candidacy as a Democrat this month. He will face Jim Johnson, the former Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement, and Phil Murphy, the former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, in the Democratic primary on June 6, 2017.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Boston, MA – Mayor Martin Walsh appointed Chris Osgood as Acting Commissioner of Public Works.  He replaces Michael Dennehy, who left for a position with the town of Milton, MA.  Dennehy is a 23 year veteran of the Public Works Department.  Osgood is the current Chief of Streets, Transportation and Sanitation in Boston.  From a press release, Mayor Walsh says, “We owe great thanks to Michael for his incredible service to the City.  He has exceptionally high standards for the services we deliver and has built a very strong team to meet those standards every day. Whether it was leading our City through our snowiest winter or ensuring that a 311 call was responded to quickly and well, Michael delivered for our residents.”
 
Trenton, NJ – Mayor Eric Jackson appointed Walter Denson Acting Director of Law for the city.  He replaces Marc McKithen, who resigned to accept a position as Chief Municipal Judge, following Rodney Thompson’s appointment to the New Jersey Superior Court.  Denson served as Law Director under former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack.  From a report, Mayor Jackson said, “Judge Thompson will do an outstanding job in Superior Court, Judge McKithen will do an outstanding job helping us to continue to move the municipal court forward and Acting Law Director Walter Denson will continue to be a hardworking, energetic, forward-thinking director who continues to move our law division forward and our city.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Polk County, FL – The Board of County Commissioners met last week to reorganize for the 2016-2017 legislative session. Newly elected Commissioner Bill Braswell was sworn in, and the Board elected Melony Bell to serve as Chair and Todd Dantzler to serve as Vice Chair.
 
Pinellas County, FL – The Board of County Commissioners met last week to reorganize for the 2016-2017 Legislative Session. During the meeting, they elected Commissioner Janet Long as Chairman and Kenneth Welch as Vice Chairman. In a press release, Long said, “I’m truly honored and humbled to serve on this Board of County Commissioners. I look forward to finding more ways to make life better for the citizens of Pinellas County in 2017. These are exciting times.”

 

 

November 23, 2016

This Week: Indiana Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb named Earl Goode to serve as Chief of Staff

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has officially filed for a statewide recount after initial vote counts show him trailing challenger Roy Cooper. According to unofficial results, Democratic nominee Cooper leads the Republican incumbent McCrory by 6,154 votes out of approximately 4.7 million ballots cast. Cooper declared victory in the race on election night, and has already announced a transition team. Despite this, McCrory has refused to concede, and has alleged voter fraud in more than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Several county election boards have openly disputed these claims of fraud. Joining McCrory in requesting a recount is Chuck Stuber, the Republican nominee to fill the Office of the State Auditor. Democratic incumbent Beth Wood currently leads Stuber by fewer than 3,000 votes, which amounts to a difference of .06 percent of the total vote. North Carolina state law allows recounts for statewide races that are decided by fewer than 10,000.
 
On November 22, 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser nominated Antwan Wilson to serve as Chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools. Wilson is currently the Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District. In a press release, Bowser praised Wilson for his work in Oakland, saying, “His efforts have led to increased high school graduation rates, decreased out-of-school discipline, and a decade-high investment in teacher pay.” John Davis has been serving as the Interim Chancellor since Kaya Henderson stepped down from the position earlier this fall. If Wilson’s nomination is confirmed by the Council of the District of Columbia, Wilson will begin his new job on February 1, 2017.
 
Indiana Governor-Elect Eric Holcomb named Earl Goode to serve as Chief of Staff in his incoming administration. Goode served alongside his new boss in the Office of Governor Mitch Daniels, Indiana’s former governor. Goode was Chief of Staff to Daniels from 2006 to 2013, and Holcomb was Deputy Chief of Staff from 2009 to 2011. Goode is also currently heading up Holcomb’s transition team, Next Level Indiana.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Chicago, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed Joe Deal as his Chief of Staff, effective December 1, 2016.  He replaces Eileen Mitchell, who has served as Chief of Staff since August 2015.  Deal has served as Mayor Emanuel’s Chief Operating Officer since 2013.  In a press release, Mayor Emanuel says, "There's no one better able to pick up where Eileen left off and build on the progress we have made over the past five years than Joe Deal.  Joe has a wealth of City experience and institutional knowledge, and most importantly he knows how to get things done. Joe has distinguished himself serving in my administration for the past five years, and he has my trust and confidence to serve our City as my Chief of Staff."
 
Passaic, NJ – Hector Lora was appointed Interim Mayor of Passaic, just hours after former Mayor Alex Blanco pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges and resigned.  Lora is currently a Freeholder with Passaic County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders.  From a report, Lora says, “There's healing to be done.  The public trust has been compromised. I understand that. I want to make sure the public knows someone is in charge."  Interim Mayor Lora stated that he intends to run for a full term as Passaic’s Mayor in May 2017.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Hillsborough County, FL – The County Board of Commissioners held their reorganization meeting this week, swearing in reelected incumbent Commissioners Sandra Murman and Les Miller, as well as newly elected Commissioner Pat Kemp. The board also elected officers for the next year, with Stacy White serving as Chairman and Sandra Murman as Vice Chairman of the Board. The proceedings were outlined in a press release.
 
Hamilton County, OH – The Board of County Commissioners appointed Interim County Administrator Jeff Aluotto to the position permanently this week. Aluotto had been serving as Interim County Administrator since April 2016.

 

 

November 17, 2016

This Week: Hawaii State Representative passed away just one week after winning election

Delaware Governor-Elect John Carney has appointed two familiar names to serve as part of his immediate staff when he is sworn in next January. Carney announced that Doug Gramiak will be his Chief of Staff. Gramiak was Executive Assistant to Lieutenant Governor Carney from 2001 to 2009, and then served as State Director in U.S. Representative Carney’s Wilmington Office from 2011 to 2014. In a statement, Carney said Gramiak “brings both the political and policy skills we need to put into action our plans to create jobs and improve our schools.” Carney also announced Sheila Grant will serve as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Grant currently serves as Chief of Staff in the Office of Representative John C. Carney.
 
The Nevada State Senate Democratic caucus has named new leadership after gained control of the chamber in the November 8 general election. Aaron D. Ford was named Majority Floor Leader, after having served as Minority Floor Leader for the last two years. Kelvin Atkinson will be Assistant Majority Leader. Joyce Woodhouse and Pat Spearman will share duties as Co-Majority Whips, and Moises Denis will be President Pro Tempore. Republican Michael Roberson is now Minority Floor Leader. 
 
Hawaii State Representative Clift Tsuji passed away on Tuesday, November 15, just one week after winning election to his seventh consecutive term in office. Tsuji was a Democrat who represented District 2, which covered parts of Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island.  Governor David Ige issued a statement calling Tsuji “a quiet man with a big heart who had the courage to stand for his convictions.” Ige will appoint a successor to fill District 2 of the Hawaii House of Representatives at a later date. Tsuji was 75 years old.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Boston, MA – Mayor Martin Walsh has announced that Press Secretary Bonnie McGilpin would be serve as Director of Communications for the Boston Planning and Development Agency, effective November 21, 2016.  McGilpin had served as the Mayor’s Press Secretary since January 2015.
 
Pittsburgh, PA – Police Chief Cameron McLay submitted his resignation effective November 8, 2016.  Mayor Bill Peduto appointed Assistant Chief Scott Schubert as Acting Chief of Police, during the search for a permanent replacement.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Howard County, MD – Maryland Governor Larry Hogan named William McMahon as Sheriff of Howard County last week. McMahon replaces James Fitzgerald, who resigned las month after an investigation revealed discrimination in the Sheriff’s office. In a press release, McMahon said, “As a 30-year resident of the county, I am deeply committed to upholding our laws and working to ensure the safety of all citizens of our county and our great state.”
 
Greene County, MO – The Greene County Commission chose Trysta Herzog as Director of Communications and Public Engagement. Herzog, who will start in her new position on November 21, said in a press release, “I am grateful for this opportunity to serve my community and work with County leaders to maintain their culture of transparency. Like this organization, I believe citizens are the backbone of government, and we are at our finest when we partner with our hard-working taxpayers to make Greene County work. I look forward to being an instrumental part of that collaboration."

 

New Mayors and County Executives:

The Municipal content team is currently researching and updating election results from the November 8 general election.  Following is a list of newly elected Mayors and County executives added this week:
 
Chino Valley, AZ – Mayor-Elect Darryl Croft
 
Daly City, CA – Mayor-Elect Glenn Sylvester
 
Fremont, CA – Mayor-Elect Lily Mei
 
Hillsboro, OR – Mayor-Elect Steve Callaway
 
Irvine, CA – Mayor-Elect Don Wagner
 
Pomona, CA – Mayor-Elect Tim Sandoval
 
Portsmouth, VA – Mayor-Elect John L. Rowe, Jr.
 
Roseville, CA – Mayor-Elect Susan Rohan
 
Stockton, CA – Mayor-Elect Michael Tubbs
 
Vineland, NJ – Mayor-Elect Anthony Fanucci
 
Wichita Falls, TX – Mayor-Elect Stephen Santellana
 
Cameron County, TX - County Judge-Elect Eddie Trevino
 
Clackamas County, OR - Chairman of the Board of Commissioners-Elect Jim Bernard,
 
Cobb, GA County - Chairman of the Board of Commissioners-Elect Mike Boyce
 
New Castle County, DE - County Executive-Elect Matt Meyer

 

November 10, 2016

This Week: Eight new Governors and some undecided races

Fourteen states held gubernatorial elections on Tuesday night, and eight new governors were elected to office. Vermont voters elected Republican Peter Shumlin as their new Governor. Their eastern neighbors, New Hampshire, elected Republican Chris Sununu to replace U.S. Senator-Elect Maggie Hassan as Governor. U.S. Representative John Carney will be Delaware’s newest Governor. Billionaire coal executive Jim Justice was elected Governor of West Virginia, continuing the Democratic Party’s control of the governor’s seat in the state. Republican Eric Holcomb was elected to succeed Vice President-Elect Mike Pence as Governor of Indiana. North Dakota voters chose Republican Doug Burgum as their new Governor. In Missouri, Republican Eric Greitens was elected Governor, and Puerto Rico elected Ricardo Rosselló of the New Progressive Party. Incumbents Gary Herbert of Utah, Steve Bullock of Montana, Kate Brown of Oregon, Jay Inslee of Washington, and Lolo Moliga of American Samoa were each reelected. North Carolina remains undecided as of Thursday morning.

Two days after polls closed in North Carolina three statewide races remain undecided, including one of the nation’s most closely-watched gubernatorial contest. Democrat Roy Cooper leads incumbent Republican Governor Pat McCrory by 5,227 votes, which equals a margin of .11 percentage points. With more than 44,000 provisional ballots still left to be counted, McCrory has not yet conceded the race. McCrory was the only incumbent governor running for reelection this year who faced a realistic shot of being ousted. His tenure as Governor has coincided with negative approval ratings and nationwide outrage over a controversial voter ID law and a bill mandating individuals in government buildings use restrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate. His opponent, Cooper, is a popular Attorney General who has narrowly led McCrory in polls taken throughout the year. Two other statewide races in North Carolina have yet be called. In the Attorney General election, Democrat Josh Stein leads Republican Buck Newton by approximately 21,000 votes, which is less than half a percentage of all votes cast. The race for State Auditor is even closer, with Democratic incumbent Beth Wood clinging to a 50.04 percent to 49.96 percent lead over Republican challenger Chuck Stuber. 4.7 million voters cast ballots in the Tar Heel State, which accounts for 68.21 percent of all eligible voters. 

 
Cities and Towns:

New York, NY – President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, Dr. Ram Raju, will step down from his position on November 30, 2016.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has recommended Stanley Brezenoff as Interim President and CEO.  Brezenoff had served as President and CEO under former Mayor Ed Koch.  In a press release, Stanley Brezenoff says, “Dr. Raju's leadership has paved the way for the nation's largest public healthcare system to implement a bold transformation plan that will keep entire communities healthy. I'm committed to ensuring a smooth transition that supports the critical efforts to preserve Health + Hospitals’ essential safety-net mission and modernizing healthcare services for the 21st century. New Yorkers deserve high-quality affordable health care, and a transformed Health + Hospitals will be the cornerstone of a vibrant and equitable city.”

 
Counties and Authorities:

Arlington County, VA – The Arlington County Board of Commissioners chose Dr. Chris Horton as County Auditor. Horton, who starts in his new position on November 21, comes to the county from nearby Fairfax County, where he was Auditor General for Fairfax County Public Schools. In a press release, Board Chair Libby Garvey said, “Dr. Horton will play a key role in our continuing efforts to strengthen County operations and ensure that public funds are spent responsibly, efficiently and in a transparent manner.”

 

New Mayors and County Executives:

The Municipal content team is currently researching and updating election results from the November 8 general election.  Following is a list of newly elected Mayors and County executives so far:

Bakersfield, CA – Mayor-elect Karen Goh

Baltimore, MD – Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh

Berkeley, CA – Mayor-elect Jesse Arreguín

Corpus Christi, TX – Mayor-elect Dan McQueen

Eugene, OR – Mayor-elect Lucy Vinis

Fresno, CA – Mayor-elect Lee Brand

Hollywood, FL – Mayor-elect Josh Levy

Richmond, VA – Mayor-elect Levar M. Stoney

Salem, OR – Mayor-elect Chuck Bennett

DeKalb County, GA – Chief Executive Officer-elect Michael Lamar Thurmond

New Castle County, DE – County Executive-elect Matt Meyer

Pierce County, WA – County Executive-elect Bruce Dammeier

 
 
 

November 3, 2016

This Week: Democratic Montana Governor Steve Bullock is in a tight race against Republican challenger Greg Gianforte

On Thursday, October 27, 2016, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy nominated Katie Dykes to serve on the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Dykes has been Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection since March 2012. She also served in President Obama’s administration as Deputy General Counsel at the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality. If her nomination is confirmed by the legislature, she will fill a seat recently vacated by Arthur House, who was named Chief Cyber Security Risk Officer last month.
 
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker appointed Heather Smith to be his Deputy Chief of Staff for Budget, Legislative, and Intergovernmental Affairs, effective November 28, 2016. In a statement, Gov. Walker praised Smith, saying, “Her vast legislative and policy experience will serve invaluable as we move into the next state budget and legislative session.” Smith will replace Cindy Polzin, who has served in the Office of the Governor since 2011.
 
Democratic Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who seemed to be cruising to reelection earlier this year, has now found himself in a tight race against Republican challenger Greg Gianforte. Bullock was elected to his first term in 2012 with just 49 percent of the vote, but since then his approval rating among his constituents has consistently been above 60 percent. Gianforte, a multimillionaire tech executive with a largely self-funded campaign, has hammered the state with television and radio ads in an effort to shorten Bullock’s lead. Although most pollsters rate this race as leaning Democrat, a Mason Dixon poll from early October gives Bullock a too-close-for-comfort 47 percent to 45 percent lead over Gianforte. Bullock is banking his reelection hopes on high voter-turnout in the Democratic-leaning state capitol of Helena and the union stronghold of Butte.
 
Cities and Towns:
Denver, CO – Mayor Michael Hancock announced that Stacie Loucks, Executive Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses, will resign on November 4, 2016.  She is replaced by Ashley Kilroy, currently the Executive Director of Marijuana Policy for Mayor Hancock.  Kilroy will continue to oversee Marijuana Policy in her new role with Excise and Licenses.  In a press release, Ashley Kilroy states, “Being at the forefront of marijuana policy in this new and evolving landscape has been a privilege, and “I’m thankful for the opportunity to take our innovative, collaborative approach to licensing. I look forward to embedding marijuana policy within the operations of the department, as well as furthering the progress the Excise and Licenses team has made in improving customer services for Denver’s businesses and neighborhoods.”
 
New York, NY – President and CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals, Dr. Ram Raju, appointed Rosa Colon-Kolacko as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer for the city’s health system. She previously served as President and Founder of Global Learning and Diversity Partners, who focus on multicultural inclusion in health systems.  In a press release, Dr. Raju states, “We are very fortunate to have Dr. Colon-Kolacko join our team.  Our people are our most important asset, and she will provide the needed staff support to help us as we transform into a health care delivery system of tomorrow."
 
Counties and Authorities:
Los Angeles County, CA – Los Angeles County has hired Gary Gero to the newly created position of Chief Sustainability Officer. Gero, who most recently was President of the Climate Action Reserve, will help the county adopt more sustainable practices in its day-to-day operations. In a press release, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said, “The County needs to implement an ambitious set of plans on a regional scale. That’s what this position is designed to do, and Gary Gero has the right mix of vision and roll-up-your-sleeves pragmatism to make it happen.”
 
Riverside County, CA – County Superintendent of Schools Kenneth Young announced this week that he will retire on January 4, 2017. Young, who was elected to the position in 2006, will be joining AVID, a college readiness organization. In an announcement, Young said, “In reality, the work I will be engaged in at the AVID Center is a national expansion of the college and career readiness focus for all students I have been advocating and supporting across our region as County Superintendent through the Riverside County Office of Education.”
 
 
 

October 27, 2016

This Week: Corley Ellis was sworn in as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives

Democrat Colin Van Ostern has taken a slight lead in the polls over Republican Chris Sununu as the gubernatorial race in New Hampshire comes down to the final weeks. A recent poll from Monmouth gave Van Ostern a 48 percent to 43 percent advantage over Sununu, and a poll from WMUR/University of New Hampshire puts Ostern’s lead at 44 to 38. Over the summer both poll sources indicated Sununu had a healthy lead in the race. This reversal of fortune could be a result of Donald Trump’s campaign troubles trickling down into statewide races; Sununu endorsed Trump in the presidential race earlier this year, but denounced the candidate following the release of the Access Hollywood video.
 
Corley Ellis was sworn in as a member of the Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday, October 20. Ellis, a Republican, fills the District 41 seat that was vacated by Mike Hill, who resigned in July to become Superintendent of the Banking Department. Ellis is a former member of the Shelby County Commission.He fills the remainder of Hill’s term which will expire in November 2018.
 
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval named Bradley Crowell to serve as Director of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, effective December 12, 2016. Crowell has served at the U.S. Department of Energy since 2010. In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Crowell to his current position as Assistant Secretary for Congressional, Intergovernmental and External Affairs for the department, a position requiring Senate confirmation. Crowell was previously a Legislative Assistant in the Office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). In a statement announcing the decision, Gov. Sandoval said, “Brian has a strong foundation in natural resource, energy and conservation management and I am confident his experience will be a benefit to the Silver State.”

Cities and Towns:
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Miguel A. Gamiño as the city’s Chief Technology Officer, effective late November 2016.  Gamiño replaces Minerva Tantoco, who resigned in August 2016.  Gamiño currently serves as Chief Information Officer at the Department of Technology in San Francisco, CA, a position he has held since 2014.  In a press release, Mayor de Blasio says, “The CTO for NYC blends big picture tech innovation with the promise of what’s possible to improve government services and expand broadband access to level the playing field for all New Yorkers.  I welcome Miguel Gamiño, who brings the experience, savvy, and forward thinking we need to advance New York City as a hub for not only thinking, but doing.”
 
Charlotte, NC – Marcus D. Jones was selected as the new City Manager in Charlotte, effective December 1, 2016.  He replaces Ron Kimble, who has been serving as Acting City Manager since July.  Jones is currently the City Manager in Norfolk, VA, a position he has held since 2011.  From a press release, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said, “The council and I look forward to working with Marcus in making Charlotte a 21st century city where opportunity is open to all.  We have a lot of great work to do as a growing, innovative city, and it is clear from Marcus’ track record and references that he is ready to roll up his sleeves and hit the ground running.”
 
Counties and Authorities:
Regional Transit Authority (Chicago) - Ryan S. Higgins was appointed to the Board of the Regional Transit Authority, representing Cook County, IL. Higgins, who is a partner with McDermott Will & Emery LLP, succeeds Ronald Totten, who had served on the board since 2010. In a press release, Board Chairman Kirk Dillard said, “Mr. Higgins grew up in the RTA region and chose to return here to pursue his legal career and become involved in the northwest suburban community and region as a whole.  I am sure his understanding of our regional transit system and the six counties served by the RTA and Service Boards will make him a wonderful addition to our board.”

  

October 20, 2016

This Week: Vermont gubernatorial candidates meet in race's final debate

Vermont gubernatorial candidates Phil Scott and Sue Minter went head-to-head in the race’s final debate held on Tuesday, October 18 in Burlington. Republican Phil Scott, the current Lieutenant Governor, stressed a need to limit budget spending growth, while Democrat Sue Minter spoke about the need for greater mental health services. Polls show the race being as being a toss-up, with a recent Vermont Public Radio poll giving Scott a one point lead. The winner will fill a two-year term and succeed outgoing Governor Peter Shumlin. Although Vermont is one the most reliably Democratic states in the country, Republican gubernatorial candidates have consistently performed well there. Republican Jim Douglas won four gubernatorial elections from 2002 to 2008, and two years ago, Republican Scott Milne lost to incumbent Peter Shumlin by a mere 2,500 votes.
 
 
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal appointed Chris Carr to serve as the state’s next Attorney General, effective November 1, 2016.  Carr will replace outgoing Attorney General Sam Olens, who will be leaving the office to serve as President of Kennesaw State University. Carr is currently serving as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), and was formerly Chief of Staff in the Office of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson from 2007 to 2013. In a press release, Gov. Deal praised Carr, saying, “He is a leader with common sense, brilliant intellect and wide range of experiences at the global, federal and state levels.” to fill the impending vacancy at the head of GDEcD, Gov. Deal nominated Pat Wilson, the current Chief Operating Officer of the agency, to the position of Commissioner. Wilson’s nomination must be approved by the department’s board.
 
Stephen Sweeney, the President of the New Jersey Senate, removed Nia Gill from her position as Chair of the chamber’s Commerce committee. Gill had held the position as Chair for more than a decade. Sweeney and Gill are both Democrats, but had reported disagreed about agenda and leadership styles. Nellie Pou has been installed as the new Chair of the Commerce committee. This is the first time in Sweeney’s seven-year tenure as President of the Senate that he has removed a senator from a leadership position in the middle of a session.

Cities and Towns:
Clarksville, TN – Mayor Kim McMillan has appointed Jennifer Byard as the new Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.  She had been serving as Interim Director and was previously Assistant Director for Parks and Recreation.  From a press release, Byard says, “I knew I was home when I moved to Parks and Recreation in April 2003.  I am very excited for this opportunity to lead the department. We have an amazing staff that works hard to create recreational opportunities for Clarksville and I am proud to be a part of that."
 
Denver, CO – Mayor Michael Hancock has appointed Alan Salazar as his new Chief of Staff, effective November 21, 2016.  He replaces Janice Sinden, who left to serve as President and CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.  Salazar is currently working as a Senior Advisor for the Hillary Clinton campaign.  From a press release, Mayor Hancock says, “Having spent his career working in Colorado, Alan truly cares about the future of our community and will bring that dedication to the people of Denver.  His in-depth knowledge of the work at-hand and his strong background in bringing diverse interests together will help to move Denver forward.”
 
Counties and Authorities:
Middlesex County, NJ – The Democratic Party of Middlesex County has chosen Shanti Narra to fill a vacancy on the County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders. Narra takes over for Freeholder H. James Polos, who resigned earlier this month to take leadership of the Middlesex County Improvement Authority. She will serve as Freeholder until the term ends in December 2017, and intends to run for a full term next year.
 
Santa Clara County, CA – TheBoard of County Supervisors named James R. Williams as County Counsel this week. Williams has been serving as Acting County Counsel since August, following the retirement of County Counsel Orry Korb. In a press release, Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese said, “The job of County Counsel is one of the most important in our operation. I am confident that James Williams has the experience and the expertise to serve us well.”
 
 

October 13, 2016

This Week: Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announces series of major staff changes

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced a series of major staff changes within the Office of the Governoron Monday, October 10, 2016. Chris Benge, who is currently serving as both Secretary of State and Secretary of Native American Affairs, will become Gov. Fallin’s new Chief of Staff. He will replace current Chief of Staff Denise Northrup, who will serve as Chief Operations Officer at the Office of Management and Enterprise Services. Mike Hunter, current First Assistant Attorney General, will succeed Benge as Secretary of State. Jennifer Chance will serve as Gov. Fallin’s new General Counsel.  In a statement announcing the senior staff changes, Gov. Fallin said, “With these changes plus so many new legislators next year and new legislative leadership, Oklahomans can expect a fresh, redoubled effort from my administration and other leaders to serve them successfully.”
 
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed Sam Malhotra to serve as his new Chief of Staff. Malhotra has been serving as Secretary of the Department of Human Resources since the beginning of the Hogan administration in January 2015. He will replace current Chief of Staff Craig A. Williams on October 26, 2016.
 
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Marie Williams as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Williams has served as Deputy Commissioner of the agency since 2011, and was previously Assistant Commissioner for Mental Health Services. Gov. Haslam praised Williams in a press release, saying, “Marie’s passion for helping the mentally ill, the homeless, and those with drug and alcohol addictions inspires her to create the innovative, high-impact programs that make a difference.” Williams will officially take over for retiring Commissioner Doug Varney on October 22, 2016.

Cities and Towns:
New York, NY – Kings County District Attorney Ken Thompson passed away this week, after a battle with cancer. Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez is serving as Acting District Attorney.
 
Houston, TX – The Houston City Council confirmed Lisa Kent as the new Chief Information officer. She replaces Tina Carkhuff who was serving as Interim CIO.  Kent’s previous position was Chief Technology Officer for the Houston Airport System.  In a press release, Mayor Sylvester Turner says, “Lisa is the perfect choice for this position.  She has 26 years of technology experience and is a skilled leader with the ability to change gears quickly and often.  She is also quite familiar with the City’s systems due to her time in the airport systems.”
 
Louisville, KY – Michael Schnuerle was hired as the city’s first Data Officer.  He joins the staff of the Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation, helping departments use city collected data in decision making and promote transparency.  Schnuerle comes to Louisville government from Autodemo, an online video production company.  From a press release, Chief Innovation Officer Grace Simrall says, “As an early proponent of open data, Michael brings a history of civic engagement with Louisville Metro Government. His experience communicating both the challenges and opportunities that data analyses present us as a community will be a valuable asset to all citizens in Louisville Metro.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation – County Executive Steve Schuh appointed Julie Mussog as Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Corporation. Mussog, who is currently Anne Arundel County Controller, will start in her new position on November 1, 2016. In a press release, Mussog said, “I am excited to take on this new role in the Schuh Administration. I look forward to working with the County Executive and the private sector as we continue to make Anne Arundel County a place where businesses can flourish.”
 
Howard County, MD – County Sheriff James Fitzgerald will resign following an investigation into his workplace conduct.  Fitzgerald, whose last day in the office is October 15, allegedly used racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynistic language frequently while serving as sheriff, causing County Council Chairperson Calvin Ball to negotiate a deal for his resignation. In a press release, Ball said, “I began engaging in discussions with Mr. Fitzgerald, following the release of the Human Rights report, to discuss the voluntary conciliatory process, as outlined in our Howard County Code.  I spoke with him about the pain of our community and how we needed to turn the page on this chapter of prejudice.”
 
 

October 6, 2016

This Week: Kansas State Bank Commissioner Deryl Schuster announces resignation

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback announced that Deryl Schuster will resign from his position as head of the Office of the State Bank Commissioner at the beginning of November. Schuster has served in this role, which regulated state-chartered banks, since being appointed by Gov. Brownback in March of 2014. In a statement, Schuster said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the wonderful people in the Bank Commissioner office. They are among the finest in the nation.” Current Deputy Bank Commissioner Judi Stork will succeed Schuster once he departs on November 1.
 
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon appointed Harry Bozoian to serve as the Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Bozoian will succeed Sara Parker Pauley, who was recently appointed Director of the Missouri Department of Conservation. Bozoian is a Senior Policy Advisor to Gov. Nixon and previously served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. In a press release, Gov. Nixon said, “Harry’s breadth of experience and knowledge of environmental issues will make him an excellent Director.” He will begin this new position on October 7.
 
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced he has hired Katie Fischer to serve as his Director of Legislative Affairs. Fischer is currently Director of Legal and Federal Affairs at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. Fischer will replace Gretchen Martinez, who was recently named Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Budget in the Office of the Governor. Gov. Ducey praised his new hire in a statement, saying, “Katie Fischer is a consummate professional, who brings a deep understanding of state policy and a commitment to improving the lives of Arizonans.”
 
Cities and Towns:
Louisville, KY – Michael Schnuerle has been hired as the city’s first Data Officer, effective October 10, 2016.  Schnuerle is a co-founder of the Civic Data Alliance, the Louisville chapter of Code for America.  From a press release, the city’s Chief innovation Officer Grace Simrall says, “As an early proponent of open data, Michael brings a history of civic engagement with Louisville Metro Government. His experience communicating both the challenges and opportunities that data analyses present us as a community will be a valuable asset to all citizens in Louisville Metro.”
 
Alexandria, VA – David Huchler has been appointed Acting Chief of Police in Alexandria.  He replaces Earl Cook, who retired after 37 years with the Police Department.  Chief Huchler is a 25 year veteran of the department, serving as Deputy Chief since 2012.  In a press release, City Manager Mark Jinks says, “Chief Huchler’s 25-year tenure and diversity of experience in local law enforcement make him the right choice to lead the Police Department at this juncture.  I am confident the Police Department is in good hands as we continue the selection process for a permanent chief.”
 
Counties and Authorities:
Horry County, NC – Joseph Hill was sworn in last week as the County’s new Police Chief. Hill Comes to Horry County from Fairfax County, VA, and takes over for Police Chief Saundra Rhodes, who retired in May.
 
Franklin County, OH – Ron Hagan was sworn in last week as Franklin County’s new Treasurer, finishing out the term of Ed Leonard through September 2017. The winner of the general election in November will take over the position and serve a full term.
 
 

September 29, 2016

This Week: New Jersey hired an Acting Commissioner

Dawnna Dukes announced on Monday that she will be retiring from the Texas House of Representativeseffective January 10, 2017. Dukes issued a statement saying her retirement is due to health issues stemming from a 2013 car accident. However, her announcement comes only a few days after the Texas Rangers Division delivered an investigative report on Dukes to the Travis County district attorney’s office. Dukes is under investigation for allegedly forcing her staff to do work unrelated to state government functions. Dukes’ name will remain on the ballot in November’s general election to see who will fill a two-year term representing the heavily-Democratic Austin-area District 46. Should she defeat Republican nominee Gabriel Nila, a special election will be held to determine her replacement.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appointed Aaron Fichtner to serve as Acting Commissioner of the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Fichtner replaces former Commissioner Harold Wirths, who has served in the role since 2010. Fichtner has been Deputy Commissioner of the agency since 2012, and served as Assistant Commissioner of Labor Planning and Analysis before that. In a statement, Fichtner said, “I thank Governor Christie for this new opportunity in his administration and I look forward to continuing our efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce, to build pathways to economic opportunity and to provide critical services to employers and jobseekers.”

On Monday, September 26, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the appointment of Margaret Salazar to serve as Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. Salazar is currently Director of the Portland Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Gov. Brown released a statement saying, “Margaret has extensive leadership and expertise in housing issues, at the local, statewide, and national levels, and I am pleased she will join me in addressing the unprecedented housing challenges Oregonians face.” She will begin her new position with the State of Oregon on November 1, 2016.

 

Cities and Towns:

New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed two new members to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Frederick Davie and Angela Fernández.  The thirteen members of the board are appointed by the mayor, the city council, and the police commissioner.  In a press release, the mayor says, “Frederick’s years of experience working in social justice and LGBT programs as well as Angela’s tireless work defending immigrant New Yorkers illustrates their commitment to community and their ability to serve New Yorkers as CCRB members. I look forward to working closely with both of them.”

Alexandria, VA – David Huchler has been appointed Acting Police Chief in Alexandria, effective October 2, 2016.  He succeeds Earl Cook, who is retiring.  Huchler is currently a Deputy Chief with the Alexandria Police Department and has been with the department since 1991.  City Manager Mark Jinks says in a press release, “Chief Huchler’s 25-year tenure and diversity of experience in local law enforcement make him the right choice to lead the Police Department at this juncture.  I am confident the Police Department is in good hands as we continue the selection process for a permanent chief.”

 
 
Counties and Authorities:

Bucks County, PA – Matthew Weintraub was sworn in this week as Interim District Attorney, following the retirement of former District Attorney David Heckler. Weintraub will finish out Heckler’s term through December 2017. In a press release, Weintraub said, “I am so excited to lead the incredible staff here at the office.  This is a dream come true for me.”

Prince George’s County, MD – Chief of Staff for Prince George’s County Public Schools George Margolies was forced to resign this week in the wake of federal investigations into his handling of abuse in the County’s Head Start Program. Margolies had also previously held positions in the school systems of Anne Arundel and Montgomery Counties. 

 
 

 September 22, 2016

This Week: New leadership at NYPD 

Iowa State Senator Joe Seng passed away on September 16, 2016. Seng, a Democrat representing eastern Iowa’s District 45, had been battling cancer for the last two years. Republican Governor Terry Branstad issued a statementreading, “Joe was a true statesman that put party aside to work for the common good.” A special election to determine who will serve the remaining two years of Seng’s term in the Iowa Senate will be held on December 27, 2016.

Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that Liz Dudek will retire from her role as Secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration next month, ending a career in the state government that lasted over four decades. Dudek has served as Secretary of AHCA since 2011, and her final day will be October 3. Justin Senior, current Deputy Secretary of the Division of Medicaid, will replace Dudek as Interim Secretary. Governor Scott praised Dudek for her service, saying, “Under her leadership, we have worked to make hospitals more transparent and accomplished historic Medicaid reform.”

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan nominated Captain Christopher Wagner to serve as the next Director of the New Hampshire State Police. Wagner has been a law enforcement officer for two decades, and currently serves as Support Services Bureau Commander for the State Police. If confirmed by the Executive Council, Wagner will replace Robert L. Quinn, who was recently appointed to serve as Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, which oversees the State Police.

 
Cities and Towns:

Sunnyvale, CA - Larry Klein was sworn as the newest member of the Sunnyvale City Council.  The Seat 4 Council Member won an August 16 special election to fill the vacancy created when David Whittum resigned in April.  It may be a short term on the Council for Klein.  He will need to run again in the November general election to keep the seat for a full term.  Klein is quoted, “I will strive to be a positive member of the team on council, and I hope to make you proud.”

New York, NY – Two leaders in the New York Police Department were sworn in this week.  On September 19, James O’Neill was sworn in as Police Commissioner and Carlos Gomez was sworn in as Chief of Department.  O’Neill replaces William Bratton who had served as Commissioner since 2014.  Gomez replaces Commissioner O’Neill, who had served as Chief of Department since 2014.  During the swearing in ceremony, Mayor Bill de Blasio praises O’Neill, “His outstanding work over these last days has shown the world what so many people in this room already know: Jimmy is more than ready to lead the finest police department in the world. He’s been preparing for this opportunity for more than three decades. In the time honored way, our new Commissioner has worked his way up the ranks one wrung at a time, earning the respect of his fellow officers with every step.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:

DeKalb County, GA – Interim County Chief Executive Officer Lee May has appointed Dianne McNabb as Interim Chief Financial Officer for the county, filling the vacancy until the end of 2016. In a press release, May said, “Ms. McNabb brings with here a wealth of experience in the public finance arena… Her stellar career has given her a unique familiarity with DeKalb County not only as a resident but working as an auditor with KPMG and subsequently as our financial advisor.”

Fairfax County, VA – County Superintendent of Schools Karen Garza is stepping down after three years to take a position at the nonprofit Battelle for Kids. Garza, who will be leaving her current role in December, said in an open letter that, “I am so grateful for the opportunity to have served this world class school system since June 2013. It has been an honor and privilege to have worked with the dedicated and professional staff who make FCPS the finest school system in the country.”

 
 
 

September 15, 2016

This Week: Delaware and New Hampshire hold gubernatorial primaries 

Delaware and New Hampshire became the final two states to host a gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, September 13. Delaware State Treasurer Colin Bonini claimed nearly 70 percent of the vote to defeat retired state trooper Lacey Lafferty in the Republican race. Bonini will face U.S. Representative John Carney, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. Carney is heavily favored to win and continue a 24-year streak of Democratic rule in the State House. Chris Sununu narrowly won the Republican nomination for Governor in New Hampshire, besting State Representative Frank Edelblut by fewer than 1,000 votes. Sununu will face Democrat Colin Van Ostern, who serves alongside him on the state’s Executive Council, in the general election.
 
Police in Rochester, New York, confirmed the death of New York State Assembly Member Bill Nojay on Friday, September 9. An officer responding to a report of a man in distress at Riverside Cemetery witnessed Nojay die of a  self-inflicted gunshot wound. Nojay was scheduled to appear in federal court later that day to face fraud charges. U.S. Representative Tom Reed issued a statement on Nojay’s death reading, “We will remember him for his dedication and commitment to public service and our community.” Nojay, a Republican, was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2012 and he hosted a regionally syndicated conservative talk radio show. Despite his death, Nojay won an overwhelming victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary election for the District 133 seat. Local Republican officials chose former Assembly Member Joe Errigo to take Nojay’s place in November’s general election.
 
Members of the Tennessee House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to expel Jeremy Durham from the chamber following allegations sexual misconduct. A report from the state’s attorney general’s office alleges Durham engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct with 22 women and had sex with a legislative employee in his office. The House voted 70-2 to remove Durham, making him the first person in 36 years to be expelled from the state legislature.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
Baltimore, MD – Baltimore’s Inspector General, Robert H. Pearre, resigned this week, citing personal and family issues.  A former FBI agent, Pearre had served as Inspector General since 2013.  The Mayor will appoint his successor in the coming weeks.
 
Providence, RI – Evan England, Mayor Jorge Elorza’s Communications Director, has resigned for a position as Communications Director for the State of Rhode Island’s Office of the General Treasurer.  England had served in the Mayor’s office since 2015.  Emily Crowell replaces England as acting Communications Director.
 
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Chesterfield County, VA – Scott Zaremba was named Deputy County Administrator for Management Services, effective October 1, 2016. Zaremba is currently Director of Human Resources Management for the County. In a press release, Zaremba said, “I have a passion for public service, and I truly appreciate the opportunity to continue serving the county in a new and expanded role.”
 
Boulder County, CO – Eric Lane is the new head of Boulder County’s Parks and Open Space Department. Lane takes over for Director Ron Stewart, who retired earlier this month. In a press release,
 County Commissioner Deb Gardner said, “Eric’s professional experience includes working with a wide variety of interest groups to assess and promote the adoption of scientifically sound conservation practices, and we believe his blend of experience and pragmatism will serve the county well as we transition to a new era of open space management.” 
 
Anne Arundel County Economic Development Corporation – Chief Executive Officer Robert Hannon resigned last week after being arrested for breaking and entering. In a press release, County Executive Steve Schuh announced that County Chief Administrative officer Mark Hartzell will serve as Acting CEO until a permanent replacement can be found.
 
 
 

September 8, 2016

This Week: FL AG Pam Bondi facing pay-to-play allegations over donations from Donald Trump in 2013 

Donald Trump faced allegations this week that his foundation donated $25,000 to Florida Attorney GeneralPamela Bondi in 2013 to persuade her not to join an investigation into Trump University. On September 14, 2013, a spokesperson in Bondi’s office announced that the Attorney General was considering joining a New York state inquiry of Trump University following a series of complaints from enrollees. Three days later, the Trump Foundation sent $25,000 to a super PAC associated with Bondi’s reelection campaign, and Bondi’s office later decided not to pursue the investigation. The donation from the Trump Foundation was in violation of Internal Revenue Service rules, and Donald Trump has since paid a $2,500 fine. A report from Huffington Post published on September 6, 2016, detailed how Donald Trump opened up his pricey Mar-a-Lago resort in March 2014 to host a fundraiser for Bondi’s campaign, presenting the appearance he was thanking Bondi for her decision.
 
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard announced that Jim Seward would be leaving his position as General Counsel in the Office of the Governor at the end of October to join the private sector. Seward has been General Counsel since Gov. Daugaard was inaugurated in 2011 and is also a Member of the Governor’s Executive Committee. Before joining the Governor’s office, he served a tour of duty in Afghanistan and was a states’ attorney in Butte County.  In a statement announcing the move, Gov. Daugaard called Seward, “a policy advisor, policy maker and policy implementer.”
 
Linda Wedeen was named the Interim Director of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, also known as beWellnm. Wedeen replaces Amy Dowd, who announced she was leaving the Exchange last month. Wedeen has served in the Exchange as Senior Director of Communications, Marketing and Outreach. In a blog post announcing the appointment, Chairman of the Board of Directors Dr. J.R. Damron said, “Linda’s leadership experience, both with the Exchange and in her prior roles, gave us the confidence we needed to ask her to lead beWellnm.” The Board of Directors has appointed an Executive Search Committee to find a permanent Chief Executive Officer. 
 
Cities and Towns:
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Board approved the appointment of Bernard Lindstrom as Interim Executive Director.  He replaces David Donahoe, who was appointed to a six month term ending in August.  Lindstrom formerly served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as Commander and District Engineer in Pittsburgh. From a press release, Lindstrom says, “As a native of Western Pennsylvania and because of my recent work, I am fully aware of the value our local waterways bring to the region and the importance of the region’s water and sewer providers to the public. I look forward to joining a team of experts that provide water and wastewater services that meet or exceed all regulations and customer expectations at the lowest possible cost."
 
Dallas, TX – Police Chief David Brown announced his retirement from the Police Department, effective October 22, 2016.  He has served as Chief since 2010.  David Pughes has been appointed Interim Police Chief, following Brown’s retirement.   Pughes currently serves as Executive Assistant Chief with the Dallas Police Department.  From a press release, Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez remarks on Chief Brown’s departure, “During his tenure, he set the bar for transparency, community policing and involving our youth. He worked hard on creating a diverse police force and brought us some of the lowest crime rates since the 1930s. He implemented body cameras for 1,000 officers and reduced the use of deadly force by a record number.”
 
Counties and Authorities:
Pulaski County, AR – Tab Townsell will be the next Executive Director of Metroplan. In a press release, the Board of Directors announced that Townsell will take over the role at the end of the year, when his term as Mayor of Conway, AR expires and current Executive Director Jim McKenzie retires.
 
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – Michael Farbiarz has joined the Port Authority as General Counsel. Farbiarz takes over for Richard J. Holwell, who has been serving as Interim General Counsel since November 2015. In a press release, Port Authority Board Chairman John Degnan said, “We are extremely pleased a person of Michael’s high caliber, record of legal accomplishment and distinguished public service career is joining the Port Authority as an integral part of the leadership team.”
Judicial
 
 
 

September 1, 2016

This Week: AR Gov. Asa Hutchinson appoints Bill Gossage as Deputy Chief of Staff 

On Tuesday, August 30, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the appointment of State Representative Bill Gossage as his new Deputy Chief of Staff for External Operations. Gossage will work alongside Ateca Williams, who was hired as Deputy Chief of Staff for Internal Operations in July. The Deputy Chief of Staff position was split into two separate positions after Jon Gilmore left the role in June of this year. Gossage was first elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012. In a statement, Gossage said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work for Governor Hutchinson as he continues to move Arkansas forward with more high paying jobs, less taxes, and greater opportunities for all Arkansans.” Hutchinson also appointed Katie Beck to serve Director of State-Federal Relations in the state’s Washington, D.C. office. Alisha Curtis will take Beck’s former position as Executive Assistant to the Governor.
 
Nico Gomez announced that he will be resigning from his role as Chief Executive Officer at the Oklahoma Health Care Authority on September 30. Gomez has led the agency, which is tasked with controlling costs of state-purchased health care, since January 2013. Governor Mary Fallin praised Gomez in a press release, calling him “an inspirational leader who strived to make a positive difference for many of our most vulnerable Oklahomans by working to improve their health outcomes.”
 
Kevin Talbert is the newest member of the Oregon State Senate,representing District 3. Talbert, a retired administrator at Southern Oregon University, was selected by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners from a group of three names put forward by local Democratic party officials. He will replace Alan Bates, who died in early August at the age of 71. Talbert will serve until January 2017, at which point he will be replaced by the winner of this November’s general election between Democrat Tonia Moro and Republican Alan DeBoer.
 
Cities and Towns:
Alexandria, VA – Vanetta Pledger has been hired as the city’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Information Technology Services, effective September 12, 2016.  Pledger started her career with the City of Alexandria in 1999 in the Information Technology Services Department, and also held IT positions with Orange County, VA, and the City of Bowie, MD.  She replaces Laura Triggs who has been serving as Acting CIO.  In a press release, City Manager Mark Jinks says, “I am very pleased to welcome Vanetta back to Alexandria.  Her broad experience and proven results, combined with her extensive knowledge of local government, make her a strong choice to lead the City’s technology programs.”
 
Louisville, KY – Mayor Greg Fischer has appointed Grace Simrall as the city’s Chief of Civic Innovation.  She replaces Ted Smith, who left to accept a position as CEO of Revon Systems, a health technology company.  Simrall previously served as Executive Director of Intel Care Innovations.  From a press release, Simrall says, “It's an honor to have the opportunity to serve the community.  I look forward to continuing the work of my predecessor, Ted Smith, and welcome new collaborations across all channels."
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Fairfax County, VA – Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler hired Julie Parker to head the department’s Public Affairs Bureau last week. Parker has previously worked as a reporter for several local news stations and as a lecturer at the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA.
 
Volusia County, TN – Incumbent Sheriff Ben Johnson lost his reelection bid this week when challenger Michael Chitwood won the seat outright with a 51% majority in this week’s Florida Primary Elections. Chitwood’s first four year term will start in January 2017.

 

August 25, 2016

This Week: PA Gov. Tom Wolf nominates Bruce Beemer to be Attorney General 

On Thursday, August 18, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf nominated state Inspector General Bruce Beemer to serve as Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The nomination came one day after Kathleen Kane resigned from the Attorney General seat following her conviction for perjury and other crimes. Beemer served as First Deputy Attorney General under Kane before he was appointed to the Inspector General position in July 2016. In a press release announcing the nomination, Gov. Wolf wrote, “Bruce earned a reputation across the commonwealth as a tough prosecutor, effective administrator and thoughtful legal mind.” If confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate, Beemer will serve as Attorney General until the winner of this November’s general election is sworn in next January. Bruce Castor Jr. is currently Acting Attorney General.
 
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser appointed Peter Newsham to serve as Interim Police Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. Newsham is currently Assistant Chief in charge of the Investigative Services Bureau. Mayor Bowser praised Newsham in a statement, saying, “He is experience, smart, compassionate, and most importantly, he knows what it means to walk a beat, to manage a team, and to serve the resident of the District of Columbia.” Newsham will replace current Chief Cathy Lanier when she leaves the force on September 17 to take a position with the National Football League.
 
Cities and Towns:
Seattle, WA – Mayor Ed Murray hired George Scarola as the city’s first Director of Homelessness. This new position in Murray’s cabinet provides oversight for homeless efforts across departments. From a press release, Mayor Murray says, “We have made unprecedented investments in homelessness prevention and services. Because of the growing scope of work around homelessness, Seattle needs a proven manager to ensure we are achieving our desired outcomes. I have known George for many years, working alongside him in Seattle and Olympia, and know him as a unifying leader that excels at creating successful results through community engagement.”
 
Denver, CO – Mayor Michael Hancock has announced that Janice Sinden, his Chief of Staff for the last five years, will be stepping down on September 9, 2016. She is leaving for a position of President and CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. From a press release, Mayor Hancock says, “Janice has been an outstanding Chief of Staff, a superb advisor and steadfast friend these past five years. So much of what we’ve been able to accomplish is because she was in the lead making sure we could get across the finish line. While I’m sad to see her leave, she has served this city without fail and with unparalleled professionalism.”
 
Counties and Authorities:
Multnomah County, OR – Mike Reese was sworn in as County Sheriff last week, taking over for retiring Sheriff Dan Stanton. Reese, who will serve until a replacement can be elected to finish out Stanton’s term in November, most recently served as Chief of the Portland Police Bureau. In a press release, Reese said, “As your Sheriff, I will do my very best to lead this agency through difficult challenges ahead and to provide exceptional service to the citizens of Multnomah County.”
 
Guilford County, NC – Sharon Contreras was sworn in as Superintendent of Guilford County Schools, just in time for the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Last year, Contreras served as Superintendent for the Syracuse City School District. In a press release, Contreras said, “I want to get to know the hopes and dreams of this community, because I know the enormous responsibility I have to educate its children.”

 

August 11, 2016

This Week: Roger Millar appointed Washington Secretary of Transportation 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the appointment of Roger Millar to serve as Secretary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, effective immediately. Millar had been serving as Deputy Secretary of the agency since last October and as Acting Secretary since February. In a press release, Gov. Inslee called Millar “a well-respected leader with an impressive ability to bring people together and find sensible solutions to difficult problems.” Millar’s appointment received bipartisan praise, with both Republican State Senator Curtis King and Democratic State Representative Judy Clibborn endorsing the selection. In February, Senate Republicans voted against confirming Lynn Peterson, Inslee’s previously choice for WSDOT head, based on frustrations with I-405 tolls and delays in the Highway 99 Tunnel construction project.
 
Vincent Orange announced he will resign from his At Large seat on the Council of the District of Columbia, reversing an earlier decision to continue serving while also having a private sector position at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Orange was defeated in the June Democratic Primary election by attorney Robert White, and on July 28, he tweeted that he had been named as head of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. Orange had said he would remain serving as a Council Member until his term expired on January 2, 2017, but his colleagues on the Council said this decision presented a conflict of interest. In the wake of criticism, Orange announced in a tweet that he will transition out of the Council on August 15 and his staff will remain employed until January 2. The D.C. Democratic State Committee will choose a successor to fill the remaining four-and-a-half months of Orange’s term.
 
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement on Friday, August 5, demanding the immediate resignation of State Senator Bill Kintner after he was fined $1,000 for misuse of public resources. Kintner was found guilty by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission of using his state-issued computer to engage in cybersex. Kintner reported to the Nebraska State Patrol in mid-2015 that he was the victim of an extortion scam, saying a woman he met online was threatening to share an explicit video of him if he didn’t wire her money. Governor Ricketts’ statement on the matter was short and to the point: “In light of the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission’s decision, Senator Kintner should resign his office immediately. Period.”

Cities and Towns:
Fairfax, VA – Mayor R. Scott Silverthorne resigned as Mayor on August 11, 2016.  He was arrested last week on charges of trading drugs for sex.  City Council Member Jeffrey Greenfield is serving as Acting Mayor.  According to a press release, the City Council will meet to set a date for a special election to fill this seat and “discuss the possible appointment of an interim mayor.”
 
Brockton, MA – Robert Buckley, Mayor Bill Carpenter’s Chief of Staff will resign on August 31, 2016.  He has served as Chief of Staff since the beginning of Carpenter’s administration in January 2014.  He will be replaced by Darren Duarte, a former Public Affairs Director with the Massachusetts department of Correction for the past two years.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Frederick County, MD – County Executive Jan Gardner appointed longtime county employee Dr. Monica Grant as the Director of the Citizens Services Division. Grant, who has been director of the Developmental Center within the County Health Department since 2004, started in her new role on August 8, 2016. “I am confident that Monica will be an excellent leader over the many departments and public services offered in our Citizens Services Division,” County Executive Gardner said in a press release. “Her management and budgetary skills are an excellent match for this important position.”

 

August 5, 2016

This Week: Eric Greitens wins Republican gubernatorial nomination in Missouri 

In Missouri’s primary election, held on Tuesday, August 2, Eric Greitens won the Republican gubernatorial nomination, while Chris Koster captured the Democratic nod. Greitens, a former Navy Seal and Rhodes Scholar, took in 34.6 percent of the votes cast in the four person race. Businessman John Brunner came in second place with 24.8 percent of the vote, followed by Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway. Attorney General Chris Koster cruised to victory against little competition in the Democratic race. Both Greitens and Koster have both switched parties within the last decade: Greitens considered running for U.S. Congress as a Democrat in 2010, and Koster served as a Republican member of the Missouri Senate until changing his party affiliation in 2007. The race is shaping up to be one of the most closely-followed and costly of the 2016 election cycle. Within hours of Greitens’ win, the Missouri Democratic Party issued a statement accusing the Greitens campaign of colluding with super PACs, writing, “The only office Eric Greitens is qualified for is Hypocrite in Chief.” The candidates are running to replace outgoing Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.
 
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts appointed Dr. Thomas L. Williams to serve as Chief Medical Officer at the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Williams will also serve as Director of the Division of Public Health. Williams is currently Laboratory Medical Director and Chair of the Department of Pathology at Methodist Hospital in Omaha. He starts his new position on November 1. In a statement issued by the Governor’s office, DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips praised Williams, saying, “His insight and expertise will be a valuable asset to the agency and our work to help people live better lives.”
 
Donna Hutto Edwards, the First Lady of Louisiana, has launched two social media pages to connect with citizens of the Bayou State. Edwards set up a Facebook account and a Twitter account. In one of her first tweets, Edwards wrote, “John Bel says there’s no way I can get as many followers as he has on @LouisianaGov. Challenge accepted! –D #lagov”. As of press time, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has approximately 12,300 followers to Donna Edwards’ 756.

Cities and Towns:
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed James O’Neill as the next Police Commissioner, effective September 2016.  O’Neill replaces Bill Bratton, who has been serving as Commissioner since January 2014.  Commissioner O’Neill currently serves as Chef of Department, a position he has held since 2014.  O’Neill has announced that current Chief of Patrol Carlos Gomez will replace him as Chief of Department.  Mayor de Blasio was quoted in a press release saying, “As the architect of our neighborhood policing program, Jimmy O’Neill has built a national model for bringing police and the community together to fight crime. As the top-ranking uniformed member of the NYPD, Jimmy has spent each day ensuring that New York City remains the safest big city in America.”
 
Fort Wayne, IN – Steve Reed was sworn in as the new Police Chief in Fort Wayne this week.  He replaces Garry Hamilton, who will remain on the department’s command staff serving as Deputy Chief of the Community Relations Unit.  Reed is a 23 year veteran of Fort Wayne’s Police Department.  In a press release, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says, “Steve is a true professional and a man of integrity who is ready for this leadership position. His communication skills and a commitment to the safety and well-being of everyone in our City are clear indications he is the right person to lead the Fort Wayne Police Department.”
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Los Angeles County, CA – Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Marcie Edwards announced this week that she will retire on August 16, 2016. Edwards, who will stay on through the end of 2016 as special advisor, will be replaced on an Interim basis by current Chief Operating Officer David Wright.   Mayor Eric Garcetti was quoted in a press release on the staff changes stating, “When I took office, LADWP was facing difficult challenges -- we needed a visionary leader to put our utility back on track, and that’s exactly what Marcie Edwards has done.  She has left an indelible mark on our city, and I am deeply grateful for her service.”
 
Atlantic County, NJ – First Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton was sworn in this week as Acting Prosecutor for Atlantic County. Ruberton succeeds Jim McClain, who resigned last week to take the position of State Superior Court Judge. A permanent appointment to fill the position of Prosecutor must be made by the Governor and approved by the State Legislature.  Following her swearing in, Ruberton was quoted in a press release, “I am honored to serve the Atlantic County community as Acting Prosecutor. This office has a reputation as being leaders in the law enforcement community and at the forefront in developing law enforcement and community partnerships.” 

 

July 28, 2016

This Week: Indiana Republican State Committee picks Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb as nominee for governor 

Following Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s appointment as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate, the Indiana Republican State Committee voted on Tuesday to name Eric Holcomb as the party’s new nominee in November’s gubernatorial election. The 22 voting members of the committee chose Holcomb, currently the state’s Lieutenant Governor, over U.S. Representatives Susan W. Brooks and Todd Rokita, as well as State Senator Jim Tomes. Holcomb served as Chairman of the Indiana Republican Partyfrom 2011 to 2013 and as Chief of Staff in the Indianapolis Office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats from 2013 to 2015 before launching a campaign for the U.S. Senate. He dropped his campaign when Governor Mike Pence selected him to replace Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, who resigned in March. Holcomb was Pence’s running mate in his reelection effort until Pence ended his campaign on July 15. Within the last six months, Holcomb has been a candidate for three separate offices: U.S. Senator; Lieutenant Governor of Indiana; and now Governor of Indiana.
 
Anne Holton, the wife of U.S Senator and Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine, resigned from her position as Virginia’s Secretary of Education on Tuesday, July 25. Holton will now be working for the Hillary for America campaign as an Advisor. Governor Terry McAuliffe thanked Holton for her two-year tenure as head of Virginia’s Education Secretariat, calling her a “tireless advocate on behalf of the students of the Commonwealth.” Deputy Secretary of Education Dr. Dietra Trent has been promoted to replace Holton.
 
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is losing his top spokesperson. Matthew Clark, who has served as Communications Director since Hogan’s inauguration in January 2015, is leaving the administration to work at Washington-based communication firm FTI Consulting. Deputy Communications Director Douglass Mayer was named as Clark’s replacement. Mayer previously worked as Communications Director in the Office of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Mayer will take over on August 16.

Cities and Towns:
Houston, TX – TheHouston Independent School District named Richard Carranza as the sole finalist for the position of Superintendent.  By law, the board must wait 21 days before a final vote to hire Carranza.  He would replace Kenneth Huewitt, who has been serving as Interim Superintendent since February 2016, when former Superintendent Terry Grier resigned.  Carranza is currently Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, a position he has held since 2012.  The San Francisco School Board has announced that Myong Leigh will serve as Interim Superintendent, following Carranza’s resignation.
 
Providence, RI – Mayor Jorge Elorza appointed Nicole Pollock as his new Chief of Staff, effective September 1, 2016.  She replaces Tony Simon, who has been Elorza’s chief of staff since 2015.  Pollock is currently Chief Policy and Innovation Officer for Mayor Elorza.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Cobb County, GA – Incumbent Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Tim Lee lost to challenger Mike Boyce in this week’s runoff election. Boyce’s four year term as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners begins on January 1, 2017.
 
Broward County, FL – Joseph Fernandez was sworn in as Chief of the Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services in Broward County, FL. Fernandez takes over for former chief Anthony Stravino, who will serve as Fire Chief for Polk County, FL, in September.
 

 

July 22, 2016

This Week: Donald Trump's VP pick shakes up Indiana governor's race 

Republican president nominee Donald Trump’s selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence to serve as his running mate set off a domino effect through Indiana politics and a wild scene at the Indiana Office of the Secretary of State. Pence had to formally submit his withdrawal from the Indiana gubernatorial election to the Secretary of State’s office by noon on Friday, July 15, just one hour after the Trump campaign officially announced their vice presidential selection. Since Pence had already won the Republican nomination for Governor in May’s primary election, the Indiana Republican State Committee must choose a replacement nominee within thirty days. State law prohibits candidates from running for multiple races, so any candidate seeking the Republican nomination was forced to withdraw from other races. Eric Holcomb withdrew from his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor, and U.S. Representatives Susan W. Brooks and Todd Rokita both withdrew from their congressional reelection campaigns. Representatives for Pence, Holcomb, Brooks, and Rokita all descended upon Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s office to submit the appropriate paperwork before the noon deadline. The state Republican party has scheduled a July 26 caucus to select a nominee to face Democrat John Gregg in the November general election. Should either Brooks or Rokita not be selected, they still can ask to be nominated to their congressional races by local party officials.
 
Two governors have appointed a new Chief of Staff. Delaware Governor Jack Markell announced that Drew Fennell will be promoted from his current position of Deputy Chief of Staff. Fennell is replacing Mike Barlow, who is leaving on July 22 to take a position at law firm Abrams & Bayliss. Fennell will serve for the remainder of Markell’s term, which expires in January. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced that Brett Smiley will begin serving as her Chief of Staff beginning in September. Smiley is currently Chief Operating Officer in the Office of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza. Smiley is replacing Acting Chief of Staff David Cruise, who has been serving in that position since Stephen Neuman left the Raimondo administration to work on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Cities and Towns:
Columbus, OH – Mayor Andrew Ginther has appointed Ned Pettus as Director of Public Safety for the City, effective August 1, 2016.  He replaces George Speaks, who will continue with the Department, serving as Deputy Director. Pettus is a 30 year veteran of Columbus’ Fire department, most recently serving as Chief from 2002-2012.
 
Gilbert, AZ – The Town Council appointed Jenn Daniels as the new Mayor of Gilbert.  She replaces John Lewis, who resigned this week.  Mayor Daniels served on the Town Council from  2009-2016.  Daniels is uncontested in the August primary for a full four-year term as Mayor of Gilbert, starting January 2017.
 
Clovis, CA – John Binaski was sworn in as Fire Chief on July 18, 2016.  He replaces Michael Despain, who resigned and is now serving as Fire Chief in Lincoln, NE.  Binaski previously served as Deputy Fire Chief in Clovis since 2013.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Philadelphia Regional Port Authority – The Board of Directors announced this week that Jeff Theobald will be the Port’s next Chief Executive Officer. Theobald, who will start in his new position in August, takes over for previous CEO James T. McDermott Jr., who retired in April of this year.
 

 

July 14, 2016

This Week: Christopher Quinn elected to Pennsylvania House of Representatives 

Christopher B. Quinn was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 12. Quinn, a Republican member of the Middletown Township Council, won 58.45 percent of the votes cast to defeat Democratic nominee Diane Cornman-Levy. Quinn will represent District 168 in the House, which is located in the Philadelphia suburbs of Delaware County. He will replace Tom Killion, who resigned in April after being elected to the Pennsylvania Senate.
 
Two members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives have passed away over the last month following battles with cancer. Debbie DiFranco, a Democrat elected to represent Portsmouth in 2014, died on Monday, July 11. In a statement, Governor Maggie Hassan praised DiFranco for “embodying the hard work and unyielding commitment that represent our citizen-led democracy. Republican Shem Kellogg succumbed to cancer on June 21. Kellogg, a 34-year-old engineer from Plaistow, was elected to represent the Rockingham-14 district in November 2014. He served on the Fish, Game and Marine Resources committee.
 
Following the departure of his Deputy Chief of Staff, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has split the job into two separate positions. Gov. Hutchinson has named Ateca Williams to serve as Deputy Chief of Staff for Internal Operations, effective July 18. Williams currently serves as Director of Constituent Services in the Office of the Governor. Gov. Hutchinson will name a Deputy Chief of Staff for External Affairs at a later date. Former Deputy Chief of Staff Jon Gilmore left the administration in June to take a job in the private sector.

Cities and Towns:
Danville, VA – The City Council of Danville held their reorganizing meeting and elected John Gilstrap to serve as Mayor for the 2016 session.  He replaces Sherman Saunders, who remains on the City Council.
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Tom McCasland as Interim Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development.  He replaces Neal Rackleff who resigned in June.  McCasland previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Authority in Harris County, TX.  He also launched an unsuccessful bid for an At Large Seat on the Houston City Council in 2015.  Also in Houston, Jane Cheeks was confirmed as the Director of the Department of Human Resources.  She had been serving as the department’s Interim Director.
 
Athens, GA – Jestin Johnson was appointed Assistant City Manager in Athens.  He previously served as City Manager in Bisbee, AZ, and started his career as a Policy Analyst in Georgia’s Office of Planning and Budget.
 
Burlington, VT – Rubi Simon has resigned as Director of Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library, effective August 26, 2016.  She has served as director since 2012.  The Mayor’s office is assembling a committee to choose the next Library Director.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Cook County, IL – Interim Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar was appointed to her position permanently. Dr. Arunkumar had been serving as Interim Chief Medical Examiner since previous Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Cina resigned in June 2016.
 
San Mateo County, CA – County Sheriff Greg Munks resigned this week, citing health reasons. Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos was appointed Acting Sheriff. He subsequently promoted Assistant Sheriff Trisha Sanchez to fill the position of Undersheriff. Sanchez begins her new role on July 17, 2016.
 

July 1, 2016

This Week: Kaya Henderson resigns as Chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools 

On June 29, 2016, Kaya Henderson announced she would be leaving her position as Chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools. Henderson joined DCPS in 2007 as a Deputy Chancellor working under controversial educational reform proponent Michelle Rhee, and was appointed to lead the agency in March 2011 by newly elected Mayor Vincent GrayHenderson will be stepping down as Chancellor on September 30, 2016. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that current Chief of Schools John Davis will serve as Interim Chancellor until a nationwide search for Henderson’s replacement is completed. The District of Columbia Public Schools system had an enrollment of nearly 49,000 students during the most recent school year.
 
Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards abruptly resigned from office on Thursday, June 23, 2016. A press release from Governor Bill Walker’s office announcing the staff change said Richards was “stepping down to focus on his family.”  Richards had been serving as Attorney General since Gov. Walker inauguration on December 1, 2014. Five days after Richards resignation, Gov. Walker announced the appointment of attorney Jahna Lindemuth as the new Attorney General. Lindemuth, who is currently a Partner at law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP’s Anchorage office, will begin work at the Office of the Attorney General in early August. Deputy Attorney General James Cantor is serving as Acting Attorney General until Lindemuth starts.
 
Utah Governor Gary Herbert won his state’s Republican primary election by a huge margin on Tuesday, June 28. Herbert took in over 72 percent of the votes cast to beat Libertarian challenger Jonathan Johnson, the Chairman of Overstock.com. The results came as a relief to the Herbert campaign after Johnson won a majority of votes at the state party convention in April. In that contest, Johnson claimed 55 percent of the votes cast by the roughly 4,000 delegates in attendance, but failed to reach the 60 percent threshold necessary to clinch the nomination outright. Governor Herbert and Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox will face Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Weinholtz and his running mate Kim Bowman in November’s general election.

Cities and Towns:
Portland, OR – Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea resigned this week, following news that he accidentally shot a friend during a hunting trip and did not reveal all the facts about the incident.  Mayor Charlie Hales appointed Captain Mike Marshman as Chief of Police, while the city searches for a permanent replacement.
 
St. Paul, MN – Mayor Chris Coleman appointed Todd Axtell as the new Chief of Police in St. Paul.  He replaces Tom Smith, who retired in May.  Axtell joined the Police Department in 1994, most recently overseeing the Operations Bureau.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Mercer County, NJ – Mercer County Park Commission Superintendent Kevin Bannon was fired this week at a Park Commission meeting.  He had been on paid leave since April, following a raid by the Attorney General on the Commission office.  Deputy County Administrator Aaron Watson is serving as Interim Executive Director of the Park Commission.
 
St. John the Baptist Parish, LA – Parish Council Member Buddy Boe resigned from his position to take a role as Communications Director for Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. Raj Pannu, a local business owner, will take over the position on an interim basis until a replacement can be elected on November 8, 2016. The winner of that election will serve until the end of 2020. 
 

June 23, 2016

This Week: Chris Christie nominates Christopher Porrino to be Attorney General 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has nominated his former Chief Counsel Christopher Porrino to serve as the state’s next Attorney General. Porrino was Vice Chair of the Litigation Department at Lowenstein Sandler from 2004 to 2012. He left to join the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety in 2012 as Director of the Division of Law, and was named Governor Christie’s Chief Counsel in 2014. He returned to Lowenstein Sandler in 2015. If Porrino’s nomination is confirmed by the New Jersey Senate, he will replace Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy.
 
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has named Chris Stadelman as his new Chief of Staff, effective Friday, June 24. Stadelman has served as Communications Director in the Office of the Governor since May 2014, and served as Managing Editor of the Charleston Daily Mail newspaper from 1999 to 2004. He will replace outgoing Chief of Staff Charlie Lorensen, who is returning to the private sector after holding the position since April 2013.

Kitty Rhoades, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, died on Saturday, June 18, following a short battle with pneumonia. Rhoades was appointed Secretary of the Department by Governor Scott Walker in 2013 after serving two years as the Department’s Deputy Secretary. She previously served as a Republican member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1999 to 2010. Governor Walker appointed Deputy Secretary Tom Engels to serve as Interim Secretary of the Department.

Cities and Towns:
Oakland, CA – Mayor Libby Schaaf announced that command staff for the Oakland Police Department will report directly to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth.  The decision follows the announcement that Acting Chief of Police Paul Figueroa would be taking a leave of absence.  Mayor Schaff had appointed Figueroa to replace Police Chief Sean Whent, who resigned on June 9. 
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed Frank Bush as General Manager of the Department of Building and Safety, pending City Council approval. He replaces Raymond Chan, who is now serving as Garcetti’s Interim Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.  Bush has been serving as Executive Officer with the department since 2014.
 
Harrisburg, PA – The Harrisburg City Council chose Dan Miller as City Treasurer.  He replaces Tyrell Spradley, who resigned six months after being elected to the position.  Miller, a former Controller and City Council Member, lost in the race for Mayor against Eric Papenfuse, the current Mayor of Harrisburg.
 
Erie, PA – Guy Santone was sworn in as Fire Chief for the city of Erie.  Santone replaces Tony Pol, who had served as Fire Chief since 2006.  Chief Santone previously served as Chief Fire Inspector for the Erie Fire Department.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Plaquemines Parish, LA – This week, Ed Theriot was sworn in as Interim Parish President. Theriot, who is Director of Administration, fills the position after Parish President Amos Cormier passed away last week. A special election to fill the position is scheduled for November 8, 2016.
 
Harris County, TX – Alan Vierling will be the next Executive Vice President and Administrator of Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital within the Harris County Health System, effective Summer 2016. Vierling has been serving in that roll on an interim basis.

Monterey County, CA – County Public Defender Jim Egar resigned this week after a decade in that position. Frank Dice, head of the Alternate Defense Office for the county, is now serving as Interim Public Defender. 

 
 

June 16, 2016

This Week: Upset in North Dakota GOP gubernatorial primary 

North Dakota hosted one of the biggest upsets of the campaign season when Fargo software entrepreneur and philanthropist Doug Burgum handily defeated Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary election. Burgum, who at the age of 59 has never before held political office, claimed 59.46 percent of the votes cast to defeat Stenehjem, who won the state Republican Party’s endorsement at their official convention on April 2, 2016.  Despite holding a 59 to 10 percent lead in the race’s most recent poll, Stenehjem was unable to compete with Burgum’s largely self-funded campaign. Burgum and his running mate Brent Sanford will face Democratic nominee Marvin Nelson and running mate Joan Heckaman in November’s general election to replace outgoing Governor Jack Dalrymple. Burgum starts the race as the heavy favorite – the state has not elected a Democrat to the office since 1988. 

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appointed Amit Agarwal to serve as the state’s new Solicitor General. Agarwal has previously served as Deputy Chief to the Appellate Division in the Southern District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. In this role, Agarwal will serve as Florida’s top appellate counsel and represent the state throughout the appellate court system.
 
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced that his Chief of Staff Mike Zolnierowicz will be leaving the Office of the Governor to join the state Republican Party. Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs Rich Goldberg will replace Zolnierowicz as Chief of Staff. This staff change is effective July 1.

Cities and Towns:
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Jonnel Doris as the new Senior Advisor for the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise Program.  He will help with the city’s goal of awarding $16 billion in M/WBE contracts by the year 2025.  Doris previously worked with the Office of Diversity and Civil Rights at the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.  Also in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio promoted Eric Phillips to Press Secretary.  Phillips is a former Deputy Communications Director in the Mayor’s press office.  He replaces Karen Hinton, who held the position for one year.
 
Oakland, CA – On June 15, Mayor Libby Schaaf appointed Paul Figueroa as Acting Chief of Police.  He replaces Sean Whent, who resigned on June 9.  Mayor Schaff appointed Ben Fairow, a former Oakland Police Captain, as Interim Chief, and then removed Whent from office less than a week later.  Figueroa is currently an Assistant Chief with the department and will serve as Acting Chief while the city conducts a search for a permanent Chief.
 
Sacramento, CA – Darrell Steinberg was elected Mayor of Sacramento.  He won a majority of 59 percent of the votes cast in the June 7 primary, eliminating the need for a general election in November.  He will replace Kevin Johnson, who opted not to run for re-election. 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Hudson County, NJ – Frances O. Thompson, former County Councilwoman, passed away last week. She had served as the Director of Minority and Women Business Enterprise for the County.
 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority – Laura Mason, a former executive at Bechtel, has been chosen to head up the Authority’s Safe Track program, which is a maintenance surge program expected to last one year.
 
Rhode Island Public Transit Authority – Governor Raimondo nominated Joshua Brumberger, Wayne Kezirian, and Karen Santilli to the Authority’s Board of Directors. The nominees must be confirmed by the Rhode Island State Senate.
 
 
 

June 9, 2016

This Week: AR State Rep. Kelley Linck appointed Chief of Legislative and Governmental Affairs  

Arkansas State Representative Kelley Linck was appointed to serve as the new Chief of Legislative and Governmental Affairs for the state’s human services agency. Linck is a Republican currently serving his third term in the Arkansas House of Representatives, and represents District 99 in the northern part of the state. He will take over as head of the new Office of Legislative and Governmental Affairs on June 13. Linck’s hiring is part of a broader reorganization at the Arkansas Department of Human Services that was recently announced by new Director Cindy Gillespie.
 
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has named Mike Jaspers to serve as Secretary of the state’s Department of Agriculture, effective July 5, 2016.  Jaspers formerly served as Director of the South Dakota Rural Development Office in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the George W. Bush administration. He also served in the South Dakota State Legislature from 1997 to 2005. He will fill the vacancy created by the departure of former Secretary Lucas Lentsch.
 
Conservative activist and software engineer Greg Gianforte won the Republican primary for governor in Montana’s primary election held Tuesday, July 7. Gianforte and his running mate, Phillips CountyCommissioner Lesley Robinson, easily defeated challenger Terry Nelson. Gianforte and Robinson will face incumbents Governor Steve Bullock and Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney, both Democrats, in November’s general election. Although Bullock’s approval rating has consistently ranked above 50 percent, he could face a significant challenge from Gianforte’s well-funded campaign.

Cities and Towns:
Memphis, TN – This week, the City Council approved Maria Muñoz-Blanco as the city’s new Director of Parks and Neighborhoods. Muñoz-Blanco was previously Director of Cultural Affairs for Miami-Dade College and for the City of Dallas.
 
Seattle, WA – Chris Gregorich will be the next Intergovernmental Relations Director for Seattle. Gregorich, who currently works in the Mayor’s office as Special Advisor for Strategic Initiatives, will start in the new position on June 29, 2016.
 
Toledo, OH – Alan Bannister, Executive Assistant to Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, has announced that he will resign from his position on June 17, 2016.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Nassau County, NY – Commissioner of Human Services Lisa Murphy has left her position with the county, joining the Town of Hempstead’s Department of Senior Enrichment. James Dolan, Jr. will succeed her as Commissioner on an interim basis.
 
Northampton County, PA – Luis Campos, County Administrator, has resigned from his position. County Executive John A. Brown will take over the duties associated with the position. 
 
 
 

June 2, 2016

This Week: Chuck Ardo resigns as Communications Advisor to PA AG Kathleen Kane  

Chuck Ardo resigned from his position as Communications Advisor for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, making him the seventh spokesperson to quit the position during Kane’s tumultuous tenure. Ardo served as Kane’s spokesperson for thirteen months, which is longer than any of the previous six people. In an interview, Ardo explained his reasons for quitting, which include a lack of communication between the Attorney General and her senior staff. Ardo said, “I could no longer in good conscience do the job she had hired me to do.”
 
Oregon Governor Kate Brown has appointed former Multnomah County prosecutor Jeffrey Rhoades to serve in the new position of Marijuana Policy Advisor. Rhoades, who will begin his new position on June 20, will advise the governor on issues related to the sale of marijuana, which became legal in the state last year. Governor Brown is following the lead of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who created the position of Marijuana Coordination Director in 2014 after voters in the Rocky Mountain State approved a constitutional amendment legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana.
 
Candice Jones has resigned from her position as Director of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice effective June 1, 2016. In a press release, Governor Bruce Rauner announced that Deputy Director of Operations Jesse Montgomery will serve as Acting Director until the search for a permanent director concludes.

Cities and Towns:
 
Boston, MA – Mayor Martin Walsh appointed Andrew Therriault as the City’s first Chief Data Officer in the Department of Innovation and Technology.  He will work to advance Boston’s role as a leader in data-driven government.  Therriault previously served as Director of Data Science for the Democratic National Committee.
 
Minneapolis, MN – The Minneapolis School Board has hired Ed Graff as the next Superintendent, effective July 2016.  He replaces Michael Thomas, who has been serving as Interim Superintendent.  Graff is currently Superintendent of Anchorage, AK School District, a position he has held since 2013.
 
Salt Lake City, UT – Fire Chief Brian Dale has announced that he will retire on October 1, 2016, after 30 years of service with the department.  Mayor Jackie Biskupski will appoint a successor.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Allen County, IN – Elissa McGauley was chosen this week as Director of Redevelopment for the County. McGauley, who will start in the position on June 20, previously worked as a development coordinator for the City of Fort Wayne, IN.
 
Fulton County, GA – Jeff Rose started his new position as Fulton County Schools Superintendent on June 1, 2016. Rose, who had led Beaverton School district in Oregon for five years, takes over for Interim Superintendent Kenneth Zeff.
 
 
 

May 26, 2016

This Week: Richard Crandall steps down as Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Education  

Richard Crandall announced he would step down from his position as Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Education after leading the agency for just four-and-a-half months. In a statement, Crandall cited his family and young children, who live out of state, as a primary reason for his resignation. Crandall served as a Republican member of both the Arizona House of Representatives and Arizona State Senatebefore becoming Director of the Wyoming Department of Education in 2013. He was hired as Commissioner of the CDE last December and took over the job this January. In a special meeting following Crandall’s resignation, the State Board of Education voted to appoint the department’s Chief of Staff Katy Anthes to serve as Interim Commissioner.
 
John Gregg, the Democratic challenger to Indiana Governor Mike Pence in November’s gubernatorial election, named a state legislator to serve as his running mate. Gregg announced that he has selected Christina Hale to join his campaign as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor. Hale has served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives since 2012 and represents District 87 in northeastern Indianapolis. Hale is the Ranking Minority Member of both the Insurance and the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunicationscommittee. In a statement, Gregg referred to Hale as “a partner who shares my commitment to working across the aisle to get things done.”
 
John Quigley resigned as Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection on Friday, May 20, after news outlets revealed he has sent a profanity-laced email to several environmental groups. Quigley had led the department since the start of current Governor Tom Wolf’s administration. The email in question, dated April 13, chastised environmental nonprofits for failing to speak out against the Republican-led legislature’s rejection of oil and gas regulations. Governor Wolf issued a statement that thanked Quigley for his service but offered no details about the reasons for the sudden departure. Patrick McDonnell, the agency’s Director of Policy, will replace Quigley as Acting Secretary.  
 
Cities and Towns:
Portland, OR – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has placed Police Chief Larry O’Dea on administrative leave.  O’Dea was involved in a shooting accident while on a hunting trip in April and misled the investigator into thinking it was a self-inflicted wound to a friend of his.  Donna Henderson is serving as Acting Chief of Police.
 
Atlanta, GA – Mayor Kasim Reed made two department head changes this week.  Roosevelt Council has been appointed Interim General Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  He replaces Miguel Southwell, who had served as General Manager since 2015.  The Mayor also appointed William Johnson as Interim Commissioner of the Department of Watershed Management. He replaces Jo Ann Macrina.  Johnson was recently hired as Atlanta’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer.
 
Boston, MA – Jill Bourne has been hired as the new President of the Boston Public Library, effective Summer 2016.  She will replace David Leonard, who has been serving as Interim President since June 2015.  Bourne has been serving as Library Director for the San Jose Public Library since 2013 and will start in Boston once contract negotiations have been completed.
 
San Francisco, CA – Police Chief Greg Suhr has resigned, following a police officer’s deadly shooting of a victim in a stolen car arrest. Deputy Chief Toney Chaplin is serving as Acting Police Chief.  Suhr had served as San Francisco’s Police Chief since 2011.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx appointed Kathryn Thomson as Special Safety Advisor for the Authority. Thomson had recently served as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
 
New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Beth DeFalco will be the next Director of Communication for the Transportation Authority. DeFranco, who had previously served as spokesperson for Senator Cory Booker will start in the new position in June.
 
Hudson County, NJ – Harold Demellier, longtime county employee and Director of the County Department of Roads and Public Property, passed away earlier this week. No successor has been named.
 
New Castle County, DE – Democrat Ken Woods won a special election on May 24, 2016, to fill the seat of County Councilman Joe Reda, who passed away this past month. Woods will be sworn in next week.
 
 
 

May 19, 2016

This Week: Oregon holds primary in gubernatorial special election  

Political newcomer Bud Pierce won the Republican nomination for Governor in Oregon’s primary election held on Tuesday. Pierce, an oncologist from Salem, won 48 percent of the votes cast in the five-candidate field. His closest challenger was former state Republican Party Chairman Allen Alley, who took 29 percent of the vote. Democratic incumbent Kate Brown easily won her party’s nomination by garnering 85 percent of the votes cast. Pierce faces a challenge in his battle to unseat Brown in November, and it’s not just due to his political inexperience. A Republican has not won the gubernatorial election in Oregon since 1982. The winner of November’s special election will fill the remaining two years of John Kitzhaber’s term. Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015, just one month into his fourth four-year term.
 
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has appointed Patrick Sheehan to lead the state’s disaster response agency. Sheehan will take over as Director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency from current agency head David Purkey on June 15. Purkey is stepping down from TEMA after a two-year stint as Director, but will remain in his other position as Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Homeland Security. Sheehan is a graduate of Kennesaw State University and previously served as Plans Branch Chief for Ohio’s Emergency Management Agency.
 
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin appointed Lisa Hopkins to serve as State Auditor effective May 14, 2016. Hopkins will hold the position for the remainder of retiring State Auditor Glenn Gainer’s term, which expires in January 2017. Hopkins has been General Counsel and Deputy Commissioner of Securities at the State Auditor’s office since 2001. Democrat May Ann Claytor and Republican John B. McCuskey will face off in November’s general election to win the auditor job for the upcoming four-year term.

 
 
Cities and Towns:
Davie, FL – Julie Downey has been appointed Fire Chief in Davie. She replaces Michael Malvasio, who had been serving as Acting Fire Chief since February 2016.  Downey is a 34 year veteran of the Fire Department, having served as Battalion Chief and Assistant Fire Chief.
 
Jersey City, NJ – City Council Member Chico Ramchal has resigned, following a drunken driving arrest in March 2015 and a grand jury inquiry.  Ramchal had served on the City Council since 2013.
 
Chicago, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel has appointed Andrea Zopp as Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer, a new position in his administration.  Zopp had previously served as President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. She also had served as a prosecutor and an Assistant United States Attorney.
 
Nashville, TN – Shawn Joseph has been hired as the new Director of Schools at Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, effective July 1, 2016.  He comes to Nashville from a position of Deputy Superintendent in Prince George’s County, MD.  Joseph replaces Chris Henson, who has been serving as Interim Director of Schools.
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Luzerne County, PA – Acting County Manager C. David Pedri was appointed to the position permanently this past week. Pedri has previously served as Assistant District Attorney.  He replaces Robert Lawton, who resigned in December 2015.
 
Jefferson Parish, LA – Reporter Antwan Harris is Jefferson Parish’s new Public Information Officer. Harris had previously been with the New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL.  Harris replaces Kriss Fortunato, who left in January 2016. 
 
 
 

May 12, 2016

This Week: West Virginia holds primaries for statewide and legislative offices 

West Virginia voters cast their primary ballots in six statewide races and several more legislative races on Tuesday, May 10.  Billionaire coal magnate Jim Justice, who was recently named as the wealthiest person in West Virginia by Forbes Magazine, won the Democratic nomination for Governor. Justice earned 51.4 percent of the vote against former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin and State Senator Jeff Kessler. Bill Cole, the President of the West Virginia Senate, ran unopposed in the Republican primary and will face Justice in November to see who will replace outgoing Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Incumbent Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is running for a second term in office and will face off against Democratic State Delegate Doug Reynolds in November. Ann Urling won the Republican nomination for State Treasurer, and will go head-to-head against Democratic incumbent John Perdue. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant fended over a challenger in the Democratic primary and will face Republican nominee Mac Warner in the general election. The nominees for State Auditor are Democrat Mary Ann Claytor and Republican John B. McCluskey. The election for Commissioner of Agriculture will be between Democratic incumbent Walt Helmick and Republican State Senator Kent Leonhardt. Richard Ojeda, a Democratic challenger for Senate District 7 who earned national headlines after being brutally beaten two days before the primary, defeated incumbent Ark Kirkendoll. Police have not yet determined a motive for the attack on Ojeda.
 
Kevin Kennedy, the head of Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, announced he will retire this summer after spending 37 years with the agency. In December, Governor Scott Walker signed a Republican-sponsored bill to split the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections and enforces ethics laws, into two separate commissions made up of partisan employees. This reorganization is scheduled to take place on July 1, two days after Kennedy’s announced retirement date. Kennedy served as Executive Director of the agency from 1982 to 2007, when it was known as the State Elections Board. Once the agency was transformed into the Government Accountability and Ethic Board in 2007, he was named Director and General Counsel. Kennedy has been a target of Republican criticism in recent years for his investigations into Gov. Walker and conservative groups, which some GOP legislators have called politically motivated and beyond the scope of the board’s authority.
 
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed Robert Neall to serve as Senior Advisor to the Governor and as Executive Director of the brand new Governor’s Office of Transformation and Renewal. In this position, Neall will oversee a multi-year effort to optimize government efficiency within Maryland’s executive branch. Neall represented District 33 in the Maryland Senate from 1996 to 2003. He will start this new position on July 1, 2016.

 

Cities and Towns:

Salt Lake City, UT – City Finance Director Gina Chamness has announced that she will resign on May 24, 2016.  She had served as Budget Manager for eight years and was appointed Finance Director in 2014.  Chamness is leaving for the position of City Manager in Holladay, UT.
 
Philadelphia, PA – Department of Streets Commissioner Donald Carlton was arrested following charges he was involved in a fight occurring in December 2015.  Mayor Jim Kenney has put Carlton on administrative leave and Deputy Commissioner Michael Carroll is serving as Acting Streets Commissioner.
 
Los Angeles, CA – Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed Aram Sahakian Interim General Manager of the Emergency Management Department.  Sahakian had worked with the city’s Department of Transportation Emergency Response team.  He replaces James Featherstone, who retired.
 
 
 

Counties and Authorities:

Arlington County, VA – James Bonzano started his new position as Fire Chief for Arlington County, this week. Bonzano previously served as Acting Assistant Chief for the County and is a 31 year veteran of the Fire Department.

Lancaster County, NE – County Corrections Director Mike Thurber resigned from his position this week after more than twenty years with the county. Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Gwen Thorpe will serve as Interim Director through the end of May. 

 
 

May 5, 2016

This Week: Gov. Asa Hutchinson's chief of staff resigns

Michael Lamoureux, the Chief of Staff to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, has announced he will step down from that position at the end of May. In a statement, Lamoureux announced he will resign to accept an unspecified “professional opportunity.” Lamoureux has held this position since Gov. Hutchinson was sworn into office in January 2015. Before joining the Governor’s office, Lamoureux served in both the Arkansas House of Representatives and Arkansas Senate. He was President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate from May 2013 until November 2014, when he resigned to become the Director of then Governor-Elect Hutchinson’s Transition Team.
 
The Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has submitted his resignation. Andre Porter will leave his position as head of the utility regulation agency on May 20. In a letter to Governor John Kasich, Porter said he will pursuing a new job in the private sector. Porter initially served a two-year stint as a member of the Public Utilities Commission from April 2011 to April 2013, but left after being named Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. He rejoined the Commission as its Chair in April 2015. His term is not scheduled to expire until April 2020.
 
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the appointment of Charles Smith to serve as Executive Commissioner of the state’s Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Smith will replace Chris Traylor, who announced last month he would be leaving the agency after serving as its head for less than a year. Smith is currently Chief Deputy Executive Commissioner of HHSC, and previously served as Deputy Attorney General for Child Support during Greg Abbott’s tenure as Attorney General. Gov. Abbott also appointed Cecile Young, HHSC’s current Chief of Staff, to replace Smith in the Chief Deputy Executive Commissioner position. Both appointments are effective June 1, 2016.
 
 
Cities and Towns:
Baltimore, MD – Sonja Santelises has been hired as Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools, effective July 1, 2016.  She currently serves as Vice President, K-12 Policy and Practice for The Education Trust.  Santelises replaces Gregory Thornton, who resigned.  Current Baltimore Schools General Counsel Tammy Turner will serve as Interim CEO through June 30, 2016.
 
Denver, CO – Denver City Attorney Scott Martinez has announced that he will resign on May 31, 2016.  Martinez has served as City Attorney since 2013.  Current Deputy City Attorney Cristal DeHerrera will serve as Interim City Attorney during the search for a permanent replacement for Martinez.
 
Vancouver, WA – Port of Vancouver Executive Director Todd Coleman has announced that he will resign on May 19, 2016.  He has held the position since 2012 and served as Deputy Executive Director.  An interim Executive Director will be appointed while the Port searches for a replacement for Coleman.
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Barbara Chang as Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.  Chang has over 30 years of nonprofit management experience, having previously served as Chief Executive Officer at Code to Work.
 
 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Maricopa County, AZ – County Manager Tom Manos retired this week after holding the position since 2012. Current County Chief Financial Officer Shelby Scharbach will serve as interim County Manager until a permanent replacement is found.
 
Hillsborough County, NH – County Commissioner Carol Holden passed away this week. She had served on the County Commission since 1997.
 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx appointed Carol Carmody, David Strickland, and Robert Lauby to the Board of the Transportation Authority. They will replace Mortimer Downey, Harriet Tregoning, and Anthony Giancola, effective June 1, 2016.
 
 
 

April 28, 2016

This Week: Pennsylvania holds primaries for AG, and special election for State Senate

Pennsylvania held a primary election on Tuesday, April 26, to determine party nominees in this November’s Attorney General election. Incumbent Kathleen Kane, who is currently facing federal charges and a result had her law license suspended, announced in February she would not seek reelection. Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro won the Democratic nomination over Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli. Shapiro will face State Senator John Rafferty, who won 64 percent of the vote in the Republican primary against former federal prosecutor Joe Peters. Voters in the Pennsylvania State Senate’s Ninth District also voted in a special election to determine the replacement for former Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. Republican State Representative Tom Killion defeated Democrat Marty Molloy by over 10,000 votes.
 
Utah Governor Gary Herbert was dealt a setback in his efforts to win reelection to a third term in office when he failed to clinch the Republican nomination at the state party’s convention on Saturday, April 23. Republican challenger Jonathan Johnson, the current Chairman of Overstock.com’s Board of Directors, forced a primary election by winning 55 percent of votes cast by the approximately 4,000 delegates in attendance. Per state party rules, if no candidate receives the 60 percent of the vote necessary to secure the nomination, then the top two candidates must face off in primary election to be held on June 28. All registered Republican voters in Utah may vote in the primary election. Johnson is joined in his campaign by running mate Robyn Bagley, who currently serves as Board Chair for the advocacy group Parents for Choice in Education. Herbert’s running mate is current Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox. Whichever ticket wins the primary election will face Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mike Weinholtz and his running mate Kim Bowman.
 
The Hawaii Legislature appointed Leslie Kondo to serve as the new State Auditor. In this position, Kondo will monitor the executive branch and ensure that public funds are spent according to the legislature’s intent. Kondo is currently Executive Director and General Counsel of the Hawaii State Ethics Commission. He will replace Acting State Auditor Jan Yamane starting May 1.
 
Cities and Towns:
Tyler, TX – Les Schminkey has been appointed Interim Fire Chief in Tyler.  He replaces Tim Johnson who is a 35 year veteran of the Department.  Schminkey has served 26 years with Tyler Fire Department.
 
High Point, NC – Kenneth Shultz has been appointed Chief of Police.  He has been a sworn officer on the High Point Police Department for 26 years.  Shultz replaces Marty Sumner, who retired after serving as Chief since 2012.
 
Richmond, CA – Allwyn Brown is the permanent Chief of Police in Richmond, having served as Interim Chief for the past month.  He replaces Chris Magnus, who left to serve as Police Chief in Tucson, AZ. 
 
Counties and Authorities:
Lafourche Parish, LA – James Honore’ Bourgeois was sworn in as the Parish Council Member for District 5 this week. Bourgeois takes over for Roy Landry, who had filled the seat on an interim basis beginning in January 2016. His term expires at the end of 2020.
 
Hamilton County, OH – County Administrator Christian Sigman has resigned several months earlier than planned. Sigman, who had originally announced that he would resign in September, is succeeded by Assistant County Administrator Jeff Aluotto, who will serve in an acting capacity while the County conducts a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.
 
 
 

April 21, 2016

This Week: New York holds special elections

New York held four special elections on Tuesday, April 19, to fill vacant legislative seats. Democrat Jaime R. Williams won the New York Assembly District 59 special election and will replace Roxanne Persaud, who left the Assembly after being elected to the New York State Senate. Republican Ronald Castorina Jr. was elected to represent Assembly District 62, which was vacated by Joseph Borelli after he was elected to the City Council of New York. Democrat Alice Cancel won the race to fill Assembly District 65. Cancel will replace former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, who was expelled from office last November after being convicted of fraud. The special election to fill New York State Senate District 9 remains too close to call. Democrat Todd Kaminsky leads Republican Chris McGrath by 800 votes out of over 68,000 cast. This seat was formerly held by Senate President Dean Skelos, who, like Silver, was expelled from office after being convicted of corruption.

Kevin Roberts, the Director of Communications for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, will step down from his position on Friday, April 22. Roberts first joined the Office of the Governor in 2010, when he was hired as Deputy Press Secretary. He left in 2013 to serve as Press Secretary for Governor Christie’s reelection campaign, and rejoined the Governor’s Office in 2015. 

Stephanie Beckhorn was named Director of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency. Beckhorn has been serving as Acting Director of the agency since November 2015, when former Director Christine Quinn resigned to join the U.S. Department of Labor

Cities and Towns:

New York, NY – Richard Emery has resigned as the Chairman of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.  The CCRB handles complaints about police misconduct.  Emery had been serving as Chairman since 2014.  Deborah Archer has been appointed as Acting Chair of the Board. 

Petersburg, VA – Marcus Newsome has been appointed the new Superintendent of Petersburg Public Schools, effective July 1, 2016.  He replaces Linda Shifflette who has been serving as Interim Superintendent since October 2015.  Newsome comes to Petersburg from Chesterfield County, VA where he is serving as Superintendent of Schools. 

Greenville, NC – Brock Letchworth has been hired as Communications Manager and Public Information Officer, effective May 2, 2016.  He had previously served as Coordinator of Public Information and Community Outreach for the Pitt County, NC School System. 

Counties and Authorities:

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – WMATA has hired La Toya Thomas as Comptroller.  Thomas had previously worked in accounting for Fairfax County, VA Schools and the City of Manassas, VA.

St. Charles Parish, LA – Clayton “Snookie” Faucheux will be the Parish’s next Public Works Director. Faucheux, who previously served on the County Council, will start his new position in May, 2016. 

Benton County, AR – County Sheriff Kelly Cradduck resigned his position after facing felony charges. His resignation will become effective once an interim replacement is found. Currently, Chief Richie Conner is Acting Sheriff. 

 

 

 

April 14, 2016

This Week: Micah Lasher steps down as Chief of Staff to NY AG Eric Schneiderman

Micah Lasher has stepped down from his position as Chief of Staff in the New York Office of the Attorney General to focus on a run for the New York State Senate. Lasher had served as Chief of Staff to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman since 2013, and previously worked in the Office of U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler and the Office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He is running as a Democrat to replace outgoing State Senator Adriano Espaillat in Manhattan’s 31st District. Lasher’s last day working for Attorney General Schneiderman was Wednesday, April 6.
 
Indiana’s newly-appointed Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb has named Greg Wilson to the position of Intergovernmental Relations Director. Wilson previously served as Director of the Office of Minority and Women Business Development for the City of Indianapolis and Marion County, where he worked under Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. In his new position, Wilson will focus on engagement efforts between local elected leaders on behalf of Lieutenant Governor Holcomb.

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel has hired Kevin Benacci to serve as his new Chief of Staff. Benacci was previously part of the Office of U.S. Representative David Joyce, where he held the positions of Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director, and District Outreach Representative. Benacci will succeed outgoing Chief of Staff Michael Lord, who is departing the office on May 5 to start a private consulting firm.
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Chicago, IL – The Chicago City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s choice for permanent Superintendent of Police.  Eddie Johnson was sworn into office on April 13, 2016.  He replaces John Escalante, who had been serving as Interim Police Superintendent.  Also, Mayor Emanuel appointed Sophia King as the Ward 4 Alderman in the Chicago City Council.  She replaces Will Burns who resigned in February 2016.
 
Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney made two appointments to his administration this week.  Adam Thiel was appointed as Fire Commissioner and Blanche Carney as Prisons Commissioner.  Thiel comes to the position from the Virginia Public Safety and Homeland Security Secretariat, where he serves as Deputy Security. He replaces Derrick Sawyer who has been serving as Acting Fire Commissioner. Carney previously served as the Human Services Program Administrator for Philadelphia Prisons.  She replaces Michael Resnick who has been Acting Commissioner since January 2016.
 
Cleveland, OH – Angelo Calvillo was sworn in as Cleveland’s permanent Fire Chief.  He had been serving as Interim Chief since September 2015.  He replaces Patrick Kelly, who retired.  Calvillo had previously served as Fire Battalion Chief in Cleveland.
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority – WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld announced this week that Patrick Lavin will be the Authority’s next Chief Safety Officer. Lavin, who was most recently worked for New York City Transit’s Office of System Safety, will start his new job on May 9, 2016.
 
Shelby County, TN – the County Election Commission voted last week to hire Linda Phillips as the County’s new Elections Coordinator. Phillips, who previously served as County Clerk for Tippecanoe County, IN, will start in May 2016.
 

 

 

April 7, 2016

This Week: Alabama state legislators move to impeach Gov. Robert Bentley

Alabama State Representatives filed articles of impeachment against Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Governor Bentley has been under fire for the past two weeks after a fired state employee alleged Bentley and his now former political advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, had an illicit and potentially illegal affair. Governor Bentley has said there are no grounds for his impeachment and continues to say he will not resign.

Maine Democratic Senator-elect Susan Deschambault was originally scheduled to be sworn-in in a ceremony on April 1, 2016. However, Governor Paul LePage cancelled the ceremony at the last minute to send a message to Senate Democrats, who’d voted against one of his nominees to the Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission. Maine law gives the governor five business days to certify the results of an election, enabling the newly elected to be sworn in. The Maine Senate decided to delay any major votes until after Deschambault was seated. She was sworn in on April 5th.
 
On April 4, 2016, Governor Sam Brownback announced his appointment of Joseph Norwood to serve as the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections. Mr. Norwood has been working in the corrections field for over thirty years. He began as a Correctional Officer within the Leavenworth United States Penitentiary. Joseph Norwood will be replacing the former Secretary Ray Roberts who departed back in December. He will begin as an Acting Secretary May, 30, 2016.
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Charlotte, NC – Kevin Dick has been appointed as Charlotte’s new Director of Economic Development, effective May 9, 2016.  He is currently Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development in Durham, NC.
 
Louisville, KY – Deborah Bilitski has been hired as the new Director of Develop Louisville, effective April 25, 2016.  She replaces Jim Mims who is retiring, having served as Director since 2014.  Develop Louisville is the planning, design and building review department for the city.
 
Pittsburgh, PA – Carlos Torres has been hired as the new Executive Director for the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations.  He replaces Sarah Kinter, who had been serving as Interim Executive Director since 2015.
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Monroe County, NY – County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo appointed Dr. Nadia Granger as the new County Medical Examiner. Dr. Granger has served as Associate Medical Examiner with Monroe County since 2011.
 
Henrico County, VA – Humberto Cardounel was selected as the next Chief of Police for Henrico County, effective April 15, 2016. Cardounel has been with the County Police Department since 1988 and most recently served as Deputy Chief of Police overseeing the Investigative Bureau.
 
Chatham County, GA – John Wilcher was sworn in as Sheriff on Tuesday after winning a special election last month. He replaces previous Sheriff Al St. Lawrence, who passed away last fall.
 
Tulsa County, OK – Vic Regalado won a special election for the position of County Sheriff this week. The special election followed the resignation of previous Sheriff Stanley Glanz, who resigned last September in the wake of a federal indictment.
 

 

 

March 31, 2016

This Week: Gov. Bentley (AL) aide resigns after affair allegations surface

Rebekah Caldwell Mason resigned from her position as top advisor to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday, March 30, a full week after a fired state employee alleged her and the governor of carrying on an illicit and possibly illegal affair. Mason issued a statement of Wednesday afternoon saying, “I have resigned as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Bentley and will no longer be paid from his campaign fund.” Mason revealed earlier this week that she was not on state payroll, and has been paid for the last three years from the Governor’s reelection campaign fund. An audio recording released to the public last week reveals Governor Bentley engaging in sexual remarks over the phone with a person he refers to as “Rebekah”.   Governor Bentley has admitted to making “inappropriate” remarks to Mason, but denies having a physical affair with her. The governor also reiterated that he has no plans to resign from office, despite being under investigation by the Alabama Ethics Commissioner for alleged misuse of state resources to further his relationship with Mason.
 
Democrat Susan Deschambault defeated Republican Stephen Martin in the special election to represent District 32 in the Maine State Senate. Deschambault claimed 57 percent of the votes cast in the southern coastal district, which includes the towns of Kennebunkport and Biddeford. The seat was vacated in January after State Senator David Dutremble announced he would resign from office to focus on a personal battle with alcoholism. Since Dutremble was also a Democrat, the balance of power in the Republican-controlled chamber remains 21-14.

 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has hired Jack Jablonski to serve as his new Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. Jablonski is the current Deputy Secretary of the state’s Department of Revenue. He will replace outgoing communications head Jocelyn Webster beginning April 18.
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Chicago, IL – Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced two appointments in public safety this week.  He named current Chief of Patrol Eddie Johnson as Interim Police Superintendent.  Johnson replaced John Escalante, who had been serving as Acting Superintendent since December 2015.  The Mayor rejected the names put forward for consideration by the Police Accountability Task Force and has asked that a new search be conducted for a permanent Superintendent.  Mayor Emanuel also appointed Alicia Tate-Nadeau as Executive Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.  She replaces Gary Schenkel, who held the position since 2011.  Tate-Nadeau previously served as Assistant Adjutant General in the Illinois National Guard.
 
Reading, PA – Reading Mayor Wally Scott appointed Charles D. Younger as Acting Managing Director for the City.  Younger previously served as City Solicitor in Reading.  The Mayor also appointed Thomas Coleman as Acting City Solicitor to replace Younger.
 
Virginia Beach, VA – Virginia Beach Convention Center and Visitors Bureau Director Jim Ricketts has passed away.  He had served as Director since 1988.  Brad Van Dommelen will serve as the new Director, effective April 7, 2016.
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority – Chief Safety Officer Louis Brown has announced that he will resign from WMATA effective April 22, 2016.  He has served as Chief Safety Officer since September 2015.
 
Johnson County, KS – Ellen Wernicke has been appointed permanent Director of Johnson County Emergency Management and Communications.  She had been serving as Interim Director since October 2015, replacing Walt Way.  Wernicke is an 18 year veteran of the department, most recently serving as Deputy Director since 2006.

 

March 24, 2016

This Week: Gov. Robert Bentley (AL) denies having an affair

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley held a press conference late Wednesday afternoon to deny allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a top political advisor. Rumors of an affair have been swirling since Bentley filed for divorce from his wife of 50 years last September, but the story took on a new dimension this week when a fired state official publicly claimed he had seen and heard evidence of an inappropriate relationship between Bentley and his Chief Political Advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason. Spencer Collier was dismissed as Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) on Tuesday, March 22, and replaced in an acting capacity by Stan Stabler. In a press release announcing the staff change, Bentley said an internal review of the agency turned up possible misuse of public funds. A day later, Collier claimed that Bentley had directly told him about the affairs in detail, and that he had seen explicit texts sent by Mason to Bentley’s personal cell phone. Collier also said he was in possession of a tape recording of Bentley making sexual remarks to someone during a phone conversation. Collier said he believed but could not prove the governor had misused state funds in the course of his affair, and claims he was fired because of his knowledge of the affair. Collier also denied allegations of misused funds at ALEA. In his statement to the media on Wednesday, Bentley admitted he had made sexual remarks to an unnamed staffer, but denied having any physical contact with her.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced he will nominated Kaiser executive Donna Lynne to serve as the state’s next Lieutenant Governor. Lynne previously spent 20 years working in the New York City government and is now Executive Vice President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. If confirmed by the Colorado General Assembly, Lynne will replace currently Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia, who is leaving office on April 29 to become President of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Garcia was also dual-hatted as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education; a search is currently underway to find a replacement for Garcia in this position.
 
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Kim McDougal to serve as his Chief of Staff. McDougal is currently Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Affairs Director in Governor Scott’s office, and previously served as Education Policy Coordinator. She will replace current Chief of Staff Melissa Sellers on April 2. 
 
Cities and Towns:
 
Hartford, CT – Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has hired Brett Broesder as Director of Communications and New Media.  Broesder had previously served as Director of Communications to Bill Finch, former Mayor of Bridgeport, CT.
 
Gainesville, FL – Lauren Poe defeated incumbent Ed Braddy in the election for Mayor of Gainesville.  Poe will be sworn into office on May 5, 2016, and will serve for three years.  Adrian Hayes-Santos was elected to the open District 4 seat on Gainesville’s City Council.
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Monroe County, NY – Adam Bello was appointed Monroe County Clerk by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Bello, who was previously a Supervisor for the Town of Irondequoit, NY was sworn in on March 24, 2016. He succeeds Cheryl Dinolfo, who was elected Monroe County Executive in November 2015.
 
Cook County, IL – County Council President Toni Preckwinkle named Brian Hamer as her new Chief of Staff. Hamer, who most recently served as Director of Revenue for the State of Illinois, started on March 23, 2016.
 
Fulton County, GA – Jeff Rose was chosen as the next Superintendent of Fulton County Schools, effective June 1, 2016.  He fills the position after previous Superintendent Robert Avossa left last year to serve as Superintendent for Palm Beach County Schools in Florida. Rose is currently Superintendent for Beaverton School District in Oregon.

 

March 17, 2016

This Week: North Carolina holds primaries for statewide offices

North Carolina held primary elections for several statewide offices on Tuesday, March 15, and voters have cast their choices in what could be the most competitive gubernatorial race of 2016.  Incumbent Governor Pat McCrory handily defeated two challengers in the Republican primary, and Attorney General Roy Cooper defeated former State Representative Kenneth Spaulding to win the Democratic nomination. The two candidates have raised a combined $10 million already, and early polls have the candidates tied. In North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor’s race, Democrat Linda Coleman will take on incumbent Dan Forest. Incumbent Secretary of State Elaine Marshall will run for reelection against Republican challenger Michal LaPaglia. Democratic State Senator Josh Stein will face Republican Buck Newton in the race to replace Cooper as Attorney General.
 
In a shocking move, Kansas Speaker of the House Ray Merrick stripped two members of his caucus of their leadership positions following a rules dispute. State Representative John Rubin was removed as Chair of theCorrections and Juvenile Justice committee, and State Representative John Barker lost his position as Chair of the Rules and Journal committee. Merrick announced the changes on the floor of the Kansas House on Tuesday, March 15, saying he made the changes after Rubin and Baker tried to bring a bill up for floor debate before its scheduled hearing.
 
Ron Ramsey, the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee and the Speaker of the Tennessee State Senate, announced he will not run for reelection in November. Tennessee is one of two states where the Lieutenant Governor is a member of the State Senate who is elected by his fellow legislators. Ramsey was first elected to the Senate in 1996, and he became Lieutenant Governor in 2007 after Republicans took control of the chamber. 
 
Tempe, AZ –Mark Mitchell was re-elected this week for the position of Mayor of Tempe.  He was unopposed on the ballot.  Incumbent City Council Members Joel Navarro and Kolby Granville were re-elected, as well as newcomer Randy Keating.
 
Juneau, AK – In a special election this week, Ken Koelsch was elected Mayor of Juneau.  He will serve out the remainder of the term through October 2018.  Koelsch replaces Mary Becker, who was appointed Mayor in November 2015, following the death of former Mayor Greg Fisk.
 
New York, NY – Joy Shigaki has joined the staff of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City as the Director of Development.  She previously served as Senior Director of Advancement for Episcopal Relief and Development.
 
Fort Smith, AR – Police Chief Kevin Lindsey had resigned, following racist remarks he made to a city employee.  Dean Pitts has been appointed Interim Chief of Police.
 
Counties and Authorities:
 
Hudson County, NJ – Longtime Chief of Staff and former County Freeholder Bill Gaughan will retire April 1, 2016. Gaughan has served as Chief of Staff to County Executive Tom DeGise since he took office in 2002.  He will be succeeded by current Deputy Chief of Staff Craig Guy.
 
Cuyahoga County, OH – Current County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty lost his reelection bid. Assistant County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley won Tuesday’s Democratic Primary election by a small margin. As there was no Republican contender, O’Malley will be County Prosecutor once McGinty’s term expires at the end of this year. County Councilors Jack Schron, Pernel Jones, and Anthony Hairston were also re-elected to another four year term expiring at the end of 2020, after running unopposed.
 
Cook County, IL – County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough was reelected this week after running unopposed in Tuesday’s Primary Election. Yarbrough’s new term will expire at the end of 2020. 

 

March 10, 2016

This Week: Democrats win special elections in Kentucky, expand majority in Kentucky State House 

Kyle Tasker resigned from his seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 9, following his arrest on felony drug charges and using the internet to lure an underage girl into having sex with him. Tasker was arrested on March 2, after traveling to a location where prosecutors allege he had made plans to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex. Tasker had been communicating online with an undercover police office posing as the teenage girl. Following his arrest, police officers executing a search warrant of Tasker’s residence found an “enormous amount of controlled substances” packaged for sale and distribution, including marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Tasker, a 30-year-old Republican from Nottingham, was first elected to the State House in 2010, and served on the Committee on Children and Family Law.
 
The Kentucky House of Representatives remains under Democratic control after the party won three of the four special elections held on Tuesday, March 8. Jeffery Taylor won the 8th District seat in Western Kentucky, Chuck Tackett was elected to fill the 62nd District seat, and former circuit judge Lew Nicholls was victorious in the 98th District special election. Daniel Elliott, who won the District 54 race, was the sole Republican to win. Had Republicans managed to sweep the four races, the chamber would have been split evenly at 50 seats for each party. The Kentucky House remains the only legislative chamber in the Southern United States that is not under Republican control.
 
Washington Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen announced he will not seek reelection this year to the office he has held for nearly two decades. Owen, a Democrat who was first elected Lieutenant Governor in 1996, has served under Governors Gary Locke, Christine Gregoire, and Jay Inslee. Before becoming Lieutenant Governor, Owen served six years in the Washington House of Representatives and 14 years in the Washington Senate. Four candidates have already filed for the race to replace Owen as Lieutenant Governor, include State Senators Karen Fraser and Cyrus Habib, House Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Moeller, and businessman Javier Figueroa. The primary election will be held on August 2.
 
Corpus Christi, TX – Michael Hunter has been appointed to sit on the City Council in Corpus Christi.  He replaces Lillian Riojas, who resigned on February 24, 2016.  Hunter will serve the remainder of the term, through November 2016.
 
Santa Fe, NM – Newly elected City Council Members Renee Villarreal and Mike Harris were sworn into office this week.  They replace Patti Bushee and Bill Dimas who did not run in the municipal election.  Incumbents Peter Ives and Chris Rivera were re-elected to the City Council.
 
Topeka, KS – Tim Wayne has been appointed Acting Fire Chief in Topeka.  He replaces Greg Bailey, who retired.  Wayne is the former Deputy Fire Chief in Goodyear, AZ.
 
Medford, MA – Mayor Stephanie Burke has appointed Jenn Dever Wood as her Chief of Staff, effective April 4, 2016.  She had previously served as Chief of Staff to Michael Sullivan, former Mayor of Cambridge, MA.
 
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority – Starting in April 2016, Therese McMillan will serve as the Transit Authority’s new Chief Planning Officer. McMillan is currently Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.  She replaces Martha Welborne, who resigned in January 2016.
 
Wayne County, MI – County Treasurer Richard Hathaway announced this week that he will resign effective April 8, 2016. After his departure, current Chief Deputy Treasurer Eric Sabree will serve as Interim Treasurer until a permanent replacement can be found.
 
Suffolk County, NY – Timothy Sini was sworn in as the County’s new Police Commissioner. Sini, a former Federal Prosecutor, takes over for retired Police Commissioner Edward Webber.

 

 

 
March 3, 2016

This Week: Democrats win special elections in Massachusetts 

Democrats were victorious in each of the three special elections held Tuesday, March 1, to fill vacancies in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Peabody City Councilor Thomas Walsh defeated Republican Stephanie Peach to fill the vacant Twelfth Essex District seat. The win adds an extra seat to the Democrats’ overwhelming majority in the House, as the district was formerly represented by Republican Leah Cole. Stephan Hay narrowly defeated Dean Tran, a fellow member of the Fitchburg City Council, to replace Stephan DiNatale in the Third Worcester District seat. Gerry Cassidy had no Republican challenger in his effort to replace Michael Brady in the Ninth Plymouth District.
 
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appointed Robert Lougy to serve as Acting Attorney General within the state’s Department of Law and Public Safety. Lougy is currently First Assistant Attorney General and previously served as Chief of Staff to outgoing Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman. Lougy will begin his new position on March 14. New Jersey is one of five states in which Governor appoints the Attorney General.
 
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced a major overhaul of his communications team on Thursday, February 25. Snyder appointed Ari B. Adler, the former press secretary to House Speaker Jase Bolger, to replace Meegan Holland as Communications Director. Holland has been reassigned as Special Projects Manager in the Office of the Governor. Snyder also announced that Press Secretary Dave Murray will be transferred to the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, where he will serve as Communications Director. Snyder did not name a replacement for Murray.  It is unclear whether these recent changes have anything to do with the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan. New York, NY – Rafael Salamanca was elected to the New York City Council in a special election this week.  He replaces former Bronx District 17 Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who resigned on December 31, 2015.
Portsmouth, VA – Dwayne V. Bonnette has been hired as the new Fire Chief in Portsmouth, effective March 14, 2016.  Bonnette replaces Beck Barfield, who has served as Chief since 2013. Also, Tonya Chapman was sworn in as Portsmouth’s Police Chief.  Chapman had previously served as Deputy Chief of Police in Richmond, VA.
 
Houston, TX – Kenneth Huewitt was appointed Interim Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District.  Huewitt has been serving as Deputy Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer since 2012.  He replaces Terry Grier who retired after serving as Superintendent for six years.
 
Atlanta, GA – Mayor Kasim Reed has appointed Christopher Hicks as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment.  Hicks is a former music industry executive having served as Executive Vice President of Island Def Jam Records and a Senior Vice President of Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.  He succeeds LaRonda Sutton, who held the position from 2013-2016.
 
Charlotte, NC – City Manager Ron Carlee has announced that he will retire effective March 31, 2016.  Carlee has served as City Manager since 2013 and also had served as County Manager in Arlington County, VA.
 
Decatur, AL – Nadis Carlisle was sworn in as Interim Chief of Police in Decatur.  Carlisle is a 25 year veteran of the Police Department.  He replaces Ed Taylor, who retired, having served as Chief since 2011.
 
New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Justin Bernbach as Chief Government Affairs and Community Relations Officer at the MTA. Mr. Bernbach has previously served as Northeast Director of Government Relations at HNTB and Managing Director of State and Community Affairs for American Airlines.
 
Cuyahoga County, OH – Dave Wondolowski was sworn in as a Democratic member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Wondolowski is Executive Secretary for the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council.  He replaces Eben McNair who has served as a board member since 2007.
 
Frederick County, MD – County Executive Jan Gardner has appointed Rick Harcum as Budget Director for Frederick County. Current Acting Budget Director Kelly Weaver was named Assistant Budget Director.

 

 

February 25, 2016

This Week: State legislators Barbara Clark (NY) and Debbie Smith (NV) pass away

New York Assembly Member Barbara Clark passed away on Monday, February 22, at the age of 76. Clark, a Democrat, had served as the representative for District 33 in Queens since 1987. She had also been serving as Deputy Majority Whip since 2011. In a statement, Governor Andrew Cuomo called Clark “an outspoken advocate on issues affective schools and working families in her district and across New York.” Governor Cuomo has not yet set a date for the special election to fill Clark’s vacant seat. 

Democratic Nevada State Senator Debbie Smith passed on Sunday, February 21 in Reno following a year-long battle with a brain tumor. Smith served in the State Assembly from 2000 to 2002, and then again from 2004 to 2012. She left the lower chamber after being elected to represent District 13 in the Nevada Senate. Smith was also serving as Assistant Minority Floor Leader. Smith’s death was followed by an outpouring of sympathy from a bipartisan collection of state leaders. Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid referred to Smith as “the epitome of an ideal neighbor, friend and public servant.” Republican Governor Brian Sandoval called her “an extraordinary public servant whose record of accomplishments and presence in the Nevada Legislature will remain unmatched in the years ahead.”  

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin made a series of appointments to his administration. Rodney Ballard has been named Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, and will replace outgoing agency head LaDonna Thompson on March 14. Ballard is currently Director of Community Corrections at Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. Bevin also named attorney Ben McKown as Inspector General of the state’s Transportation Cabinet.

 New York, NY – Rafael Salamanca was elected to the New York City Council in a special election this week.  He replaces former Bronx District 17 Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who resigned on December 31, 2015.

Portsmouth, VA – Dwayne V. Bonnette has been hired as the new Fire Chief in Portsmouth, effective March 14, 2016.  Bonnette replaces Beck Barfield, who has served as Chief since 2013. Also, Tonya Chapman was sworn in as Portsmouth’s Police Chief.  Chapman had previously served as Deputy Chief of Police in Richmond, VA.
 
Houston, TX – Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Martha Montalvo as Interim Chief of Police.  She replaces Charles McClelland who retired after a 39 year career, including serving as Chief since 2010.  Montalvo is a 30 year veteran of the Houston Police Department, having previously served as Executive Assistant Chief.
 
Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney has appointed Benjamin Lerner as Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice, a new position.  Lerner is a former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge.

Henrico County, VA – The Henrico Economic Development Authority made changes to its leadership this week. B. Anthony Hall was promoted to Deputy Director from his previous position as Director of Marketing. Twyla Powell was newly hired as the Authority’s Business Attraction Manager. 

Tulare County, CA – Charlie Norman was sworn in as the County’s new Fire Chief on Tuesday. Norman had previously served as Chief of Emergency Services. Jeff McLaughlin has been appointed to succeed him in that role.

 

 

February 18, 2016

This Week: Hawaii's Governor appoints Kaialii "Kai" Kahele to State Senate 

Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania’s scandal-ridden Attorney General, announced in a press conference on Tuesday, February 16, that she will not be seeking reelection to a second term this November. The news did not come as a huge surprise: February 16 was the filing deadline date and Kane had made little effort to establish a reelection campaign. At her press conference, Kane stated she was innocent of pending legal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. She also noted that she held a double-digit lead against each of her three challengers for the Democratic nomination: Stephen Zappala, Josh Shapiro, and John Morganelli. Earlier this week, a Pennsylvania Senate vote to remove Kane from office fell short by four votes. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is now considering whether or not to begin impeachment proceedings against Kane.

Missouri State Representative Don Gosen resigned from office on Wednesday, February 17, under suspicious circumstances. In a statement, the Chesterfield Republican announced he would be leaving the legislature immediately to “focus on my family.” Gosen’s resignation was followed by a statement from House Speaker Todd Richardon, who alluded that Gosen had been asked to resign due to an impropriety on his part. Avoiding specific details, Richardson said, “At the beginning of this year, I said the action of this body would not be defined by a few. I was serious then, and I am serious now.” Gosen had been elected to the Missouri House of Representatives three times, and had been serving as Chair of the Insurance Committee since 2011. His District 101 seat is currently vacant.

Hawaii Governor David Ige appointed Kaialii “Kai” Kahele to fill the State Senate seat left vacant by his late father’s recent death. Kahele, a member of the Hawaii Air National Guard and a combat veteran, was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald on Wednesday, February 17. His father, Gil Kahele, had represented District 1 in the Hawaii Senate since January 2011. Kahele is a member of the Democratic Party and will serve until a special election is held on November 8 of this year to fill the remaining two years of the term.

Boston, MA – Mayor Martin Walsh has appointed William Morales as Commissioner of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, effective March 7, 2016.  Morales previously served as Executive Director of the Boston YMCA.  He replaces Christopher Byner, who had been serving as Interim Commissioner.

Flint, MI – Mayor Karen Weaver has replaced the Fire Chief and Police Chief in Flint.  Stephen Cobb was appointed Interim Fire Chief, replacing David Cox. Colin Birnie was appointed Interim Police Chief, replacing James Tolbert.  In addition, Natasha Henderson was fired as City Administrator.  The Mayor will make permanent appointments to these positions.

Delaware River Port Authority – Pennsylvania State Treasurer Timothy Reese has appointed Osagie Imasogie to the Port Authority Board of Commissioners. The Board is made up of 16 members, eight appointed from Pennsylvania and eight appointed from New Jersey. Imasogie serves as the Treasurer’s representative to the Board.

San Bernardino County, CA – County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Larry Walker announced that he will retire on March 5, 2016. Assistant County Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector Oscar Valdez has been appointed to replace Walker and will serve the remainder of the term, through the end of 2018.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority – Deputy General Manager of Operations Rob Troup resigned his position this week. Assistant General Manager for Transit Infrastructure and Engineering Andrew Off will temporarily take over the position until a new organizational structure is announced.

 

 

February 11, 2016

This Week:  New Jersey's John Jay Hoffman leaves office to join Rutgers Univ.

New Jersey’s Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman will be leaving his position next month to serve as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Rutgers University. Hoffman was appointed to the role of Acting Attorney General by Governor Chris Christie in June 2013 when his predecessor, Jeffrey Chiesa, was appointed to replace the late Frank Lautenberg in the U.S. Senate. Hoffman was only expected to serve as Attorney General until Kevin O’Dowd, the Governor’s official nominee for the post, was confirmed. However, the scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge effectively killed O’Dowd’s nomination, leaving Hoffman as Acting Attorney General for the past two and a half years.
 
Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann announced this week that she would be resigning to apply for the position of President of Ivy Tech Community College. In response, Governor Mike Pence announced he will nominate Eric Holcomb to replace Ellspermann as both Lieutenant Governor and as his running mate for his reelection campaign. Although Ellspermann has not yet been offered the job at Ivy Tech, she is resigning from her Lieutenant Governor position now so Holcomb’s nomination can be confirmed by the Indiana Legislature before the 2016 session ends in mid-March. Holcomb is the former Chairman of the Indiana Republican Party and the former Chief of Staff in the Indianapolis Office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats. He has withdrawn from his campaign for the Republican nomination to replace Coats in the U.S. Senate.
 
Republicans were victorious in two special elections held on Tuesday, February 9, to fill vacant seats in the Minnesota Legislature. Jim Abeler was elected to replace Branden Petersen as representative for Senate District 35 in the northern part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Abeler served in the Minnesota House from 1999 to 2015 and ran an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2014. Chad Anderson won a close race in the Minnesota HouseDistrict 50B special election, pulling in 51.2 percent of the votes against Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee Andrew Carlson. The seat was previously held by DFL member Ann Lenczewski.
 
Trenton, NJ - Public Works Director Jacqueline Foushee has announced her resignation, effective February 19, 2016.  Her announcement follows complaints regarding streets that were not plowed in the recent snowstorm, and a harassment and discrimination complaint filed by a city employee.
 
Santa Clara, CA – One day after the city hosted Super Bowl 50, Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews announced his resignation, citing his intention to spend more time with his family.  Vice Mayor Teresa O'Neill will preside over City Council proceedings until an Interim Mayor is appointed.
 
Dayton, OH – Shelley Dickstein was sworn in as the permanent City Manager in Dayton.  She had been serving as Interim City Manager, replacing Warren Price who resigned in September 2015.
 
Houston, TX – Police Chief Charles McClelland has announced that he will retire effective February 26.  McClelland is a 39 year veteran of the Houston Police Department, having served as Chief since 2010.
 
Jefferson County, CO – Kate McIntire has started as Public Engagement Director for the County. McIntire previously worked for the Colorado Water Conservation Board, specializing in outreach, public engagement, and media relations. McIntire reports directly to County Manager Ralph Schell.
 
Montgomery County, MD – Dr. Jack Smith was chosen as Superintendent for Montgomery County Public Schools, pending contract negotiation. Dr. Smith is currently Interim State Superintendent of Schools in Maryland. Provided negotiations are successful, he will take over for current Interim County Superintendent Larry A. Bowers on July 1, 2016.
 
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport – Last week, the Airport Board of Directors elected Sam Coats as Board Chair and Bill Meadows as Vice Chair. The board also swore in new member Amir Rupani.
 
Miami-Dade County, FL – Juan Perez was sworn in as Police Director for Miami-Dade County last week. Perez has served in the County Police Department for over two decades, most recently as Deputy Director.  He replaces J.D. Patterson, who retired after a 30 year career with the department.


 

February 4, 2016

This Week: New York nominated a Secretary of State

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo nominated former newspaper editor Rossana Rosado to serve as the state’s next Secretary of State. Rosado was Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of El Diario/La Prensa, the largest circulating Spanish-language newspaper in New York City, from 1999 to 2013. If confirmed by theNew York State Senate, Rosado will replace current Secretary of State Cesar Perales, who is retiring from the position after serving since 2011. The 75-year-old Perales will not completely leave public service, however; Governor Cuomo nominated him to serve as a member of the Empire State Development Board of Directors.
 
Less than a month into his first term, new Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is continuing to make appointments to his cabinet and his immediate office staff. Edwards named Marketa Garner Walters as the new Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, and Leslie Durham was named the Governor’s Designee to the Delta Regional Authority, a joint federal and state agency. At the Department of Natural Resources, Thomas F. Harris has been named Secretary, and former Attorney General Richard Ieyoub was named Commissioner of the Office of Conservation. Governor Edwards also named Noble Ellington as his Legislative Director and former television journalist Shauna Sanford as his Press Secretary.
 
California Governor Jerry Brown has appointed Keely Bosler to serve as the state’s Cabinet Secretary. Bosler has spent the last three years as Chief Deputy Director of Budget at the state’s Department of Finance, and was a staffer at the California State Senate prior to that. In this position, Bosler will serve as the official to whom agency secretaries report. Bosler is replacing Dana Williamson, who is leaving the administration to open her own firm.
 
Cities and Towns:
Modesto, CA – Ted Brandvold defeated incumbent Garrad Marsh in a runoff election held this week for the position of Mayor.  Brandvold will be sworn into office in late February 2016.
Green Bay, WI – Andrew Smith was sworn in as Police Chief in Green Bay.  He replaces Tom Molitor, who retired in 2015.  Smith is a 27 year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Allentown, PA – City Council Member Jeff Glazier has been appointed Controller for Allentown.  He replaces Mary Ellen Koval, who resigned in January, following an FBI investigation into campaign financing.  The City Council will appoint a successor to fill the remainder of Glazier’s term.
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Julie Menin as Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, effective late February 2016.  She replaces Luis Castro, who has been serving as Acting Commissioner.  Menin has been serving as Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs since 2014.
Philadelphia, PA – Mayor Jim Kenney has appointed Thomas A. Farley as Health Commissioner at Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health.  Farley had served as Commissioner for New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for five years.  He replaces James Buehler.
 
Counties and Authorities:
Ocean County, NJ – Virginia “Ginny” Haines was sworn in last week as Freeholder for Ocean County, replacing Freeholder James Lacey, who retired on January 1, 2016. Haines will serve the last year of Lacey’s term, ending on December 31, 2016.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, DC - Councilmember Jack Evans was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. Evans takes over for Mortimer Downey III, who declined a second year-long term as Chairman.
Santa Clara County, CA – Katherine Harasz was chosen as permanent Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Clara. Harasz had served as Interim Executive Director since July of 2015.

 

January 28, 2016

This Week: Retired firefighter wins seat in Texas House of Representatives
 
Republican John Lujan won a special election held Tuesday, January 26, to represent San Antonio-area District 118 in the Texas House of Representatives. Lujan, a retired firefighter, won 52.4 percent of the vote in the historically-Democratic district. Lujan’s opponent in the race was Democratic nominee Tomas Uresti, brother of State Senator Carlos Uresti. The election was held to replace Joe Farias, who resigned in August of last year. The celebration may be short-lived for Lujan; he will have to win a primary election held on March 1 if he wants to continue to represent the district for the two-year term beginning in January 2017.
 
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy made two high-profile appointments within the state’s Department of Labor. Scott Jackson has been appointed Commissioner of the agency effective February 3. He will replace Sharon Palmer, who resigned at the end of 2015. Jackson is currently Under Secretary for Intergovernmental Policy within the Office of Policy and Management, and served as Mayor of the City of Hamden from 2009 to 2015. The Governor also appointed Kurt Westby to serve as the department’s Deputy Commissioner. Westby, a consultant to labor union SEIU, will begin his new position of February 15.
 
New Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin continued to make appointments to his immediate staff. Bevin has named Nate Haney as Deputy Secretary of the Executive Cabinet and Bryan Sunderland as Legislative Director. Haney most recently served as Managing Partner and Owner of trucking and transportation company Haney and White Enterprise, and also served as Chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party. Sunderland is the former Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
 
Atlanta, GA – The Board of Directors of Invest Atlanta voted unanimously to appoint Eloisa Klementich as the permanent President and CEO of Atlanta’s economic development authority.  Klementich had been previously serving as Interim President and CEO, as well as the Managing Director of Business Development.
 
Columbus, OH – Mitchell J. Brown was appointed as a member of the Columbus City Council.  He replaces Eileen Paley, who resigned for a position with the Franklin County Municipal Court.  Brown had previously served as the Director of Public Safety in Columbus.
 
Memphis, TN – Mayor Jim Strickland has appointed Michael Rallings as the new Interim Director of Memphis Police Services, effective February 1, 2016.  Rallings replaces Toney Armstrong, who is resigning for a position with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Rallings started with the Memphis Police Department in 1990, having served as Deputy Chief since 2009.
 
New Orleans, LA – Mayor Mitch Landrieu has appointed Ryan Berni as Deputy Mayor for External Affairs.  He replaces Emily Arata who left in early January.  Berni has worked for the Mayor since 2010, having served as Press Secretary.
 
Erie County, NY – Thomas Quatroche was chosen by the Erie County Medical Center Board of Directors as the Organization’s permanent Chief Executive Officer. Quatroche has been with the Medical Center for eleven years, most recently serving as President. His appointment is effective immediately.
 
Broward County, FL – Broward Health Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nabil El Sanadi passed away this past weekend. The Broward Board of Health will choose a successor.

Westchester County, NY – James McCarty was appointed acting District Attorney. McCarty takes over for previous District Attorney Janet DiFiore, who was approved as a Chief Judge for the New York Court of Appeals last week.

 


January 21, 2016

This Week:  Which political party will gain control of the West Virginia Senate?
 
The West Virginia Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, January 19, in a case that will decide whether or not the Republican Party keeps control of the West Virginia Senate. The issue at hand is over which political party gets to fill the vacant District 9 Senate seat, recently vacated by State Senator Daniel Hall. In the instance of a legislative vacancy, state law dictates that the political party which held the seat shall make recommendations to the governor for a replacement. Daniel Hall was elected to a four-year term in 2012 as a Democrat, but switched his party affiliation to the Republican Party in 2014. Hall’s party switch changed the balance of the Senate from an even 17-all split to a narrow 18-16 lead for the Republican Party, marking the first time since the 1930s that the party controlled the chamber. Attorneys for the Democratic Party and for Governor Earl Ray Tomblin argued that the seat should be given to a Democrat to uphold the will of the voters who elected Hall. Republican Party attorneys countered by arguing that District 9 voters cast their ballot for Hall, rather than the Democratic Party, and the voters therefore trusted his decision to switch parties. If the Court agrees with the Republicans, the party will maintain their majority and will likely be able to pass a contentious right-to-work bill. The Court has barred Governor Tomblin from issuing an appointment until they reach a decision.
 
North Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard announced the appointment of Catherine Duenwald to serve as the state’s Chief Hearing Examiner. As head of the state’s Office of Hearing Examiners, which is part of the Bureau of Administration, Duenwald will conduct administrative hearings and issue decisions for residents who have the right to a hearing before a state agency. Duenwald previously served as General Counsel for the Bureau of Administration. She is replacing Hillary Brady, who passed away earlier in 2016.
 
Delaware Governor Jack Markell has appointed Patrick Gilliam-Johnson to serve as the state’s next Secretary of the Department of Labor. Gilliam-Johnson has served as Chairperson of Wilmington University’s Organization Dynamics Program, which focuses on social and psychological elements of organizational behavior. Gilliam-Johnson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. She is filling the vacancy created by the recent retirement of John McMahon.
 
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder appointed Julie Secontine to serve as State Fire Marshal. In this role, Secontine will lead the Bureau of Fire Services within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Secontine previously served as Risk Manager for Oakland County, Michigan. She is replacing Acting State Fire Marshal Mike Deprez.
 
Corpus Christi, TX – Mike Markle was sworn in as permanent Police Chief in Corpus Christi.  He had been serving as Interim Chief since May 2015.  Markle replaces Floyd Simpson, who died in May 2015.
 
Salt Lake City, UT – Newly elected Mayor Jackie Biskupski has appointed Mike Reberg as Director of the Department of Public Utilities, effective February 1, 2016.  Reberg currently serves as the Director of Animal Services in Salt Lake City.
 
Newton, MA – David MacDonald was sworn in as the new Chief of Police in Newton.  He replaces Howard Mintz who retired.  MacDonald is a 20 year veteran of the Newton Police Department.
 
Santa Clara Valley Water District– Chief Executive Officer Beau Goldie retired last week after thirty one years with the Water District. Until an interim replacement can be found, the position will be filled on a rotating basis by other members of executive management, starting with Chief Operating Officer Jim Fiedler.
 
Pierce County, WA– Acting Communications Director Ron Klein was also appointed Interim Deputy County Executive this week. He will continue to fill both rolls until a new Communications Director can be hired. Klein will serve as Interim Deputy County Executive for the rest of County Executive Pat McCarthy’s term, which expires at the end of 2016.

Jackson County, MO – Frank White was sworn in as Jackson County Executive. White takes over for Mike Sanders, who has served as County Executive for the past nine years and resigned to spend more time with his family. White’s term as County Executive will last until the end of the year, with the winner of a special election in November taking over for the last two years of Sanders’ unexpired term.

 

 

January 14, 2016

This Week: First Democrat in 25 years wins Senate election in north Tulsa County 
 
Members of the California State Assembly elected Anthony Rendon to serve as the next Speaker of the Assembly in a vote held on Monday, January 11. Rendon, a Los Angeles County Democrat, will take the reins from current Speaker Toni Atkins on March 7. If he holds onto his seat, Rendon could potentially be Speaker for nine years before reaching his term limit in the Assembly.
 
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced two cabinet-level appointments on Thursday, January 7. Jeff Epstein was appointed Secretary of the Department of Revenue. Epstein has served as the department’s Chief Operating Officer for three years, and previously served as Interim Secretary when his predecessor Lyons Gray was on medical leave. Governor McCrory also appointed Drew Heath to be State Budget Director at the Office of State Budget and Management. Heath has served as Chairman of the North Carolina Industrial Commission since 2013. He is replacing Lee Roberts, who is returning to the private sector.
 
J.J. Dossett, a schoolteacher and political newcomer, was elected to represent Oklahoma Senate District 34 in a special election held Tuesday, January 12. Dossett, 31, is the first Democrat to win election in the north Tulsa County district since 1990. He earned 56 percent of the votes cast to defeat Republican nominee David McLain. The special election was held to replace Rick Brinkley, who resigned in August after pleaded guilty to federal charges of embezzlement. Despite the victory, Democrats will be outnumbered in the Senate by a margin of 39-9 when the legislative session begins next month.
 
New Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin continued to make appointments to his administration. On Friday, January 8, Bevin appointed Adria Johnson to serve as Commissioner of the Department for Community Based Services. Johnson has been the department’s Deputy Commissioner for four years and also served as Director of the Department of Community Services and Revitalization for the Metropolitan Government of Louisville.
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Lisette Camilo as Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.  She replaces Stacey Cumberbatch, who will take a position with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.  Camilo had previously served as Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services since 2014.
 
Denver, CO – Cary Kennedy, Denver’s Chief Financial Officer is resigning, effective February 11, 2016.  She has been serving as CFO since 2011.  Mayor Michael Hancock has appointed current Budget Director Brendan Hanlon as the next Chief Financial Officer.
 
Pittsburg, PA – Mayor Bill Peduto has appointed Wendell Hissrich as Pittsburg’s new Public Safety Director.  He replaces Stephen Bucar, who resigned in September 2015.  Hissrich is a 25 year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
 
San Bernardino, CA – Current San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan has been appointed Interim City Manager, until February 8, 2016.  Mark Scott will then serve as City Manager of San Bernardino.  Scott formerly served as City Manager for Burbank, CA, since 2013.
 
Bergen County, NJ – The Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders held their reorganizing meeting last week and elected Steven Tanelli as Chairman for the 2016 session.  Tanelli replaces David Ganz, who remains a member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
 
Marin County, CA – Mary Hao has been chosen as the County’s next Human Resources Director. Hao will take over in February for Assistant County Administrator Angela Nicholson, who has been filling the position in an acting capacity since May 2015.

Henrico County, VA – Police Chief Douglas Middleton announced this week that he will retire on January 23, after 43 years with the Police Department and five years as its leader. After his retirement, Chief Middleton will serve in the County Manager’s office as Deputy County Manager for Public Safety. Chief Middleton will also continue to serve in the role of Police Chief until a replacement is hired.

 

 

January 7, 2016

This Week:  MDEQ Director resigns over drinking water issues in Flint, MI

Montana Governor Steve Bullock appointed former Secretary of State Mike Cooney to serve as Lieutenant Governor. Cooney, who also served a combined 11 years in the Montana House of Representatives and the Montana Senate, served three terms as Secretary of State from 1989 to 2001. Cooney began serving in his new role on January 4, 2016, and will remain in office until his term expires in January 2017. He is the third Lieutenant Governor to serve alongside Governor Bullock.  John Walsh was elected as Lieutenant Governor in 2012, but resigned the office in February 2014 after being appointed to the U.S. Senate. Bullock then appointed high school teacher Angela McLean to replace Walsh. McLean announced in December that she would step down as Lieutenant Governor to take a position at the Montana University System.

 
With less than a week remaining before his inauguration, Louisiana Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards made a series of appointments to his Cabinet and staff. Dr. Rebekah Gee will serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Chuck Brown will head the Department of Environmental Quality, and Jim Waskom will lead the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Outgoing State Senator Robert Adley was named Executive Director of the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority. Edwards has agreed to retain a number of officials appointed by outgoing Governor Bobby Jindal, including Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections James LeBlanc and State Fire Marshal Butch Browning. Jeanne Johnston will serve as Edwards’ Senior Policy Advisor, and Alicia Williams was named Senior Special Assistant to the Governor.
 
Dan Wyant, Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), resigned last week following the release of a report alleging the agency failed to respond properly to complaints of increased lead in the City of Flint’sdrinking water. A preliminary report from the Flint Water Advisory Task Force, established by Governor Rick Snyder in October, found that the MDEQ took a “minimalist approach” in regulating drinking water and was dismissive of public concerns. Gov. Snyder appointed Keith Creagh to replace Wyant as Interim Director of MDEQ. Dr. Bill Moritz will take over Creagh’s former position as Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
 
Bellevue, WA - The City Council of Bellevue held their reorganizing meeting and elected John Stokes as Mayor for the 2016 session.

Charlottesville, VA - The City Council of Charlottesville, VA held their reorganizing meeting and elected Mike Signer as Mayor for the 2016 session.
 
Kenner, LA – City Council President Michael Sigur was appointed Acting Mayor for the city of Kenner. Sigur replaces Mike Yenni, who resigned following his election as Parish President in Jefferson Parish, LA.  On July 1, 2016, City Council Member Dominick Impastato will take over Acting Mayor duties from Sigur until an election is held in November 2016 to complete the full term of Mayor of Kenner.
 
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Herminia Palacio as Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services, effective January 25, 2016.  Palacio served as Executive Director of the Harris County, TX Public Health and Environmental Services Department, coordinating health services for evacuees from New Orleans during hurricane Katrina.
 
Bergen County, NJ – County Prosecutor John Molinelli stepped down last Friday after fourteen years in office. Gurbir Grewal has succeeded him as Acting County Prosecutor, until a replacement can be formally appointed by Governor Christie and approved by the State Legislature. Also in Bergen County, the Board of Chosen Freeholders held their reorganization meeting this week, selecting Freeholder Steven Tanelli as Chairman and Freeholder Tracy Zur as Vice Chairwoman.
 
Erie County, NY – Michael Flaherty was sworn in as Acting District Attorney for Erie County. Flaherty succeeds Frank Sedita, who won the election last November for State Supreme Court Justice. Flaherty will continue as acting District Attorney until a replacement can be elected next November.

Harris County, TX – County Commissioner El Franco Lee passed away last weekend, leaving his Precinct 1 seat vacant. County Judge Ed Emmet will appoint a replacement for the remaining year of his current term. As the filing deadline for the November 2016 elections has passed and Lee would have run unopposed, county Democratic leaders will choose someone to fill his next four year term as well.