Latest Mack appointments more of same.
In a classic attempt to circumvent the news cycle, the Mack administration announced late Friday afternoon the "new" administrative lineup. The changes of note were the appointments of Harold Hall and Carmen Melendez as acting directors of Public Works and Housing and Economic Development respectively. Walter Denson was moved from the latter department and made acting Law Director/City Attorney.
While all indications are that Mr. Denson is competent and capable, he is by his own admission not experienced in municipal law. Still, he at least has the credentials as an attorney and some track record of success in his background.
The same cannot be said for Mr. Hall or Ms. Melendez.
Mr. Hall, you remember, was collecting overtime and paid comp time as a Division Director (Public Property). He's also the person ultimately responsible for overseeing the the payroll for the Park Rangers like Mr. Robert Mendez, Mr. Russ Wilson, and the mysterious Mr. James Moses...all of whom seemed to have doctored their time cards, been paid overtime they didn't earn, and/or went on the city payroll before they were given DCA approval.
According to a statement by the DCA's Lisa Ryan and reported in today's Times, Hall's promotion to acting Director of Public Works will not get state approval "since the Division previously requested the mayor demote or fire him.”
Good for the DCA! They must be completely exhausted from dealing with the petulant Mayor.
If the elevation of Mr. Hall isn't bad enough, there is the story of Ms. Melendez.
Like Hall, she's a long-time ally of the Mayor who was given a nearly $50,000 per year aide's position shortly after Mack took office last year. Of course, we are to believe that this position had nothing to do with the $3,200 in campaign contributions Ms. Melendez's husband Cesar made to the Mack campaign in May of 2010.
But that is not the real problem with Carmen's bump up to acting director.
Mayor Mack is proposing putting Ms. Melendez in charge of the department responsible for improving the city's economic outlook through creative and effective development. This is the same key position he tried to fill last year with convicted felon Carleton Badger.
I guess the Mayor assumes the public has forgotten that ill-advised move and is trying to foist another crony with questionable credentials on us as directory of Housing and Economic Development. Ms. Melendez, while having no convictions on criminal charges in her background (that we know of), has been far from a stellar success.
Besides some failed Real Estate Agency partnerships that have failed, Ms. Melendez appears to have 10's of thousands of dollars worth of judgements and liens outstanding against her.
Another Mack appointee with dubious finances and a questionable background.
Isn't this where we came in a year ago?