City-commissioner succession issues don't normally make for a captivating read. This time, however, with Iris Weinshall (a.k.a. Mrs. Chuck Schumer) vacating her job atop the Transportation Department, the mayor will choose between two replacements who subscribe to two very different schools of thought. And so things are getting a bit heated (and the last names, incidentally, exotic).
The top candidates are Janette Sadik-Khan, a newcomer to the government sector, and Michael Horodniceanu, who did a traffic-czar stint under Dinkins. Sadik-Khan is seen as a mass-transit-touting progressive (as well she should be: Parsons Brinckerhoff, where she's a senior veep, designed the IRT, NYC's first subway line, back in 1906). Horodniceanu, conversely, is expected to hold up Weinshall's generally car-friendly policies. Needless to say, the enviro-wonk community is rooting for Sadik-Khan (who is — in what we imagine is another first for the DOT — kinda hot). At any rate, Bloomberg's choice will preprogram the city's traffic policy for the foreseeable future — and litmus-test his commitment to the "NYC 2030" talking points. Which makes the Sadik-Khan–Horodniceanu battle interesting. (Also, we like typing "Sadik-Khan–Horodniceanu.")