Dan Doctoroff May Still Save Us

Dan and Mike
Dan Doctoroff and Mayor Bloomberg, not today. Photo: Getty Images

Dan Doctoroff insisted at today's quickie press conference that "everything will keep going" on the city's construction front despite his departure. But is the position he's leaving one that requires his specific personality? As the mayor noted, Doctoroff broke the patronage-or-paralysis mold that used to define big city projects. "By integrating economic development with city planning, affordable housing, and parks for the first time, Dan created a new model," said Bloomberg. "His best was as good as it gets." (The famously droll mayor seemed genuinely cranky at chatter when the meeting started and misty when he summed up his adieu.) And Doctoroff may still retain the power to help patch up the city's cracked infrastructure.

He told reporters that he might stay chairman of the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, become chairman of the similar nonprofit entity coordinating Queens West, and keep consulting on PlaNYC. (The city's conflict-of-interest board would vet all these roles.) Saying he had always planned to leave after the first term and agreed a couple years back to hold out two extra years, Doctoroff gave some advice to his successor: "The most important thing is to get economic development and infrastructure agencies to work together and nip any conflict in the bud." But who can do that with Doctoroff's authority and energy? The mayor cited City Hall sustainability guru Jeff Kay as "the future of this city" during remarks but insisted the field would be open to someone fresh. "I've never found anybody irreplaceable," he said. We hear Bill Clinton has his own press conference planned for tomorrow. —Alec Appelbaum