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PR- 312-10
July 14, 2010


Commissioner Hirst Agrees to Delay Departure from City Government to Coordinate Reform Group

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that he has asked Martha K. Hirst, the Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, to chair a Workforce Reform Task Force that will propose reforms to empower City employees and reduce the rules and procedures that restrict their performance. Hirst, who has served as Commissioner since 2002, had planned on leaving City service this summer after fulfilling the commitment she made to the Mayor to serve a full second term, but agreed to Mayor Bloomberg’s request to stay on board and chair the reform task force after stepping down as Commissioner next month.

“After nearly 30 years of service to the people of New York City, few people deserve the opportunity to look for new challenges outside City government more than Martha,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “She has been a superb Commissioner and a great partner in our efforts to ensure City government is not just running smoothly, but is constantly improving and finding new ways to better the lives of all New Yorkers. Before she leaves City service, I’ve asked Martha to take on just one more major project for us.”

“It has been an honor to serve as Commissioner for eight-and-a-half years under Mayor Bloomberg,” said Commissioner Hirst. “He challenges agency heads to take initiative and get results, and lends his support at every turn. I will always be grateful to him for giving me the privilege of leading nearly 2,000 dedicated colleagues at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. Given the opportunities I have had to work hard to improve government and to make a real difference, I couldn’t be more fortunate, and I am proud that the Mayor has asked me to lead this important reform effort.”

In her new role, Commissioner Hirst will serve as a special advisor to Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and will chair the Workforce Reform Task Force, a working group that will formulate possible legislative and policy reforms to empower City employees, including revising or eliminating rules and procedures that restrict performance. The task force will issue recommendations in the fall.

At the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Commissioner Hirst advanced the transformation of Civil Service administration, oversaw the creation of an on-line application system and established two computerized testing centers. She crafted, secured approval of and activated a five-year plan to modernize the City’s job classification system, while complying with legal mandates, strengthening the Division of Citywide Equal Employment Opportunity, and establishing  meaningful public-private partnerships with the New York Blood Center and the 100-Year Association to foster the volunteerism amongst of City employees and highlight their service achievements. Under her direction, the department led City government in small purchase procurements with minority- and women-owned businesses.

During her tenure as Commissioner, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services constructed the City’s three Family Justice Centers, and managed renovations of City facilities and secured sites for the construction of City facilities, including: the Public Safety Answering Centers in the Bronx and Brooklyn; the new Police Academy in Queens; the 121st Police Precinct on Staten Island; and major headquarters consolidations for the Departments of Cultural Affairs, Corrections, Education, Health and Transportation. Through an aggressive program to maximize surplus City property, the department sold 318 parcels at auction – producing $92 million; turned over 666 parcels to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for affordable housing; turned over 781 parcels to the Department of Parks and Recreation to create open space; and, just last month, secured City and State legislative approval to sell small surplus parcels to adjoining homeowners across the City’s. The Department of Citywide Administrative Services generated more than $15 million in savings through lease audits, renegotiations and cancellations during her tenure.

To help meet the PlaNYC goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from City buildings by 30 percent by 2017, Commissioner Hirst created an expanded Energy Management Division, which has completed energy benchmarking of the 2,790 largest City-owned buildings, started more than 200 energy retrofit projects, and secured $80 million in Federal stimulus funding. Through targeted vehicle purchasing practices, Commissioner Hirst helped transform the City’s vehicle fleet into the greenest public sector fleet in the country.

Prior to leading the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Commissioner Hirst served for six years as Deputy Commissioner for Solid Waste Management and Planning at the Department of Sanitation, where she expanded the recycling and waste prevention programs and oversaw the Fresh Kills landfill closure. She also led the team that developed and obtained City and State legislative and regulatory approvals for the Solid Waste Management Plan Amendment, which became the foundation for the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan the City is implementing today. From 1982 to 1995 Commissioner Hirst worked in City Hall representing, consecutively, Mayor Edward I. Koch, Mayor David N. Dinkins, and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at the City Council. Her many legislative efforts included work on bills that created the Department of Homeless Services, the Administration for Children’s Services, and the City’s first recycling program; passage of landmark civil rights legislation; and major revisions to City’s Fire Safety code. Additionally, she served as a chief negotiator during numerous City budget negotiations.

She began her career in City government as a housing policy and legislative analyst at Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in American History and Urban Studies from New York University.


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna   (212) 788-2958

Mark Daly (Citywide Administrative Services)   (212) 669-7140

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