Mayor Andre Sayegh has been in office for almost seventh months. He has yet to secure confirmation for any of his department heads.
Sayegh is running late in presenting his cabinet members to the City Council. His predecessor, former mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, had belatedly submitted his seven cabinet members for confirmation six months into the job or early January.
Sayegh requested to submit some department heads for confirmation, but had been asked to put them together for the Feb. 5, 2019 workshop meeting, said the mayor’s chief of staff Kathleen Long on Monday.
Municipal ordinance states the mayor should have submitted the department heads for confirmation 60 days after assuming office. The mayor is allowed to appoint acting or provisional directors for no more than 60 days, according to the ordinance.
Once the 60 days passes, the mayor is allowed to get an extension from the City Council. Neither Sayegh nor his predecessor secured extensions from the council.
The council has been lenient over the years and seldom requires administrations to submit department heads for confirmation two months into a new mayor’s term.
Councilman Flavio Rivera, chairman of the finance and personnel committee, said the council has asked the mayor to submit his department heads for confirmation. During confirmation hearings, council members review qualifications and question the nominees before deciding to vote to confirm each official.
Rivera is asking the administration to submit the nominees to his finance committee.
Long said the administration has been busily working on health insurance switch, budget, sewer changes, and the state tax credits for the past few months.
“We’ve been focused on those conversations with the Council, which take time and have delayed the conversations around confirmations. But we are moving forward on them,” said Long.
It can take months before the council confirms the cabinet members. For example, the council confirmed Torres’ department heads, submitted for confirmation in January, in March.