Monday, March 26, 2012

Crain's: a portrait of the governor as micromanager

So maybe he's less Status Cuomo than Micromanager Cuomo.

In an illuminating article headlined Cuomo: The boss: Nothing gets done in this state without his say. It's the Cuomo school of management., Crain's New York Business reports on Andrew Cuomo's micromanaging but business-friendly instincts:
Mr. Cuomo is not the first executive to involve himself in the minutiae of state operations. But in dozens of interviews, people inside or close to his administration portrayed an intense, micromanaging style that has kept his agencies almost perfectly in lockstep with his agenda. It has impressed longtime observers of Albany but also frustrated some state officials accustomed to more autonomy, sources said.

To carry out an agenda that includes making the state more welcoming to business, Mr. Cuomo depends on a handful of trusted advisers ensconced in the executive suite on the second floor of the Capitol.
If that applies to Cuomo's stewardship of Empire State Development, that suggests that the governor might be personally weighing in on such things as the long-stalled appointment of a community relations position regarding Atlantic Yards or the approval of the interim surface parking lot planned for Block 1129, the southeast block of the project site.

Memo: don't talk to the press without guidance

Also, Capitol Tonight's Liz Benjamin posted a memo sent to all agency and authority heads and counsels early by the governor’s counsel, Mylan Denerstein:
The memo, which cc’s state Operations Director Howard Glaser, can be summed up thusly: Don’t do anything or talk to anyone before first getting the green light from the second floor, and for goodness’ sake, don’t make any autonomous decisions.
The focus of this particular missive is pending legislation, but I’m told by agency sources that the same approach applies across the board – particularly when it comes to members of the press who might call seeking information.
The standard reply, pretty much no matter what the question, is: “I’ll get back to you.” That, of course, enables the spokesperson to contact the executive press office for guidance on how to proceed.


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