Tag: taps

Adams taps political operative at influential hotel workers union to run mayoral campaign

Katie Moore is seen a provided headshot.

Katie Moore, political director of the city’s Hotel Trades Council, will manager Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign. | Courtesy of Eric Adams mayoral campaign

A political operative at a prominent union diminished by the Covid-19 pandemic has been tapped to lead Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign.

Katie Moore, political director of the city’s Hotel Trades Council, will be campaign manager for the bid the Brooklyn borough president kicked off with a virtual announcement last week.

Adams has also hired Nathan Smith of Red Horse Strategies as his lead consultant and Evan Thies of Pythia Public Affairs to handle communications.

Moore’s move does not automatically signal the union’s plans for the Democratic primary next year, but sources familiar with its political process have said Adams is among the candidates in contention for the endorsement. Maya Wiley and Scott Stringer are also said to be on the organization’s short list.

“This is a critical moment for New York City, and Eric is the leader this city needs to recover from the pandemic, tackle inequality by making our government more efficient and effective and improve quality of life for everyday New Yorkers,” Moore said in a statement.

The hotel workers union has emerged in recent years as one of the most sought-after endorsers for city politicians, despite a small membership relative to other influential labor organizations like 1199SEIU, which represents health care workers. It was instrumental in Corey Johnson’s rise to the speakership in 2017 and Ritchie Torres’ winning congressional bid earlier this year. It also scored several legislative victories under Johnson’s leadership, most notably a bill designed to stymie the proliferation of Airbnb, which poses an existential threat to standard hotels.

The union also stood out as one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s only supporters when he ran a long-shot bid for president last year. It has since been crippled by the pandemic’s slaughter on the city’s tourism industry, casting doubt on the power of its backing.

In 2013, the last time New Yorkers had an opportunity to elect a new mayor, HTC backed former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who lost the primary and is said by those close to her to be considering another run for the office next year.

Torres called Moore “one of the most talented and trusted people you could ever meet in politics.”

“Whether you’re running a political campaign or a labor union, Katie is exactly the kind of operative you want beside you in the trenches of New York City politics,” Torres said.

Moore got her start as an organizer at the now-defunct ACORN, a left-leaning group focused on political organizing. She worked on the 2004 presidential election through America Coming Together before taking a job with 1199, which is widely viewed as the most important labor endorsement in local elections. She was campaign manager for City Council Member Francisco Moya’s Assembly victory in 2010 and joined HTC four years ago.

Adams launched his mayoral campaign with more than $2.1 million in his account

Continue reading

Clearwater taps longtime employee Jim Halios as Parks and Recreation director

CLEARWATER ― After nearly one year under an interim director, Clearwater’s Parks and Recreation Department has a new leader.

Jim Halios, currently the assistant to City Manager Bill Horne, will take over Clearwater’s second largest department on Monday, Horne announced this week.

Halios, 45, began working for Parks and Recreation in 2002, overseeing the city’s tennis operations. He later served as a recreation supervisor, landscape maintenance coordinator, a manager over the city’s urban forestry division and an administrative manager before becoming the assistant to Horne in 2019.

Horne selected Halios after three finalists were interviewed by City Council members, a group of community partners and department leaders. The other two finalists were: Catherine Dunlap, a recreation proprietor at Walt Disney World, and Russell Bosanko, a parks and recreation manager with Snohomish County in Wisconsin.

“Jim continued to emerge as the preferred candidate through all that interaction,” Horne said. “I wanted someone who could traverse the different stakeholder interests that the parks and recreation director has to deal with: relationship building, sound management, understanding what the community is expecting as far as services.”

The parks and recreation department has a higher profile in Clearwater than many municipalities, involved in everything from the operation of the Clearwater Jazz Holiday to its sports tourism that includes hosting international softball tournaments. Its $31 million operating budget is the city’s second largest, behind only the police department.

Halios succeeds Kevin Dunbar, the department’s director of 20 years who was fired in December following three consecutive city investigations that each uncovered mismanagement and lapses in oversight. The investigations followed the discovery in early 2018 that a recreation supervisor stole more than $100,000 in cash from the city over five years.

The first human resources audit found, among other things, that Carpenter’s theft was made easier by the fact that Dunbar had no system in place to check whether certain payments were accurately entered into the city’s payment software.

The search for Dunbar’s replacement was then delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, Horne said.

Halios said between changes in leadership and adjustments in operations in response to COVID-19, he hopes to bring an end to what has been “an uncertain time.”

Halios said he plans to continue to strengthen Clearwater’s sports tourism industry, which Dunbar helped shape by attracting international softball competitions. But Halios will have to do that in the climate of coronavirus, which could mean changing the way events are conducted and visitors interact.

“It’s going to require our staff to take a different approach to things and to really think outside of the box,” Halios said.

One of the more high profile initiatives Halios will be handling is the proposed $79 million renovation of Spectrum Field and Carpenter training complex, the spring training home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The city and team originally planned to apply for $40 million in Pinellas County bed tax money to support the project, but county officials have already indicated they wouldn’t support that amount.

Negotiations over the application have

Continue reading