Harp Taps D.C. Official As New CAO

Mayor Toni Harp has reached to the nation’s capital to head up a big chunk of her government.

She has offered the $132,000-a-year job of chief administrative officer to Michael A. Carter, who currently serves as deputy director of operations for the city of Washington, D.C.‘s public works department.

Carter’s appointment needs the approval of the Board of Alders under new rules passed as part of last fall’s charter revision referendum. Harp has formally submitted Carter’s appointment to the alders for approval. The item will be officially received as a communication at Monday night’s board meeting, ahead of a public hearing on the selection, and full vote by the Board of Alders.

Carter has worked for the city of Washington in a variety of capacities since 1997. At one point, he worked for Vanessa Burns, who ran that city’s public works department after she ran New Haven’s. Burns is a longtime friend and former state Senate aide to Harp. Burns offered an “excellent recommendation” of Carter to the Harp transition team, according to mayoral spokesman Laurence Grotheer. Grotheer said he received the transition team personnel committee’s “unanimous recommendation.”

Carter has held his current position in D.C. since 2006. On his resume he describes his responsibilities as including overseeing “solid waste management, fleet administration, parking” and “facilities management with 1,400 staff.” He previously held government positions in Indianapolis and Louisville.

As chief administrative officer (CAO), Carter would oversee city government departments including public works, parks, police, and fire. Rob Smuts, the previous CAO, left office Jan. 1; Jennifer Pugh, his deputy, has been holding down the job on an acting basis, thrust into the center of navigating the city’s response to a series of snowstorms.

Assuming the alders approve his appointment in time, Carter would begin work on March 24.

Click here for a packet of information about Carter’s appointment, including his resume.

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posted by: Rob Smuts on March 3, 2014  4:46pm

Best of luck! Let me know if I can help in any way.

posted by: theheights on March 3, 2014  5:48pm

Rob, you are so good to offer your services. We miss you and need your help!

posted by: cp06 on March 3, 2014  8:53pm

Promising development, it didn’t seem like staffing would be in place until her term was almost over.