Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh, who said earlier this month that he would have key hiring decisions “done before Christmas,” told the Globe Monday that he would delay those announcements until after the holiday.
Walsh said his first announcement would be his chief of staff, an appointment that has sparked lively speculation in Boston political circles since Walsh won the mayoral election last month.
“I have people that I know that I’d like to have in the administration, but I’m going to announce my chief of staff first,” Walsh said.
Walsh ducked a question about a widespread rumor that his longtime House colleague and close friend — Representative Eugene O’Flaherty, a Chelsea Democrat — would be named the city’s corporation counsel.
“He’s a state rep, and I think he likes his job,” Walsh said. “I’d love to have Gino. He’s talented, but he likes his job.”
Asked about the reasons for the delay in staffing his incoming administration, Walsh said, “I want to make the right decisions, because these decisions I make are going to be my decisions for a long time.”
During a phone interview, Walsh said he was unconcerned by a Boston Redevelopment Authority meeting that had been scheduled for Jan. 2, just four days before he takes office, which could have allowed the Menino administration to make a last-minute imprint on the city. The first BRA meeting of Walsh’s administration is scheduled for Jan. 16.
A BRA spokeswoman, who earlier said the Jan. 2 meeting was “still on track,” said later Monday that the meeting had been canceled.
“One of our board members is no longer able to attend the planned Jan. 2 meeting, so we won’t have the required number of members there to reach a quorum,” said Melina Schuler.
“One of the board members has a conflict now,” she said. Asked to provide more details, Schuler replied, “I’d rather not.”
Walsh declined to critique the Menino administration in the wake of a Sunday Globe article detailing how millions of dollars in fees charged to developers for affordable housing have gone uncollected, unspent, or both.
Since Menino established a BRA housing program in 2000, the agency has spent $18 million on affordable housing, less than a quarter of what it should have collected, according to the Globe review.
Asked about the funds, Walsh replied, “It’s hard for me to question or comment on the current administration, but it’s something I’m going to make a priority out of.”
He added, “Clearly there are opportunities because of the fund to create affordable housing, we’re going to do that.”