The government of New York City is enormous, with more than 295,000 full-time employees and an annual budget of $85 billion, presenting a host of challenges for any manager. The New York Times asked Nicole Malliotakis, the Republican candidate for mayor, about her approach to management, the experiences that would inform her decisions as a manager of city government and her vision for New York City over the next four years.
Ms. Malliotakis, 36, spoke with The Times in a conference room in the Midtown office tower where she has her campaign headquarters. Read a similar interview with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ms. Malliotakis’ Democratic opponent.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Q. What in your life, in your work experience, prepares you to lead the biggest municipal government in the United States?
A. First of all, seven years in the Legislature. I have a good understanding of government, just how it works, what needs to be done to get things accomplished. I’ve established good relationships with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and that’s very important, particularly now where we’re seeing a rift between the mayor and the governor. I’ve worked with Governor Cuomo, following what was a crisis situation in my district, with Hurricane Sandy having devastated my district.
Hundreds of families were affected by Hurricane Sandy, and so I had to work under pressure, under a serious devastation in getting my constituents food, water, clothing. Getting them emergency shelter. That is real emergency management, crisis management, on-the-job training that I had during the months following Hurricane Sandy.
Q. What did you learn about what worked in managing a large group of people and what doesn’t work?
A. I was coordinating efforts of hundreds of volunteers at a time, even on various cleanup efforts. I think it’s about having good people helping you. I think with what we see now in the administration is you have ideologues. I really intend on bringing in people in my administration who have, not only a passion for a particular area, but have also the capability to implement things.
When you look at the recovery program, seven years in the Assembly has also trained me to see where there’s mismanagement and where there are things that are inefficient. And if you look at the Hurricane Sandy recovery program, the rebuilding program, Build it Back, that is the poster child of mismanagement.