Daley fills 2 cabinet positions

February 26, 2009 3:29:28 PM PST
Mayor Daley filled two positions in his cabinet on Thursday.Rosemarie Andolino will now head the Department of Aviation. She was in charge of the O'Hare Modernization Project.

Andolino replaces Richard Rodriguez who has been tapped to head the chicago transit authority. Rodriguez takes over as the agency struggles to close a $242 million budget gap.

Richard Rodriguez has not spent much time at his last three jobs because the mayor keeps moving him. He was commissioner of the Department of Buildings in June of 2007. Ten months later he was named commissioner of aviation, and now another ten months later he's moving from air to ground transportation as the new resident of the Chicago Transit Authority.

Rodriguez succeeds Ron Huberman. Both are described as no-nonsense managers. Rodriguez this afternoon said it's too early and too presumptuous to make commitments or outline what he intends to do, but he says he will borrow from Huberman's style.

"My goal is to build on what's he's created?always try to build upon those things that worked for him while he was there. And then try to figure out what other types of initiatives we can come up with," said Rodriguez.

As Rodriguez moves from air to ground, the head of O'Hare expansion Rosie Andolino now becomes the city's new aviation commissioner. She's been in charge of O'Hare modernization since June of 2003, and will now wear both hats. Folding the OMP into the aviation department will mean job cuts. How many and how soon are yet to be determined.

"We've always been able to pull together and do more with less people. I will be looking for those seam things and those same type of efficiencies first and foremost in aviation looking where our vacancies are," said Andolino.

Andolino takes over aviation at a time when contracts at O'Hare have come under federal scrutiny. She will also continue to oversee O'Hare expansion which is facing some serious funding questions for its second phase.

Rodriguez takes command at CTA at a time when revenue from a new sales tax hike is projected to be over $200 million less than anticipated.