New heads of parks, EEPC appointed


Margaret Nelson is the new city parks commissioner. Well, at least the acting one.

Mayor Bill de Blasio elevated Nelson to the top spot this week to replace Mitchell Silver, who stepped down after seven years leading parks in New York City.

In fact Nelson, who worked directly under Silver during his tenure, had nothing but praise for her predecessor.

“His culture of care and emphasis on health, happiness and fun are all shared ideals I hope to bring to the table as I assume this new role,” Nelson said, in a release. “As the city continues to move toward recovery (from the coronavirus pandemic), we hope to keep our parks thriving, accessible, and equitable for all New Yorkers to enjoy.”

Joining the parks department in 2014, Nelson was elevated to deputy commissioner for urban park services and public programs in 2019. There she oversaw operations and staff members for 36 citywide recreation centers, the Urban Park Rangers, and the parks enforcement patrol units.

She also was Silver’s chief of staff. Nelson helped secure more than $80 million to replace fleet vehicles in the department, and also helped establish a synthetic turf field maintenance and replacement model program.

“Margaret is a time-tested public servant who will be an integral part of our recovery,” de Blasio said, in a release.

Nelson wasn’t the only one to get a new job in the last couple weeks. de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson jointly appointed Aldrin Rafael Bonilla to serve as chair and commissioner of the Equal Employment Practices Commission.

Bonilla is executive vice president of the Fund for the City of New York, and is a former deputy borough president under Manhattan chief Gale Brewer.

de Blasio also appointed civil engineer Minosca Alcantara as an EEPC commissioner.