LAWRENCE -- As his pint-sized margin over Mayor William Lantigua heads to a recount this weekend, Daniel Rivera yesterday began laying the foundation of the administration he hopes to form by naming 18 people to a transition team that will examine the issues he’ll face if the recount ratifies his unofficial victory.
“As everyone knows, we’re still waiting for the outcome of Saturday’s recount,” Rivera said in announcing the team’s members, acknowledging that the results of the election have not been certified even as he continues positioning himself as the winner. “I want to be clear that we are not taking anything for granted in terms of the outcome, but at the same time we think it is the responsible thing to do to get the transition process underway.”
Rivera, a two-term city councilor, last week named lawyer Zoila Gomez and Maggie Super Church, chairman of Groundwork USA, to oversee the transition effort. Those appointments, and the 18 people Rivera named yesterday to co-chair the 10 committees Gomez and Church will oversee, re-emphasized what had been the themes of Rivera’s campaign: attracting development, improving public safety and education, unifying a city he said was fractured by Lantigua’s leadership and keeping the budget balanced while hiring more cops and lessening the city’s dependence on state and federal aid.
Yesterday’s appointments also were a nod to Rivera’s political supporters. Many of those he tapped backed him over Lantigua, although Rivera said he will add “people who supported the current mayor” to the team. He declined to identify who they would be and also did not name Lantigua by name in his 15-minute news conference yesterday, held in the same lobby at Everett Mills on South Union Street where he declared his candidacy on Feb. 6.