Today Mayor de Blasio finally appointed a new Parks Commissioner: Mitchell Silver, a Brooklyn native who is currently chief planning and development officer and director for the city of Raleigh, N.C., will be in charge of 29,000 acres of city parkland. The mayor said, "Our city’s green spaces serve as gyms, classrooms, and commuter paths for millions of New Yorkers each day—and no one is more qualified to usher in a new era of expanded access and sustainability that Mitchell Silver."

The mayor's office issued a press release noting past accomplishments from Silver: "In New York, Silver played a central role in formulating the 'Harlem-on-the-River' plan, where he helped redesign a site originally pegged for a hotel development and turn it into a $20 million park. An innovative leader in urban planning and design, Silver has successfully transformed the landscape of large urban areas, small towns and urban-suburban communities undergoing periods of rapid growth."

The appointment pleases Geoffrey Croft of NYC Parks Advocates. Croft told Crain's, "Unlike the previous parks commissioner, he’s very much dedicated to community-based planning and consultation. We look forward to a new regime." And Croft wrote on his website:

A parks commissioner known for community-based planning and consultation will be sharp departure from the Bloomberg Administration which was known for having an often contentious relationship with critics and promoted a number of controversial policies and projects.

The current administration is facing a number of controversial Bloomberg-era park policies; The building a high-end restaurant in Union Square Park, the seizing of more than 47 acres on Flushing Meadow's Corona Park to build a mall; Allowing the commercial take-over of Damroach Park in Lincoln Center, Using the Bronx waterfront for Fresh Direct instead of for open space, and installing housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park to name just a few.

Silver said, "This city’s parks, athletic fields and beaches all provide a unique, public space for education, physical exercise and recreation — and I look forward to expanding these opportunities to even more of New York’s residents. From Van Cortlandt Park to Coney Island Beach, every green space in this city deserves constant care and innovation—and I’m honored to lead the department as we pursue the Mayor’s vision for equal and expanded quality access to parkland in every neighborhood."