NEW YORK — New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio returned to the city he'll soon govern after a victory lap in Puerto Rico, but remained tight-lipped Monday about key appointments to his new administration and whether he would try to influence the City Council Speaker's race.
De Blasio, who was elected last week and takes office Jan. 1, appointed four people last week to run his transition team and pledged Monday that work will begin in earnest on Tuesday.
De Blasio, the first Democrat elected mayor since 1989, has suggested that he will soon hire his first deputy mayor, who will help him fill out the rest of his staff, including a new police commissioner and a new schools chancellor.
He also evaded questions as to whether he will try to influence the council as it chooses its next speaker. The former speaker, Christine Quinn, is leaving office at the end of the year.
"The vote of the council members is what matters and I was a council member; I know that," de Blasio told reporters before marching in the city's annual Veterans Day Parade. "They are the ultimate decision makers."
He is reportedly backing Melissa Mark-Viverito, a liberal East Harlem councilwoman and early supporter.
He also said his family had not yet decided whether to leave their Brooklyn home and move in to Gracie Mansion, the official mayoral residence on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who leaves office at the end of the year, helped refurbish the mansion but did not live there.
De Blasio spent several days in Puerto Rico last week for an annual Democratic political conference and then two days of "down time" with his wife. He returned to the city to speak at the Veterans Day ceremony at Madison Square Park, where he spoke movingly about his father, whom he rarely discusses publicly.
His father, Warren Wilhelm, served in the Pacific Theater of World War II and lost a leg in the Battle of Okinawa.
"He carried the physical and emotional challenges ever after," de Blasio said. Wilhelm battled depression and committed suicide when de Blasio was 18. De Blasio later adopted his mother's surname.
Bloomberg also spoke at the ceremony and was interrupted by a heckler who yelled an expletive at the mayor and screamed "power to the people." The heckler was hauled off by security.
Bloomberg took the incident in stride and noted that veterans fought for all the nation's freedoms, including the freedom of speech.
"In no other country could somebody do that. Just remember that," Bloomberg said.