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Ravitch, Former MTA Chairman, Now Writing Memoir

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Richard Ravitch, the former lieutenant governor, has finally escaped Albany, with its never-ending budget messes and grinding dysfunction. But he hasn’t stopped thinking about it.

 

He is writing it all down for a memoir, a project he quietly began several months ago after some prodding from a publisher.

 

“The reason I’m writing it is not to tell my personal story, but to relate the personal experiences that I’ve had,” Mr. Ravitch, 77, said while taking a break from his work on Monday morning at his Fifth Avenue apartment. “I’m not interested in self-promotion. I’m interested in the problems we face.”

 

He will reflect on his stint as lieutenant governor, a vacant position Gov. David A. Paterson appointed him to in July 2009 and that he held through 2010. During that time, Mr. Paterson was facing a state fiscal crisis, a flight of advisers and calls for his resignation over ethical scandals.

 

“It was a chaotic time,” Mr. Ravitch said. “I think it was a difficult task, and he was a lame duck by spring of 2010. And a lame-duck governor doesn’t have the clout that a newly elected governor has.” (Mr. Ravitch said Mr. Paterson, sounding “chipper,” called him a couple of weeks ago, just to say hello.)

 

But the book will go far beyond his time in Albany, covering decades spent in public service that included a stretch as the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a failed candidacy for mayor in the 1980s.

 

Read more: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/out-of-albany-ravitch-is-writing-memoir/?ref=nyregion

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