Jump to content


Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
GojiMet86

Report: The MTA's 'Biggest Single Governance Problem' Is Governor Cuomo

Recommended Posts

http://gothamist.com/2019/05/01/cuomo_mta_reinvent_albany.php

 

Quote

 

Report: The MTA's 'Biggest Single Governance Problem' Is Governor Cuomo

BY STEPHEN NESSEN, WNYC IN NEWS ON MAY 1, 2019 10:53 AM

 

The group Reinvent Albany, which pushes for greater government transparency, doesn’t mince words when it comes to nailing down once and for all who is responsible for the MTA’s poor performance in that area.

“In our analysis, Governor Cuomo is the biggest single problem with the governance of the MTA,” the organization wrote in a 170-page report released Wednesday on ways to improve trust in the transit authority. “When people say decisions at the MTA are ‘politicized,’ they really mean that the Governor has interfered with the MTA’s professional staff or a public consensus process within the Board.”

Cuomo, the report states, maintains ultimate power over the MTA. “The Governor proposes the state budget, which the State Legislature cannot change wholesale, but can approve or disapprove in part,” it continues. “The State Legislature can pass new laws changing how the MTA is governed, but the Governor can veto them.”

The governor’s office disagrees with that assessment.

"The MTA’s management problems have existed since the agency was created because no one has been in charge and they have been accountable to no one,” Cuomo spokesperson Patrick Muncie said in a statement. “The Governor laid out a very aggressive agenda to reform the MTA, which the legislature passed, and it will lead to a reorganization and change the way they do business. The Governor has stepped into major projects that no one else wanted to touch and—whether it was completing the Second Avenue Subway or averting a massive shutdown of the L train—countless New Yorkers have benefited from his leadership. This report is yesterday’s news.”

The report pins additional blame for the lack of MTA transparency on 11 entities that have jurisdiction over the MTA, including the State Assembly, which hasn’t held a hearing on the subways since 2015. The report also calls out the Capital Program Review Board, which is tasked with oversight of capital projects, and which meets only in private by phone; the report claims that the board is in violation of the state Open Meetings Law for not holding public meetings. (The MTA did not respond to questions about the CPRB.)

The exhaustive report goes on to make 50 recommendations for improving the MTA. including reforming the FOIA or open records process, something newly installed Chairman Pat Foye has pledged to do.

“We have begun exploring—including through a discussion with Reinvent Albany two weeks ago—what FOIL and FOIA best practices are at government entities around the country,” Foye wrote in a statement. “At the same time, we are making important strides in transitioning our financial information into an open format and will have started sharing that data this summer.”

The report calls the MTA’s efforts, such as publicly releasing data through sites like the Capital Program and budgets in PDF forms, “fake transparency” because the data is not searchable and must be manually scraped and entered into a spreadsheet.

The report also suggests the MTA Board be revamped. By taking contract approval off the board’s plate and letting the state Comptroller handle those, it says, it would allow the board to focus on big-picture issues.

“The MTA Board process is basically a waste of the Board’s and public’s time,” the report states. “The MTA professional staff controls the agenda information and steers the Board discussion. Huge fiscal and project management issues are ignored while volunteer, and often poorly informed Board members, deep dive into esoteric service problems. Despite having a fiduciary duty to the MTA, the Board behaves like a public ombudsman rather than the governing body of a $17 billion entity.”

Max Young, a spokesperson for the MTA, defended the board, writing, “The board and senior management are fiduciaries of this agency, take that role seriously, and do it well.”

 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This article has addressed some serious points that have been plaguing (MTA) for sure.

Despite the fact that Cuomo has pushed for the Second Avenue Subway to open on time, along with getting the city back up and running again, I don’t really trust his leadership that much. He’s done a lot more harm for the (MTA) than good. For example, we’re stuck with this shitshow of an (L) train plan that will inevitably fail. Therefore, I think it’s a wise decision to “depoliticize” the (MTA) and remove direct affiliation of Cuomo from any involvement with the (MTA) in general.

As for (MTA) management themselves. Misinformation and Miscommunication (from within the Board and the Riding Public) from what I can tell, seems to be one of the lead causes of mismanagement.  It’s no wonder why we have all of these other problems such as farebeating, delays, etc.. There’s really not much else to say other than that. I don’t even want to talk about inflated Construction Costs and G.O.’s. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cuomo’s one bad facet of it. It’s really that the people who control the system’s finances politically don’t live anywhere near where the system goes.

Local Control is a must.

  • Thanks 1
  • Thumbs Up 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Deucey said:

Cuomo’s one bad facet of it. It’s really that the people who control the system’s finances politically don’t live anywhere near where the system goes.

Local Control is a must.

Finally a voice of reason is heard from. The bondholders and the bookkeepers are the powers behind the throne and always have been. Go back to the Board of Transportation,  the NYCTA, and now the MTA  and its apparent that any improvements only come about when the financial institutions say so.  The Governor,  or Mayor, is only the public face.  Same thing applies to the PANY&NJ. I remember walking around Livonia Yard and , IIRC, the R62a cars were stamped " purchased by the PA " or words to that effect. That agency had the financial resources to make the purchase. I'm old enough to remember when Governor Rockefeller went to war with Robert Moses about the TBTA and the toll money the Governor pulled out the biggest weapon in his arsenal,  his brother David,  who ran the Chase Manhattan Bank. Moses was permanently neutered from that day forward. Look no further than the bs curve at the north end of SAS phase 2. It was put there to get the northern MTA board members something so they would buy into the SAS picture.  I'd bet that Stevie Wonder could see the obvious need for the SAS to continue due north straight into the Bronx  Like you rightly pointed out decisions made by people who might as well live in Topeka,  Kansas as far as their knowledge of local transportation issues go. The Governor is the public face but the money folk run the show. He's an easy target  but that's why the agency was created in the first place.  Follow the money trail the bondholders and real estate interests are looking at and then you'll find who runs the  MTA.  Carry on. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.