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June 18, 2008

Board members of ESDC, other authorities, would finally become fiduciaries if reform bill passes

Atlantic Yards Report

AYR takes a look at pending state legislation that would create the "Independent Office of Public Authority Accountability."

Somewhat buried in a New York Times Empire Zone column on Monday, headlined Stance on Same-Sex Marriage Brings Surprises for Paterson, was an item, under the sub-headline "Seeking Oversight for Agencies," indicating the potential passage of “the first meaningful oversight of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New York State Thruway Authority, the Empire State Development Corporation [ESDC] and a multitude of other state and local authorities.”

Notably, it would require a fiduciary duty of authority board members--a duty of care arguably lacking in the ESDC's treatment of the Atlantic Yards project.
...

Did ESDC board members, in their brief 12/8/06 approval of the project bother to check:

  • if the arena financing plan was legitimate or a took advantage of a "loophole"?
  • if there would be enough affordable housing financing to get the project done anywhere close to the “anticipated” ten-year timetable?
  • if that ten-year timetable would be enforced in future ESDC contracts or whether the agency would give the developer 12+ years to build Phase 1 and no deadline for Phase 2?

These are all questions that might be pursued if the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities, and Commissions, chaired by Brodsky, turns its direct attention to Atlantic Yards.

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Posted by eric at June 18, 2008 8:57 AM