« How the MTA blew off state Senator Perkins; how board members have a fiduciary duty but new bill would make it easier to enforce | Main | The Day: Cleaner Eateries, Louder Bikes »

August 17, 2009

Perkins, Brodsky say Paterson should listen to the people, not Bloomberg, regarding the Public Authorities Reform Act

Atlantic Yards Report

Blaming New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for Gov. David Paterson’s apparent reluctance to sign sweeping legislation that would reform the governance of the state’s public authorities, state Senator Bill Perkins (D-Harlem) and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester), yesterday urged Paterson to sign the bill, offered forceful rebuttals to Bloomberg’s concerns, and said they were considering public meetings and hearings to focus attention on the bill.

“This bill is as American as apple pie,” Brodsky said of the Public Authorities Reform Act of 2009. “This is a power struggle between the needs of the people and the needs of a powerful mayor.” The bill has drawn broad support from editorialists and civic groups.

Perkins said Paterson should “return to his roots,” noting that, “when the governor had this office [state Senator from Harlem], he was a leading voice for reform.” They spoke at a hastily-called press conference at Perkins’s Harlem office, attended by journalists from the Associated Press, WNYC, and City Hall News, along with AYR. (News of Paterson's reluctance broke Friday.)

While neither mentioned Atlantic Yards by name, Brodsky made what could be interpreted as an indirect reference, noting that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) “has been pressured to... give away property to developers.” Without identifying specific projects, he said such sales represented a violation of the fiduciary duty required in the bill. (Note that the MTA bailout bill this spring allowed removal of board members if they breached their fiduciary duty, but the new bill would make the duty more enforceable, and more explicit.)

In July, Brodsky said that, in the case of AY, the West Side Yards, and the #7 line extension, “it seems to be me provable that... the MTA's fiduciary responsibility to the system and the riders was to maximize the value of the assets it was putting out. It could not do that in many of those cases. That struck me as a violation of the fiduciary duty.”

Perkins said his office was still looking into Atlantic Yards.
...

“The cry for reform in this state is universal,” said Brodsky, nothing that authorities such as the MTA, the Thruway Authority, Long Island Power Authority, New York Power Authority, Empire State Development Corporation, and others constitute an unregulated “shadow government.”

article

Posted by eric at August 17, 2009 9:38 AM