Hold Public Confirmation Hearings for MTA Vacancies
A Letter to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Dear Leader Stewart-Cousins,
We write to ask that the State Senate conduct confirmation processes for appointees to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) through public hearings. Public hearings will build upon the important hearings that the Senate is currently conducting on the effectiveness of New York State’s transit systems, ensuring more robust legislative oversight of the MTA.
The MTA currently has a number of vacancies for which the Senate will be required to provide advice and consent, including the following:
- Dutchess County Board Member
- Nassau County Board Member
- Rockland County Board Member
- Long Island Rail Road Commuters Council (non-voting)
Press reports indicate that an additional seat will become vacant at the end of February with the resignation of Scott Rechler, an appointee of the Governor. A recommendation from the Governor for the Chairman/CEO position may also come forward in the coming weeks, likely after the conclusion of the budget process.
The Senate Democratic Conference in 2009 held an important public hearing for the appointment of Jay Walder as Chairman/CEO, during which a number of important issues were raised.1 The State Senate should follow this example in consideration of any forthcoming appointees for the MTA.
Questions that should be asked of such appointees could include the following:
- How do appointees meet the qualifications required under section 1263 of the Public Authorities Law? Examples include experience with transportation, public administration, business management, finance, accounting, law, engineering, land use, urban and regional planning, management of large capital projects, and labor relations.
- What, if any, business dealings do appointees have before the state or local governments within the MTA region? What other potential conflicts of interest may appointees have that should be considered?
- How will appointees fulfill the fiduciary duty to the MTA and public as required by law?
- What commitments will appointees make towards greater transparency and accountability of the MTA?
- How will appointees work toward the interests of the MTA region as a whole while maintaining political independence and also being responsive to and representative of their appointing authorities?
- How would appointees improve the diversity of the MTA Board, or ensure better representativeness of the MTA’s riders?
- How will appointees improve the MTA's compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law?
We thank you for your consideration of our request. Please contact Rachael Fauss, Senior Research Analyst at Reinvent Albany, firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-859-5307, should you which to discuss this matter further.
Citizens Budget Commission
New York State Director
AARP New York
|Mark Winston Griffith
Brooklyn Movement Center
|Ben Prosky, Assoc. AIA
AIA New York
Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY
Director of Policy & Advocacy
Chinese American Planning Council
Access-A-Ride Campaign Coordinator
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
|Peter H. Kostmayer
Chief Executive Officer
Citizens Committee for New York City
NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
Citizens Union of the City of New York
Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the
Common Cause NY
Environmental Advocates of New York
League of Women Voters of the City of New
Interim Executive Director
League of Women Voters of New York State
Tri-State Transportation Campaign
The New York Immigration Coalition
Download LetterHold Public Confirmation Hearings for MTA Vacancies
- Video of hearing available on NYSenate Uncut, Youtube, https://youtu.be/Rtq175f2-t4