Senators Golden, Padavan and Lanza Charge Mta Fails New Yorkers Again

Martin J. Golden

July 02, 2010

State Senators Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn). Frank Padavan (Queens) and Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), today are responding to a New York State Comptroller’s report highlighting yet another financial failure of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, that of their failure to collect more than $9 million in back rent from nearly 1,000 commercial tenants. The State Senators are charging, in the wake of this week’s severe bus and train service reductions across New York City, that the mismanaged MTA has failed New Yorkers again.

Senator Marty Golden stated, “Yet again, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has shown mismanagement at its best. The Comptroller’s report released today is further details the need for a complete overhaul of the M.T.A. and an audit of every agency dollar. People are unable to get to and from work because of the elimination of buses and trains because the M.T.A. has a deficit which is partly a failure on their part to collect rent.”

Senator Marty Golden continued, “The leadership of the M.T.A. has failed time and time again to properly manage the Agency finances. At the same time, it seems that everyone knows and acknowledges that this problem exists, but no one wants to take the MTA on, and that is why my colleagues are supporting legislation that would put oversight mechanisms in place.”

Senators Padavan, Golden and Lanza, are supporting legislation in the New York State Senate, S. 6645, that would create the Metropolitan Transit Authority Interim Finance Authority.

The MTA Interim Finance Authority would be governed by a seven member, nonpartisan, Board appointed with two members by the Governor, one member by the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, one by the Assembly Speaker and Minority Leader and one by the State Comptroller. This Authority would have the ability to monitor, oversee and control the MTA’s finances during a set period of time.

“New Yorkers once again are exposed to another stunning failure by the MTA to carry out even the most basic of their fiscal duties,” Senator Frank Padavan said. “Sadly, despite the widespread cry for change, the MTA continues their never-ending trail of fiscal mismanagement that only adds to the burdens placed on transit riders and commuters. It unbelievable and unfair to the million of New Yorkers who rely on transit services and are faced with service cuts, bus line eliminations and fare and toll increases while the MTA remains unaccountable for their fiscal irresponsibility. What remains clear is we must advance legislation that will call for greater oversight of the MTA’s fiscal practices, overall fiscal health and management.”

“The MTA consistently deals with a deficit of its own creation, and consistently comes to the taxpayers of this state with their hands out,” said Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island). “The MTA creates mess after mess, then passes the buck onto taxpayers by hiking fairs and cutting services. Their latest failure proves, once again, they cannot be trusted to control their own finances.”

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commission. A similar version of the legislation has been introduced in the State Assembly.