Home Asides Fernando Ferrer to replace Doreen Frasca on the MTA Board

Fernando Ferrer to replace Doreen Frasca on the MTA Board

by Benjamin Kabak

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named Fernando Ferrer, the one-time mayoral candidate, to the MTA Board. The one-time head of the Drum Major Institute for Public Affairs and current lobbyist will replace Doreen Frasca, whose term expired in 2010. Ferrer, the Bronx Borough President from 1987-2001, will have to be confirmed by the State Senate, but he likely won’t face a significant opposition in Albany.

Interestingly, this move could have an impact on the board’s makeup. Frasca, an expert in the financing of complex transportation infrastructure projects, has been one of the more outspoken members of the MTA Board. For instance, she has long cast a wary eye toward the Atlantic Yards deal. Ferrer, on the other hand, is a relative unknown in the transportation sector; rather, his expertise lies in housing policy. Ferrer, an outspoken opponent of Mayor Bloomberg during his 2005 mayoral campaign, will have to prove his transit mettle.

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Cap'n Transit May 17, 2011 - 1:40 pm

Ferrer also promoted the disastrous “Two New Yorks” idea, which should disqualify him from just about anything until he recants.

Jerrold May 17, 2011 - 2:24 pm

That’s right, isn’t the correct spelling FERRER, like you have it?

Jerrold May 17, 2011 - 8:05 pm

I see it’s been corrected by now.

Alon Levy May 17, 2011 - 2:42 pm

DMI has been a strong supporter of congestion pricing, bridge tolls, and bike lanes. When they talk about Two New Yorks, they’re talking about poverty and social exclusion, not cheap middle-class NIMBYism.

Bolwerk May 17, 2011 - 3:48 pm

But what about Ferrer? This smells iffy to me, like the type of appointment that gets a potential opponent on your side. Of course I could be wrong to be suspicious, and he might perform wonderfully, but “wait and see” candidates, particularly ones that are political mixed bags, are troubling.

Paterson was right to poach Walder. I wish Cuomo would poach some people who worked in Paris, Berlin, or Tokyo.

Cap'n Transit May 17, 2011 - 4:56 pm

The Drum Major Institute is great, but Ferrer is not on the board representing DMI. He’s there representing his own career and the machine that put him in power.

As Borough President he was responsible for “rebuilding” the Bronx with tons of buildings that were loaded down with extra parking. Much of that was required by zoning, but I didn’t hear him asking for that to be changed.

Alon Levy May 17, 2011 - 11:07 pm

DMI is not against parking requirements. When I argued with the people there about it, they said it was okay to reduce requirements, but some regulation should still exist, using the same justifications for high minimums provided by any suburbanist. I’m reading them as just sticking to a belief that regulations are necessary and removing them is bad.

Bolwerk May 18, 2011 - 1:15 pm

FYI, to all subthreads under OP Cap’n Transit: Streetsblog posted this amusing link today about Ferrer’s stand on parking.

ollie May 17, 2011 - 2:08 pm

i don’t see how he has any qualifications other than being a career politician. also don’t see him being all too tough against the TWU

Subutay Musluoglu May 17, 2011 - 3:09 pm

Just great – one of the few board members who actually understands transportation, construction, and finance, and who asks questions and speaks with greater intelligence relative to some of her fellow board members, is replaced with a hack. Thanks Andy!

Though it is possible that Ms. Frasca was offered a new term and turned it down. Maybe she didn’t want to be around when things really turn bleak over there.

Bolwerk May 17, 2011 - 3:50 pm

I made my criticism above in response to Alon, but in all fairness I think it’s within a governor’s interests to appoint people he can work with. Maybe Ferrer is like that.

The only problem I see (at least from this page) is we don’t know.

Alon Levy May 17, 2011 - 11:08 pm

Remember that Ferrer is a populist representing poor New Yorkers, hardly the kind that Cuomo likes. Maybe Cuomo appointed him out of necessity to appoint someone with leftist populist credentials, but I doubt that he personally likes the guy and what he stands for.

Bolwerk May 18, 2011 - 9:05 am

I dunno. Cuomo doesn’t seem outright hostile to the poor. And the soft left populists may have their hearts in the right place, but they aren’t always doing a lot of good either.

Alon Levy May 18, 2011 - 11:32 am

He’s running on an austerity platform. His heart may be in the right place, but it doesn’t mean he likes Ferrer.

Bolwerk May 18, 2011 - 12:39 pm

I seriously doubt New York’s social services spending is going to be cut down to Virginia or Texas levels. Hell, I suspect they can save money and still deliver most services better than they currently do. Medicare alone is a multibillion dollar boondoggle here.

Whether Cuomo has the wits or balls to achieve any improvements is left to be seen.

Anon May 17, 2011 - 10:31 pm

Doreen actually seemed cool…. shame to see her go.

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