Home Asides On an interim basis, Ferrer to succeed Lhota

On an interim basis, Ferrer to succeed Lhota

by Benjamin Kabak

Joe Lhota confirmed today what we already knew but with a twist: As of December 31, and not this Friday, as originally reported, he will be stepping down from his post atop the MTA in order to assess a run for mayor. Lhota began at the MTA on November 14, 2011 and was officially confirmed as Chair on January 9, 2012, making his tenure just 357 days long.

Succeeding Lhota as MTA Chairman will be Fernando Ferrer. The one-time Bronx Borough President and failed mayoral candidate has a whopping 18 months of experience with the MTA Board, but he won’t be responsible for day-to-day operations. That duty will fall to Tom Prendergast, current NYC Transit president who will assume the mantle of Executive Director as Gov. Cuomo looks to fill the MTA vacancy. The Governor, by the way, has yet to say much of anything about Lhota’s departure.

Ferrer offered up a perfunctory statement to the press. “The MTA continues to face serious fiscal challenges, but I am pleased by the progress we have been able to achieve in cost containment and service improvements, as well as the swift restoration of service after Superstorm Sandy,” Ferrer said. “The MTA is blessed with a dedicated Board and skilled and loyal staff at every level. I look forward to working with management to continue to strengthen and improve the system that is so essential to the region’s daily life and economic vitality.” And don’t forget: Fares will go up in March no matter who’s in charge.

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9 comments

BrooklynBus December 19, 2012 - 4:43 pm

Didn’t they get rid of the Executive Director position when Hemmedinger left so they could pay Walder more? What’s the point of bringing it back? So we can have another figurehead MTA head while the Executive Director does all the work? Why couldn’t they just make Prendergast interim chairman?

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Benjamin Kabak December 19, 2012 - 4:45 pm

You are getting worked up over nothing. The ED position is a temporary one so that someone can oversee day-to-day operations at the MTA. Lhota was ED before he was officially confirmed by the State Senate.

Hemmerdinger was MTA Chair and Lee Sander was Executive Director and CEO. The state combined the two positions to streamline operations and enforce accountability upon one person who would head both the MTA’s governing Board and the MTA itself. It’s just Corporate Governance 101 right there, and what we have now is an interim situation for both Prendergast and Ferrer.

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BrooklynBus December 19, 2012 - 7:03 pm

So you are saying that the ED position is temporary and will be abolished again once a permanent Chairperson is appointed. Correct?

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Larry Littlefield December 19, 2012 - 6:02 pm

“The MTA continues to face serious fiscal challenges.”

Why is that, Freddie? Ridership is high. Taxes have been increased. Wages have been frozen.

The next MTA needs to tell lots of groups of people to go to hell, and explain to a large number of other people, generally in younger generations, that they have been robbed, the money is gone, and there is nothing they can do about it other than figure out how to spread the pain.

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Someone December 19, 2012 - 7:27 pm

Could they have a contract wherein the person running for MTA head has to stay for 2 years or more?

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BrooklynBus December 19, 2012 - 9:50 pm

Two years is not long enough to maintain some stability.

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Alon Levy December 19, 2012 - 8:01 pm

I’ve heard good things about Prendergast.

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BrooklynBus December 19, 2012 - 9:50 pm

He is good.

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anon December 22, 2012 - 5:06 pm Reply

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