Home Asides Cuomo: Prendergast to be renominated as MTA head

Cuomo: Prendergast to be renominated as MTA head

by Benjamin Kabak

Due to the fact that the MTA has burned through leaders at a rate of nearly one per year over the last six years, Tom Prendergast, on the job only for two years, was nearing the end of the current six-year term when news broke this morning that Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to reappoint him. The Governor let the word drop this morning during a breakfast speech in front of the Association for a Better New York, and in comments Prendergast made to the press later in the day, the MTA chief received the word the same way the rest of us did — through breaking news straight from Cuomo’s mouth at the breakfast. Now, the MTA may get some much-needed stability at a time when it’s searching for an even more badly-needed $15 billion in capital funding.

Thanks to politicking and such, Prendergast’s current term is actually the end of Jay Walder’s six-year appointment. That term began in 2009 when Lee Sander and Dale Hemmerdinger were forced out, and the bifurcated MTA Executive Director and MTA Board Chair positions were merged. Walder gave way to Joe Lhota, and City Hall ambitions led Lhota to step down. Now, Prendergast, 62, will get his own six-year term and the opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the MTA. Advocated had endorsed this move in March, and I think it’s a good one. I’ll have more once Cuomo puts out the official word; the Governor’s full speech is available on YouTube.

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BrooklynBus April 24, 2015 - 2:53 pm

It’s as if Prendergast has no say in the matter. I wonder if he even intends to stay another six years.

VLM April 24, 2015 - 3:14 pm

I’m sure the guy who’s worked his entire career to get where he is now is just going to bail. Great analysis, there. Prendergast will stay until Cuomo doesn’t want him any longer. Book it.

Bolwerk April 25, 2015 - 10:05 am

Well, he doesn’t seem like Lhota (politically ambitious), but if someone offered him a better job?

BrooklynBus April 25, 2015 - 2:26 pm

Do you even know Prendergast’s history? Apparantly not. He left NYCT IN 2000 to return in 2009. As much as he may love New York, doesn’t mean he gets along with Cuomo. In fact, I would say the opposite. Who knows if he is offered something better, he might choose to leave just because it would be less aggravation. Then if he still wants to work, he may want to come back under the next governor if asked to do so.

Larry Littlefield April 24, 2015 - 3:53 pm

So I guess we’ll wait 5 1/2 year before he starts firmly and loudly pointing out that the MTA is broke. That would be 2021.

I think most people who matter can get to Florida by then.


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