Port Authority Public Affairs Chief to Lead Corzine’s PR Shop

Steve Sigmund, director of public affairs for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and former communications director for mayoral candidates Gifford Miller and Mark Green, is leaving to head up communications for New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. The move, according to a mass email from Mr. Sigmund, is slated to be a temporary one, as he will be the “acting Communications director” for the governor, and plans a return to the bi-state authority.

The Port Authority has long been home to political operatives from the two states (both states have traditionally doled out spots on the board of commissioners to large donors and party beneficiaries), and Mr. Sigmund certainly comes from the political world (his mother was mayor of Princeton and ran for the U.S. Senate). Always accessible and politically sharp, Mr. Sigmund has been at the front lines of a lengthy battle over the World Trade Center site, as the authority has been fighting an aggressive trio of Mayor Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and private developer Larry Silverstein.

The move also tells a bit of a story about the Port Authority: While the job of a governor’s communications director is clearly a position with more power and stature, Mr. Sigmund will be taking a big pay cut.

The Web site Seethroughny.net puts Mr. Sigmund’s Port Authority salary at more than $199,000. Per the Star-Ledger, the last communications director for Mr. Corzine made $137,500.

ebrown@observer.com