Governor Cuomo Could Care Less About the M.T.A. and the Port Authority

Just not much less than he already does.

At least that is the impression given by our former colleagues over at Capital and WNYC, who point out that in the governor’s recently released schedules, no mentions are made of meetings with either agency’s head, Jay Walder or Chris Ward. As The Observer has previously reported, the governor has had limited contact with either Mr. Walder or Mr. Ward, despite their being in charge of two of the state’s most important and powerful agencies.

Andrea Bernstein opens with this spry appraisal:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met repeatedly in the first eight months of the year on marriage equality, the property tax cap, and even farmer’s markets. But his schedule from January 1- August 31, made available online Thursday, shows no meetings or phone calls with Port Authority chief Chris Ward or Metropolitan Transportation Authority CEO Jay Walder.

Meanwhile Reid and Dana bring us these amusing details:

On Thursday, Feb. 3 at 4:15 p.m., he had a meeting in Albany on “Public Authorities.” No attendees are listed. But that same day, the board of the Port Authority voted in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s pick for Authority Chairman, David Samson.

On Friday, March 4, at 1:30 pm, the governor had a meeting about the vaguely defined topic, “Transporation and Infrastructure” at his New York City offices.

In April, May, June and July, there was no mention in his public schedules of “Ward,” “Walder,” “Port Authority,” or “MTA.”

On August 10, he made a “New York Remembers” announcement that included Robert Morris, a vice president at the Port Authority Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

There was some attention paid to the M.T.A. in the lead up to the Hurricane Irene shutdown, but otherwise it appears the governor has taken almost no notice of these agencies. That said, perhaps this is a good thing, given the relative repute of their directors. Yet for a politician who is known to be incredibly hands-on, that would seem strange.

With the appointment of a new M.T.A. chief forthcoming—and the 9/11 anniversary behind us—it would seem these are positions Governor Cuomo might be paying more attention to in the near future.

mchaban [at] | @MC_NYC