LMDC Shuffle

Those vacant seats on the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation are filling up fast! Grab one while you can. After today’s rejiggering, there’s only one left.

The Mayor came out strong with a press release at 4:30 p.m. announcing six appointees, including four from his own cabinet: Dan Doctoroff, Amanda Burden, Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw and Finance Commish Martha Stark. The Governor responded minutes later. (The Real Estate uses the word loosely, as we got the news from a phone call from Empire State Development Chairman Charles Gargano, and we may have been low on his list. But hey, a phone call doesn’t take as much time as a press release to prepare for.) His two appointees are the aforementioned Gargano and James Kallstrom, his special advisor on counter-terrorism at Ground Zero.

The Mayor’s other appointees are Verizon President Lawrence Babbio and civic icon Bill Rudin. Stan Shuman and Ed Lewis resigned from the board earlier this week, according to a mayoral aide, “after several years of service.” The Governor, meanwhile, still has one more seat to fill.

Gargano said he did not know whether the simultaneous announcements were planned or a coincidence, but he said he had been asked by the Governor several weeks ago. Asked whether the LMDC would become the arena for a showdown between the Governor and Mayor, he said, “No. It’s not like there are going to be any surprises. The Governor set out a very aggressive timetable for Ground Zero and this puts a strong focus on accomplishing that.”

And people say the LMDC doesn’t have anything left to do. If so, its board will sure have a swell time doing nothing.

Matthew Schuerman LMDC Shuffle