Paterson Launches Panel To Find M.T.A. Much-Needed Money

Governor Paterson today announced the creation of a new panel to help find money to keep the M.T.A. afloat and

Governor Paterson today announced the creation of a new panel to help find money to keep the M.T.A. afloat and running, as the agency is facing a tremendous shortfall in needed funding for the coming years.

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The panel, led by Dick Ravitch, boasts infrastructure pros, the respective budget directors for the state and the city, the CEO of Con Edison, developer Douglas Durst, M.T.A. executive director Lee Sander, and the director of the Port Authority in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Peter Goldmark, among others.

Transit advocates and some officials widely expect the panel to recommend some sort of combination of increases in taxes and fees, perhaps locally, perhaps statewide; perhaps a combination. The fiscal woes of the M.T.A.—it’s upcoming five-year capital program is expected to be somewhere around $17 billion short of the $30 billion or so desired—could lead to service and upkeep setbacks if the money is not found [more here on this issue].

The M.T.A. is not alone in this regard: the Port Authority needs billions more to complete its new rail tunnel under the Hudson River; bridges such as the Tappan Zee are in need of replacement or major repair; and water supply and sewage initiatives are seeing hundreds of millions in overruns.

Release below:



Members will Recommend Long-Term Funding Proposal, Deliver a Recommended 10-Year Plan

Commission will Report to the Governor and Legislative Leaders by December 5, 2008

Governor David A. Paterson today appointed 12 members to the Commission on Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Financing, to be chaired by former MTA Chairman Richard Ravitch. The Commission is charged with recommending strategies to fund MTA capital projects and operating needs over the next ten years, a period when the Authority will be under unprecedented financial pressure as it expands its system and rebuilds its core infrastructure to provide the additional capacity needed to allow the region to grow. Governor Paterson announced in April that Richard Ravitch would head the Commission in wake of the failure of the congestion pricing proposal, which would have provided an additional revenue stream to the MTA.

“New York’s leaders have too often underestimated the critical importance of mass transit to the economic wellbeing of the region and the quality of life of our citizens,” said Governor Paterson. “New York City’s famous subway system, its buses, and the extensive regional commuter rail network are the lifelines of the greatest city in the world, bringing millions of people to their places of work, fueling development, and increasing the property values of residents and businesses. The congestion pricing debate highlighted the need for sustainable funding for the MTA. This Commission will help ensure that the MTA has the resources it needs to expand and maintain a mass transit system that can increase regional prosperity while also curbing sprawl, reducing traffic congestion and improving the environment.”

The Commission will include experts on transportation and finance, and will be chaired by Richard Ravitch, former Chairman of the MTA and a New York City business leader. The Commission will submit its report to the Governor and legislative leaders by December 5, 2008.

“As MTA Chairman from 1979 to 1983, Richard Ravitch was one of those New Yorkers with the foresight to see how invaluable a safe, reliable mass transit system is to the health of the City,” said Governor Paterson. “He was a leader with the ability to bring that vision to reality by developing the first MTA capital plan that famously saved the New York City mass transit system from collapse. We need that kind of leadership today which is why I am appointing Dick to lead the Commission that will help chart the next ten years for the MTA.”

Ravitch, who thanked the Governor for his trust and support, said: “The future of the MTA and the future of New York State are inseparably linked, and I am grateful for this opportunity to serve my Governor and the State by helping chart a course for the Authority’s continued success. The years I served as MTA Chairman are amongst the proudest of my career, and I am lucky that I can again be of service to the organization.”

The Commission reports to the Governor and legislative leaders will include an estimate of capital needs for the next two MTA programs through 2018. The panel will work with the MTA to review the needs presented in the 2008-13 Capital Program recently approved by the MTA board and preliminarily estimate the subsequent capital program needs through 2018. The Commission will, in conjunction with the MTA, consider the funding requirements for the core program of normal replacement and state of good repair projects as well as the cost of completing existing mega projects and undertaking additional system expansion. The Commission will not be asked to make recommendations on transit priorities reflected in the current MTA Capital Plan.

With regard to the MTA operating budget, the Commission will review scenarios developed by the MTA that predict the range of operating budget shortfalls over the next ten years.

The Commission will then propose a series of actions to address the identified funding needs. These actions may include, but are not limited to: proposals on new funding sources authorized by the Governor and the State Legislature to be dedicated to the MTA, toll and fare adjustments in support of MTA operations and its capital plan, congestion pricing, and initiatives to maximize MTA efficiencies.

The Commission will also examine MTA financing policy issues such as the role of debt in the MTA capital program, the role of the Port Authority in funding regional mega projects, federal, state and local government burden sharing for financing the MTA, and other mass transit providers in the MTA region.

Since announcing that Richard Ravitch would head the Commission to examine MTA funding, the Governor and his staff have been working with Mr. Ravitch to recruit members and develop a charge and work plan for the Commission.

The Governor recognizes that the financing of downstate mass transit cannot be divorced from the broader statewide transportation strategy, and this Commission should serve as a model for how New York State takes up the responsibility of funding its other transportation needs including highway and bridges, rail, ports and aviation.

The following people have agreed to serve on the Commission:

Elliot G. Sander is the Executive Director and CEO of the MTA. He is recognized as an influential leader in the public, private and academic sectors in New York, where over the last 30 years he has led high profile public and private sector turnarounds in the fields of transportation and housing. He has founded and led several governmental and civic coalitions that have had significant impacts on the development of local, state and national transportation policy, including the Empire State Transportation Alliance, a broad-based coalition which has successfully led efforts to increase funding for public transportation in the state, including passage of the 2005 New York State Transportation Bond Act. He was the founding director of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, an internationally recognized academic center housed at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, where he also teaches transportation policy as an Adjunct Assistant Professor.

Mr. Sander is active nationally, currently serving on the National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission, and chairing the American Public Transportation Association’s TransitVision 2050 task force. He was the founding Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Large Cities Committee as well as the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

Mr. Sander previously served as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation, and in executive positions at the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, MTA New York City Transit, and the New York State Department of Transportation. Prior to his appointment at the MTA, he was Corporate Senior Vice President at AECOM DMJM-Harris, a global architectural and engineering corporation based in New York, where he was responsible for managing and growing the New York and Metro regional offices.

Laura L. Anglin was appointed Budget Director on January 1, 2008. As Budget Director, she is responsible for the overall development and management of the State’s fiscal policy, including overseeing the preparation of budget recommendations for all State agencies and programs, economic and revenue forecasting, tax policy, fiscal planning, capital financing and management of the State’s debt portfolio, as well as pensions and employee benefits. Ms. Anglin previously served as First Deputy Budget Director from January 2007 to December 2007.

Ms. Anglin’s career in public service spans nearly 20 years. She was appointed Deputy Comptroller of the Division of Retirement Services in January 2003 and was responsible for overseeing the administration and managing the operations of the New York State and Local Retirement System. From 1996-2003, Ms. Anglin worked in the New York State Assembly where she served as Director of Budget Studies for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and as First Deputy Fiscal Director for the Committee. Ms. Anglin has also held the position of Econometrician in the Department of Taxation and Finance from 1992-1996 and began her career as an Economist for the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Ms. Anglin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany.

Mark Page is director of the New York City Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a position he has held since 2002. His responsibilities include developing and implementing the City’s budget, monitoring and forecasting the revenues and expenses of the City, analyzing the economy, evaluating agency management improvement initiatives, and issuing bonds in the public capital markets in conjunction with the New York City Comptroller.

Mr. Page joined the OMB in 1978 as deputy counsel. He was named general counsel in 1980 and deputy director and general counsel in 1982.

While with the OMB, he has held a number of other positions related to New York City financing in the public capital markets. From 1984 to 2002 he was executive director of the New York City Municipal Water Authority, which issues bonds for the capital plan of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He is the Chairman of the Boards of the New York City Transitional Finance Authority and TSASC, Inc., both of which issue bonds to finance the City’s capital plan, and the Jay Street Development Corp, which issues bonds to finance a courthouse in Brooklyn.

Mr. Page is a graduate of Harvard University and the New York University School of Law.

Denis Hughes has been President of the New York State AFL-CIO since 1999. Between 1990 and 1999, he held the position of Executive Assistant to the President. In this capacity, Mr. Hughes was responsible for the coordination of the Committee on Political Education and legislation programs, as well as the overall policy and development of the staff departments within the state federation. Denis Hughes joined the New York State AFL-CIO staff as political director and assistant to the president in 1985. He is also a member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mr. Hughes is a graduate of the Empire State College, Harry Van Arsdale School of Labor Studies.

Father Joseph McShane has been the President of Fordham University since 2003. In addition, Father McShane currently serves as a trustee of several institutions, including Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, California), Canisius Prepartory School (Buffalo, New York), and The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU – New York State). He is also a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. In 1998 he became the President of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Prior to his time at the University of Scranton, he was the dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill where he was professor of theology for six years. He first joined the Fordham family in 1987 when he was appointed to the Board of Trustees. In 2003, he was named President of Fordham University. From 1982 to 1992 Father McShane served as a professor of religious studies and eventually chair of religious studies at Le Moyne College.

A distinguished author, Father McShane received the Catholic Press Association first prize in 1992 for his article in Church, “Virtue Must Advertise: The Bishops and Public Relations.” He is the author of numerous articles, including “Roman Catholicism” in the Encyclopedia Britannica Micropaedia (15th edition); “James Cardinal Gibbons” and “Pope Leo XIII” in the Encyclopedia of Religion; and a book, Sufficiently Radical: Catholicism, Progressivism and the Bishops’ Program of 1919 (Catholic University of America Press, 1986).

In 1981, he received a Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Chi
cago. He received Master of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Theology degrees from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and was ordained a priest in 1977. He received a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy, and a master’s degree in English from Boston College in 1972.

Robert B. Catell became Chairman, National Grid, U.S., following the acquisition by National Grid of Keyspan Corporation, where Mr. Catell was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Keyspan Corporation and Keyspan Energy Delivery, the former Brooklyn Union. His career with Brooklyn Union started in 1958. Mr. Catell is also Chairman of Northeast Gas Markets and Alberta Northeast Gas Ltd. and a member of the board of directors of KEYERA Energy Management LTD.

He is co-chair of the Board of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Chairman of the Long Island Association. He is a member of the board of directors of several organizations including the Brooklyn Public Library Foundation, the Business Council of New York State, the Colin Powel Center for Policy Studies, Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Energy Association of New York State, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), and City College of New York 21st Century Foundation Board.

Mr. Catell is an ex officio Director and Chairman Emeritus of The Partnership for New York City, Inc. He is a past Chairman of the American Gas Association, the U.S. Energy Association (USEA), and the Advisory Board of the City College of New York’s School of Engineering. He is a Vice-Chairman of the National Petroleum Council’s Natural Gas Committee and also a member of its Finance Committee. Additionally, he serves on JPMorgan/Chase’s Metropolitan Advisory Board, the advisory board of HeartShare for Human Services, Sovereign Bank Advisory Board, and the advisory board for SUNY Farmingdale. He also serves as a Trustee of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, is a Member Emeritus of the Brooklyn Law School, and is a former Chairman of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Catell received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the City College of New York and is a Registered Professional Engineer. He has attended Columbia University’s Executive Development Program, and the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Kim Paparello Vaccari joined Banc of America Securities in April of 2004 and heads the Transportation Group. Prior to joining Banc of America, Ms. Paparello served as the Director of Finance of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority. At the MTA, she oversaw all MTA bond issuances to fund the Authority’s extensive capital program. In addition to managing the issuance of all MTA debt, Ms. Paparello worked on all other finance issues for the MTA including reinvestment, cash and investment management, asset leasing and the development of financial plans and funding mechanisms for the MTA’s capital program. She managed the MTA’s $18 billion debt restructuring, the largest debt restructuring program in the history of the municipal market.
She has worked for a broad array of transportation issuers across the country including – the MBTA, the Chicago Transit Authority, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Riverside County Transportation Commission, Sound Transit in Seattle, and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority. She is a past President of the Municipal Forum of New York, and serves as a member of the Financial Management Committee of the American Public Transportation Association and a Finance Committee member of the International Bridge and Turnpike and Tunnel Association. She is also currently the Treasurer of the Transportation Transformation Group, a newly formed national coalition to study alternative transportation financing methods.

Steven Polan is a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Mr. Polan represents both government agencies and private firms in the development of public infrastructure projects, particularly in the transportation, environmental and information technology sectors. He has broad and varied experience in government contracts and government procurement, the financing of public works, privatizations and the specialized issues involved in construction and technology contracting. He has also served as an arbitrator in major commercial disputes involving government agencies. His projects have included the representation of Transport for London, Amtrak, and the Taiwan High Speed Rail Authority.

Prior to joining the firm Mr. Polan was General Counsel of the Fischbach Corporation, an AIG-owned international construction and engineering company. From 1990 until 1992, he served as Commissioner of Sanitation for the City of New York. From 1981 until 1989, he was Special Counsel and then General Counsel of MTA. He is a trustee for both the Citizens Budget Commission and the New York Transit Museum. He is on the Advisory Board of the Center on New York City Law of New York Law School. He was also a Board Member for the New York City Procurement Policy Board from 1995 to 2002.

He received his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 1976. He received his Bachelor degree from Tufts University in 1973.

Peter Goldmark currently directs the Climate and Air program for the Environmental Defense Fund. Prior to joining Environmental Defense, he was Chairman and CEO of the International Herald Tribune. Mr. Goldmark has had exceptional careers in both the public and private sectors. His public service was highlighted by his tenure as Budget Director for the State of New York during the 1970’s when he helped rescue the City and State from fiscal crises. Goldmark also served as Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until 1983.

He served as president of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1988 to 1997, encouraging its involvement in environmental issues, particularly as they related to energy. Mr. Goldmark was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (1982-1988), member of Board Overseers and Chair of Harvard University’s Finance Committee (1984-1990), director of Knight Ridder Inc. (1991-1998), director of the Dreyfus Third Century Mutual Fund (1992-1998), member of the National Commission on Civic Renewal (1997-1998), trustee of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (2000-2007) and trustee of the Financial Accounting Foundation. In November 2006 he was selected to co-chair the transition team for the incoming Governor of the state of New York.

Mr. Goldmark is a recipient of the Wilson Wyatt National Award for Urban Revitalization and a member of the Legion of Honor, France. He has taught courses at the JFK School of Government, Harvard; Yale College; and several other institutions. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Douglas Durst is a member of the third generation to run The Durst Organization, one of New York City’s most respected real estate developers, owners and management companies. Founded in 1915, it has been responsible over the last 90 years for transforming the skyline of midtown Manhattan. Mr. Durst joined the firm in 1970 and with his cousin Jonathan took over leadership in the 1990’s. In 1998 Mr. Durst built 4 Times Square, which served as catalyst for large-scale office development of the “New Times Square.” It was the first speculative office building built after the real estate market collapse of the 1990s and the first large office building that incorporated environmentally responsible design and building practices. The Durst Organization recently completed The Helena, a 6oo unit residential building at 57th Street and 11 Avenue which achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (“LEED”) gold rating.

Today, Mr. Durst is finishing The Bank of America Tower at 1 Bryant Park, the first skyscraper to be LEED Platinum and the most environmentally advanced hi-rise in the United States. Mr. Durst is a board member of the Trust for Public Land, REBNY, The Roundabout Theater, The New School for Social Research and Co-Chair of Friends of Hudson River Park. He is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley.

Mysore L. Nagaraja has planned and delivered some of the largest urban transportation construction projects in North America, and currently serves as an advisor on a broad range of issues including Capital Program management, development and organization; sustainability programs; dispute and contract resolution; and development and implementation of transportation security programs. His clients include the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He was President of MTA Capital Construction from July 2003 to February 2008 and Senior Vice President and Chief Engineer at NYCT from 1996 to 2003. Mr. Nagaraja also worked at M.W.Kellogg Co from 1973 to 1985, and was Manager of Engg for the last four years.

Mr. Nagaraja previously worked for the MTA, where he reported directly to the Executive Director and was responsible for advancing the MTA’s multi-billion dollar capital system expansion projects, including East Side Access, Second Avenue Subway and the extension of the No. 7 train to the West Side of Manhattan. He also spearheaded two Lower Manhattan projects — the Fulton Transit Center and the New South Ferry Subway station complex, in addition to overseeing and coordinating the MTA’s extensive security capital construction projects.

Mr. Nagaraja served as President of the Capital Construction Company, and was the Senior Vice President and Chief Engineer of the Department of Capital Program Management at New York City Transit. During his tenure at CPM, Nagaraja led the reconstruction of the No. 1 subway line, after 9/11, to completion in just nine months.

Mr. Nagaraja holds a bachelor’s Degree in Engineering from University of Mysore in India and an M.S. degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Mr. Nagaraja is the recipient of many professional and humanitarian awards including: The Milton Pikarski Distinguished Leadership in Transportation Award from City College (CUNY) in 1998, Municipal Engineer of the Year in 2000, the Green Star Award for Environmental Management in 2002, Person of The Year from CMAA in 2003, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from USDOT in 2008.

Kevin Burke has been the Chairman of the Board of Con Edison and Con Edison of New York since February 2006. He has also been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Con Edison and Chief Executive Officer of Con Edison of New York since September 2005. He was President and Chief Operating Officer of Con Edison of New York from September 2000 until September 2005. Mr. Burke has been a Director of Con Edison, a Trustee of Con Edison of New York and a Director of Orange & Rockland since September 2005. He was a Director or Trustee of: American Gas Association, Business Council of New York State, Edison Electric Institute, Energy Association, New York Botanical Garden, Partnership of New York City, and YMCA of Greater New York, Inc

Burke holds a master’s in business policy from Columbia University, a Juris Doctor from Fordham University, a master’s in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor’s in engineering from The Cooper Union.

Paterson Launches Panel To Find M.T.A. Much-Needed Money