Paterson: ‘No Excuse’ If M.T.A. Mess Drags Past Next Week

Governor Paterson added urgency to his call to pass an M.T.A. rescue plan this afternoon, saying he wanted action in coming days. “There may have been a distraction by the budget period, and obviously by religious holidays, but there’d be no excuse if this goes more than another few days to a week,” he told reporters.

So is that a new deadline? No, he said. Given that the negotiations by nature involve more than one person, he said, “obviously no one person knows when the time will come.”

His remarks came after he spoke at a luncheon put on by the Regional Plan Association, which was honoring Dick Ravitch, the former M.T.A. chairman and architect of Mr. Paterson’s rescue plan for the authority.

On Mr. Ravitch, Mr. Paterson offered praise, and a dig at legislators.

“He brought back a plan that won the approval of every reasonable point of view from different sides,” he said to laughter from the pro-transit audience. “Except in Albany. It’s a different planet. As we like to point out, there is no gravity.”

He also fired a shot at any critics of Mr. Ravitch and the plan, perhaps referring to State Senator Carl Kruger’s comments in the Post in which he said a recent proposal by the governor and Mr. Ravitch was “a flight of mental instability.”

“I don’t think it’s appropriate … to in any way engage in any acrimony or criticism without any real basis, as I have felt, rendered against the chair of my commission in the last few days, and I just want to put on record how much I oppose them,” the governor said. “I’m looking for who did it; maybe after this event, they will step outside. I do have that visual problem, so that will make it a fair fight.”

Mr. Ravitch found some humor in the timing of his award. He was picked to be honored, he figured, at a time when the Regional Plan Association assumed he would ultimately have driven through a rescue plan for the M.T.A.

“I feel a little funny about taking an award when the deed has not yet been done,” he said.  Paterson: ‘No Excuse’ If M.T.A. Mess Drags Past Next Week