DiCicco protests port authority decision to hold fewer public meetings

An Assemblyman is not pleased with the Delaware River Port Authority’s decision to cut back from two meetings a month to one.

Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco, (R-4), Gloucester, said that the Delaware River Port Authority should continue to meet the two-meetings-per month transparency standard it set last fall, especially now that more details have emerged about how bad Wall Street financial investment deals to fund economic development projects that had nothing to do with the bridge operation are draining $13.7 million per year from the bistate agency.

“The DRPA board cannot revert to one meeting per month when the agency has not enacted permanent and comprehensive reform of its wasteful ways,” DiCicco said Thursday in a release. “A shadowy government agency that is plagued by past misdeeds should not retreat from the public eye.”

The board added a second monthly meeting in November after pressure from officials such as DiCicco and Governor Christie.

The commissioners voted Wednesday to go back to one meeting at the same time they discussed how a misguided and complex investment deal is costing toll payers $13.7 million per year, DiCicco said.

More than a decade ago, the board entered into an interest-rate swap on $1.1 billion of its debt. The deal gave the agency $45 million to trade a fixed rate for a variable rate. The agency wasted the lump sum on economic development projects that have nothing to do with the agency’s core mission and the deal now costs $13.7 million more per year in fees and other costs than the original terms, according to DiCicco’s release.

DiCicco, along with Assemblyman Gary Chiusano, (R-24), Sussex,  Pennsylvania State Rep. Michael Vereb, sponsored bistate legislation that would prohibit the agency from spending on economic development, control employee salaries and perks, and eliminate conflicts of interests amid other reforms.


DiCicco protests port authority decision to hold fewer public meetings