Thursday, January 04, 2007

Spitzer disses public authorites, but too late for AY review

It was just two weeks too late for Atlantic Yards critics, but in his State of the State speech yesterday, on Day 3, Governor Eliot Spitzer called for
public authorities reform:

Second, we must continue to reform our state's public authorities. Originally created to be lean, anti-bureaucratic machines, they have become patronage dumping grounds, adding yet another costly bureaucracy, entrenched in the status quo and insulated from accountability.

We will build on the Legislature's recent reform effort and submit legislation to strengthen transparency and accountability. We will promptly review each of the authorities and develop with a plan to consolidate and eliminate those authorities that have outlived their usefulness. And we will staff our authorities with experts picked for what they know, not whom they know.


Presumably, Spitzer included the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) in his assessment, though there are many more obscure authorities that operate with even less scrutiny and transparency.

But that raises a question: if the ESDC's operations weren't up to snuff, why didn't Spitzer say anything publicly about delaying approval of the Atlantic Yards project until his administration, as many advocates recommended? Or does Spitzer have some sort of secret plan to change the project and/or ameliorate its effects?

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