Thursday, March 04, 2010

Markowitz discovers fiscal prudence regarding MTA megaprojects and property

From Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's testimony yesterday before a Metropolitan Transportation Authority hearing:
FOR EXAMPLE, IN DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, THE MTA LEASES A BLIGHTED BUILDING AT 370 JAY STREET. IF THE MTA DOESN’T NEED THIS BUILDING IT SHOULD SELL ITS STAKE IN IT — AND I’M CERTAIN THE MTA HAS DOZENS OF PROPERTIES THAT IT DOES NOT NEED. SELL THEM AND USE THE MONEY TO FUND MASS TRANSIT!

...THE MTA HAS A DECISION TO MAKE — IT HAS TO DECIDE WHETHER IT IS APPROPRIATE IN THIS CRISIS TO FUND FLASHY “COSMETIC” MEGA-PROJECTS IN PLACES LIKE LOWER MANHATTAN WHILE STARVING THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE, OR WHETHER IT MAKES MORE SENSE TO STRATEGICALLY AND TEMPORARILY REDIRECT FUNDS TO PRESERVE JOBS, SAFETY, AND RELIABILITY IN THE SYSTEM.
And what about AY?

NoLandGrab's Eric McClure senses a bit of irony, given Markowitz's unswerving support for the Atlantic Yards plan, including a renegotiation of the Vanderbilt Yard deal with the MTA, giving the agency less money upfront and a less valuable replacement railyard.

At an MTA hearing in June, Markowitz's representative, Carlo Scissura, assured the board, "As we all know, the Borough President would never support anything that is not in the interests of all of Brooklyn and all Brooklynites."

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