Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In profile of ESDC head Adams, Jeffries expresses optimism about stability and accountability; did Adams's AY testimony merit that?

From a profile in The Capitol headlined Empire Building: Andrew Cuomo, Kenneth Adams and the struggle to restore New York’s economy.:
The governor’s desire to grow the private sector will be tested, though, by the internal complexities at ESDC, a sprawling agency with 10 regional offices, 430 state employees, hundreds of subsidiaries and oversight over thousands of public-private partnerships, from mega-projects like the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn to much smaller grant programs for equipment procurement and facility upgrades.
Optimism about Adams

The article notes:
But even critics of the agency’s work express optimism that change is on the way.

“Ken Adams should provide a greater measure of stability and accountability at the agency, which has suffered over the years as a result of the constant musical chairs at the top,” said Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries, an outspoken critic of the agency’s handling of the Atlantic Yards project.
Jeffries is more of a selective critic than an "outspoken critic," making the legitimate case that a subsidiary is needed to oversee Atlantic Yards but, unlike some fellow elected officials, steering clear of any lawsuits challenging or criticizing the project.

Accountability coming?

Beyond that, during testimony last month at a confirmation hearing, Adams expressed optimism that the delayed project would proceed, spoke vaguely about ensuring community voices would be heard, and, when asked about eminent domain, changed the subject to explain how, with incentives for projects smaller than Atlantic Yards, the state does better to ensure that promised results be delivered before benefits are paid out.

Adams's entrance may suggest stability, but his testimony didn't promise accountability.

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