ESD Chief of Staff departs; who now has Atlantic Yards portfolio? (Cuomo admin's "restricted flow of info" means we don't know)
In November 2011, I wrote that Justin Ginsburgh, the new Chief of Staff at Empire State Development (ESD) had Atlantic Yards in his portfolio. He left this past February (according to his LinkedIn profile) to work as General Manager of New York City Bicycle Share, which will implement the city's bike share program.
So, who replaced Ginsburgh in the office hierarchy? The project previously was in the portfolio of Executive Director Peter Davidson, to whom Arana Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, reported, before Davidson departed. Chief of Staff was a newly created position.
I posed the question to Empire State Development, but didn't get an answer. Is that just resistance to my queries from a state agency grown weary of them?
Maybe, but it's more likely that state agencies under the Cuomo administration just have a short leash when facing press questions.
What it says about the Cuomo administration
As the Albany Times-Union reported 3/13/13:
Press releases must be reviewed before they are issued, and in some cases agency spokespeople cannot return or acknowledge inquiries without approval. The result, these sources say, has been a more restricted flow of information about state operations.The Poughkeepsie Journal published an editorial last week headlined Albany and daylight: Still worlds apart:
The state Senate passed its version of the budget at about 4:30 Wednesday morning. The state Assembly followed suit by approving the $135 billion financial blueprint just before midnight the next day.
Negotiations, once again, were done behind the scenes, with only top state leaders involved. Joint conference committees — required by law to negotiate these ever-important spending decisions in public — were pretty much shunned.
...The governor defended the frenzied negotiating schedule, pointing to the various holiday observances that take place during this time of year.
Again, is he kidding us? These are fixed dates on the calendar. They should come as no shock to anyone remotely interested in doing long-term, reasonable planning. The governor offered his budget in late January, and the Legislature had two months to work out the details, to hold hearings, to elicit expert testimony, and to hash it all out out in public and in broad daylight.