2017-08-02 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Shirking MTA Responsibility

To The Editor:

The most recent feud between Governor Mario Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio over who controls and is responsible for recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority problems is nothing new. This ongoing feud over numerous issues between Cuomo and de Blasio has now entered its fourth year. It represents the latest chapter in the respective behavior and ongoing fights between Cuomo and de Blasio. Based on past history between previous governors and mayors, this is really nothing new. Democrats Cuomo and de Blasio have a lot in common with the late Republicans Governor Nelson Rockefeller (1959-1974) and Mayor John Lindsay (1966- 1973) along with Governor George Pataki (1995-2006) and Mayor Rudy Giuliani (1994-2001). The same is true for the late Democrat Governor Mario Cuomo (1983- 1992) and Mayor Ed Koch (1978- 1988). Nelson Rockefeller, George Pataki, Mario Cuomo and son Andrew Cuomo deal with mayors who want equal billing on the political marquee. Lindsay’s urban, Koch’s Big Apple, Giuliani’s safety/quality of life and de Blasio’s progressive agendas are dependent upon both increased state and federal assistance. De Blasio envisions himself as the national spokesperson for progressive Mayors from all cities. This conflicts with governors who have to worry about all 62 counties making up New York state. It also creates problems for governors like Cuomo who harbor presidential ambitions in 2020.

In 1953, the old NYC Board of Transportation passed on control of the municipal subway system, including all its assets under a master lease and operating agreement to the newly created NYC Transit Authority. Under Governor Rockefeller in the ‘60s, the MTA was created. Today Cuomo is serving as the superintendent running the MTA hired by the city which is the actual landlord or owner of NYC Transit buses and subways.

All have long forgotten that buried within the 1953 master agreement between the City of New York and NYC Transit is an escape clause. New York City has the legal right, at any time, to take back control of its assets. This includes the subway and bus system. Actions speak louder than words. If municipal officials feel they could do a better job managing the MTA, including running the nation’s largest subway and bus system, man up and regain control. Instead of complaining, de Blasio should come up with the balance of $2.5 billion the city still owes toward fully funding the $32 billion MTA 2015-2019 Five Year Capital Program and add several billion more. Cuomo should deliver the outstanding balance of $5.8 billion toward his original $8.3 billion pledge plus his most recent new commitment of an additional $1 billion. MTA NYC Transit can’t afford to wait until 2018 or 2019 for both de Blasio and Cuomo to make good on their respective promised financial commitments.

Larry Penner
Great Neck

Govern With Compasion

To The Editor:

I agree that the cost of fixing the subways will cause the fare to rise and that would hurt working people. What happens to the fare increase money? Also, instead of fixing outdated equipment, like signals and trains etc. years ago, the projects like the 2nd Avenue Subway had to be built, and the other subway lines were neglected. Also, thousands of people living in this country without Obamacare will be neglected and it is so very, very bad. We have a Congress and president without compassion, no caring or heart. They are fortunate to have health insurance and so are all government workers.

Back on July 30, 1965 President Johnson signed the Medicare bill which profoundly changed the lives of senior citizens and disabled people. He was a president with a heart, not like Trump who does not care about the needs of this nation.

I believe in the single-payer health insurance plan.

Also, all of the Congress members should get together and brainstorm, regardless of party affiliation, and get a health insurance system that will help not only the uninsured but all people.

I did not like how Trump insulted our mayor, and he should stop meddling in the business of NYC. He wants to take away funds from our city which, by the way is his own city, and we have to protect Trump Tower which is not our affair.

Something drastic must be done to prevent North Korea from attacking our nation. This is a frightening situation, and the UN which is worthless, does not help, nor does China.

Also I cannot understand how people go swimming without a lifeguard present. Pools should be closed and people not allowed to swim in the ocean without a lifeguard. Life is too precious to waste.

I am absolutely appalled at the manner in which Trump is treating Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General. Trump’s constant bashing and utter nonsense and nothing constructive has been happening in his administration. He is the worst president this nation has ever had and it’s shameful to say that.

I am glad that PAL has art classes for children, and it is through art that children can express themselves and discover hidden talents. This keeps children’s minds active and off the streets. Idle hands produce crime.

I am in favor of the National Night Out on August 1. People should show themselves, enjoy the outdoors and not fear. If we show the criminals we are not afraid, and that they do not own the streets, we are showing strength and courage.

I like the idea of ferry service.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Act On Climate Change

To The Editor:

I strongly urge the Governor to invest in renewable energy and wean the state off our fossil fuel addiction. New York must step up as the federal government turns a blind eye to climate change. Constant warnings from experts and calls from New Yorkers who have experienced Superstorm Sandy to act are apparently not waking up our policy makers sufficiently. Melting glaciers, rising sea levels, arid land and crop reduction should be enough to sound the alarm. But if the fossil fuel industry cannot think into the future, and about the realities of climate change, then we must cut ties, and cut ties now.

Grace Magee
NYPIRG Project Coordinator, Queens

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