11:50 am Feb. 23, 2012
At one point during a public infrastructure forum today, M.T.A. chairman (and former deputy mayor) Joe Lhota said, "The city is a child of the state, and it’s sometimes very hard for children to accept it."
The relationship between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo, who appointed Lhota to his position, hit a particularly rough spot during the heated negotiations surrounding the mayor's ambitious outer-borough-taxi proposal, though reports indicate that relations have since warmed.
At a forum this morning at Baruch College hosted by City & State, moderator David Birdsell, dean of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, asked a panel that included Lhota, Seth Pinsky of Bloomberg's Economic Development Corporation, and Dick Anderson of the the New York Building Congress, "How well you think right now the mayoral agenda dovetails ... with recent announcements from the governor with respect to Aqueduct, Javits, the West Side generally?"
Pinsky responded first, and in a somewhat more conciliatory tone.
"I don’t think there’s really much conflict in the agenda," he said. "I think that, putting aside what’s written in the newspapers, I think that the state administration and the city administration work cooperatively on a day-to-day basis, and that the vision that the governor has is additive to the vision of the mayor and not generally in conflict with it.
"I mean, if you look at the proposal at Aqueduct, one of the things he’s talking about doing is redeveloping the area around Javits, and that’s consistent with what the mayor has laid out with his Hudson Yards vision. And I think if you go down the line and you look at the governor’s priorities, they really build upon the work that the mayoral administration is doing. They don’t contradict it."
Speaking next, Lhota made his child-of-the-state comment, to titters from the audience.
He then added, in a more mollifying fashion, "There’s always going to be a certain level of turf war, if you will, but at the end of the day ... We need to work together."
More by this author:
- Lhota's solution to car congestion: subway terminus park-and-rides
- Anthony Weiner demands New York City's independence from public authorities