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The Empire

Transportation Nation: Walder, Cuomo signal next MTA head not necessarily transit wonk

Kate Hinds over at our sister blog Transportation Nation has a good piece up on some rumbling around the search for Jay Walder's replacement. You may recall Walder resigned last month and is set to leave office on October 21--meaning Governor Cuomo has less than a month to find, hire and announce Walder's replacement. That is, if Cuomo's sticking to earlier statements that he wanted someone in the seat when Walder left.

Kate quotes Walder as saying: “I think it is helpful to have a knowledge of mass transit. I don’t know that it’s an absolutely essential quality.”

In an interview with New York Public Radio's capitol bureau chief Karen DeWitt, Cuomo echoed similar sentiments:

The MTA primarily is an effective manager, and I think the ability to manage a complex process, that deals with highly technical services, in a political environment, in a large organization, at a financially strapped time, you know, that’s where we are. To me, the management is very important. Of course, the technical expertise, but you give me a good manager, who can run an organization, and find efficiency, that this organization is going to have to find, that’s going to be paramount.

Numerous calls into the governor's office to get word on the status of the replacement search have not been returned.