Candidate Joe Lhota

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Joseph Lhota, former MTA chairman and chief executive officer, talks about running to be the Republican candidate for NYC mayor.

On deciding to run for mayor:

“I had been considering a run [before Sandy]. People had approached me on the Republican side to consider running. I didn’t give it a whole lot of serious thought until after Sandy.”

On the MTA’s Sandy planning: 

“First and foremost, all of the credit for how the trains were restored belongs to the workers. The workers did a phenomenal job.  We had numerous different planning events, tabletop exercises including management, as well as labor. And that’s a very, very important part on why the system came back as quickly as possible.”

“The most important thing that happened though is that when we knew the surge was coming, we took out as many relays, electronic relays, in lower Manhattan and in the tunnels, as much as we could. Those are the electronic components that actually tell the folks at the command center where the train is…By virtue of taking them out they weren’t affected by any of the salt water. It made all the difference in the world.” 

On his mayoral ambitions:

“I want to be mayor because as I looked at all the other candidates that were running for mayor, I thought that my background and my experience in the Giuliani Administration, at the MTA, and most importantly in the private sector really fit what the City needs going forward.”

“We’ve made tremendous strides and changes in the City of New York since 1994. The transformation has been spectacular. I actually believe that that transformation is very fragile and it will require a mayor who will be a leader who will continue the work that’s been done on crime prevention, that’s been done on all of the reforms that have gone on in the City.”

“The expenses are growing out of control, combined with the fact that the budget right now has no money in there whatsoever for any labor settlements either going back or going forward. If we give anything retroactive, it could be upward of 10 billion dollars we’re missing in the budget. The budget is going to be priority number one for the next mayor.”

On his opponents in the Mayor’s race:

“They’ve never run a complex organization before. Running City Council is one thing. Running the Public Advocate’s office is another thing. Being the City Controller, but it’s not about leadership, it’s not about management, and it’s clearly not about making decisions.”

On continuing the legacy of Rudy Giuliani:

“Rudy Giuliani did some phenomenal things in the city if you think of the transformation of the city and the quality of life. If you think about where people are living now in Brooklyn and in Queens and in parts of the City where no one thought anybody would ever live, they’re living there because it first started with the reduction of crime and the elimination of fear.”

On differentiating himself from Giuliani:

“What was unique about me being in City Hall during the Giuliani Administration, I was the only one who wasn’t an attorney. I may have been the only one who didn’t work in a prosecutor’s office. So I took a completely different point of view on how the city should be run. Very close to a business, very close on metrics and numbers.”

On getting the budget under control:

“There’s a huge number of employees who are going to be reitiring in the next four years. The next mayor’s going to have an opportunity to take advantage of technology, take advantage of innovation. And as people retire, for every two people that retire, can we just replace them with one and find a better way of doing it?”


Joseph Lhota

Comments [20]

Danielle from Brooklyn

Well I'm just glad that other people besides myself have picked up on this "where no one thought anybody would ever live" comment. I was listening to the show while at work and just sat at my desk in complete shock, wondering if he'd actually said what I thought he said and if anybody else would notice. As others have said, I think it's a pretty good indication of his thought process and who he would truly serve as mayor. I guess he doesn't need to think about serving low income neighborhoods anyway, since nobody actually lives there.

Feb. 20 2013 01:39 PM
Giovanni DiGiannini from Where We Thought No One Would Ever Live

He did such a terrific job of running the MTA, sure, why not, let's elect him mayor!
Mayor of Manalapan Township, NJ.

His true colors came out with that stupid comment. He'll be another fixer and sweet deal giver, like Nanny B., for developers and their cronies---keeping NYC too expensive for (what's left of) the middle class and struggling lower income families.

Feb. 20 2013 11:13 AM
Mary Beth from manhattan

So far so good. I like what I hear from this candidate. I'm looking forward to the debates between Lhota and my current pick for mayor, Christine Quinn.

Feb. 20 2013 10:31 AM
p from soho

He brags about his firefighter and policeman relatives
yet he wants to cut pensions and benefits
for public sector retirees.

Feb. 20 2013 10:27 AM
Jf from Ny

He just said that people who li ed in bkln before rich white people werent people. Mta has closed books, hes pocketing the money!

Feb. 20 2013 10:24 AM

sorry bud, will never vote for someone who used to run the mta. in fact i will volunteer to make sure he does not get elected.

Feb. 20 2013 10:23 AM
Pablo Alto from da Bronx

Me. Lhota spoke of neighborhoods that "no one would live in" before Mayor Giuliani's term. Please ask him what that means. There were plenty of citizens of color and lesser means who lived there already. That he was born in the Bronx means he should know better.

Feb. 20 2013 10:22 AM
Elizabeth in Brooklyn from Brooklyn

Did Joe really say that "no one lived" in certain neighborhoods before Giuliani? That "people" moved into those neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where "no one lived"?
Who will he represent as mayor?

Feb. 20 2013 10:22 AM
Danny Hellman from Brooklyn

Lhota just praised Giuliani for opening up parts of the city where "we thought no one would ever live." I've lived here all my life, and I'm not aware of any areas of the city that were formerly uninhabited. Surely Lhota meant to say "parts of the city where we thought no rich white people would ever live?"

Feb. 20 2013 10:21 AM
Lamar from Harlem

Ask him will he be a strong supporter of rent stabilization as was Rudy

Feb. 20 2013 10:20 AM

He said people are living now in places in Brooklyn, etc where no one thought anyone would live. What about the people who were living there and can no longer afford to?

Feb. 20 2013 10:20 AM
carol from brooklyn

Wbat rile did Lhota have in negotiating the price for the Atlantic Yards sale to Ratner, and di they look at other offers or put it up forhigher bids?

Feb. 20 2013 10:19 AM
dan kaplan from park slope

that was so racist: "where no one thought anyone would live"?? He just means where no white people thought wealthier yuppies would live. who does Joe represent??

Feb. 20 2013 10:18 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

@Mimi, John from office's flippant comments aside. I'm not following your points linking "fastrack" with Bloomberg's obvious Outer Boro callousness. Lhota lives in Brooklyn btw.

@John, unlike Bloomberg - for better or worse, Lhota is not independently wealthy. Btw, Bloomberg gave out tons of sweetheart deals - he just did it for fun. You are naive to think that the vultures will not get to him the way they got to his former boss Guiliani's inner circle. A crook as police commissioner? The emergency management headquarters in the World Trade Center?

Feb. 20 2013 10:16 AM
Pablo Alto from d

Please ask about Stop and Frisk.

Feb. 20 2013 10:14 AM

How did he run the MTA... 3 weeks? He sure did jump ship quickly. Not a very qualifying tenure.

Feb. 20 2013 10:09 AM
John from office

Mimi, there is ROME and then there are the provinces. What you protest has always bbeen the case, Manhattan is where the money and power is.

Feb. 20 2013 08:31 AM

Any criticism of the present and former members of the city council candidates for mayor for their participation in a scheme to embezzle public funds into budget accounts of non-existent organizations for later distribution to council members who are in the "political favor" of the city council president?

Feb. 20 2013 08:12 AM
Outer Borough Mimi from Jackson Heights

After the utter mess on the transit system at the peak of yesterday's (Feb 20th) rush hour -- the entire 7 line shut down ("signal problems", even after millions have been poured into signal projects); screeching grinding brakes on trains that indicate a clear lack of maintenance, with one train that brought the 6 line uptown grinding to a halt (and put a real monkey wrench into being able to get to alternate lines) -- there are serious questions about Mr. Lhota's leadership of the MTA. And let's also wonder about how he's handled work on the 2nd Avenue line that is still the line to nowhere (more billions), constant elevator/escalator breakdowns and inept repairs that show a clear lack of supervision and quality control over contractors that are costing the MTA untold millions while fares and the agency debt keep spiraling upwards.

Let's also remember that Mr. Lhota has continued the Manhattan-centric focus with "Fasttrack", etc., that blindly perpetuates the who-cares-about-the-outer-boroughs attitude -- where a vast number of people who work and shop in Manhattan come from.


Feb. 20 2013 08:06 AM
john from office

Joseph Lhota

I plan to work for Mr. Lhota, he is the only one of the prospects that will continue the policies of the Bloomberg administration. All others are pandering to the many groups lapping at the public money well.

Again I saw Deblasio parading his son around, name any other candidate that paraded around their children for votes. The kid needs a hair cut ASAP. Looks like a stereotype of a black panther.

My next choice would be Quinn, the devil we know.

Feb. 20 2013 07:32 AM

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