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Ex-N.J. treasurer: How to make the Port Authority efficient as it turns 100

John Shaft

Posted on March 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Memo to Govs. Cuomo and Christie: Wouldn’t a stronger and more focused, efficient, and accountable Port Authority of New York and New Jersey be a great 100th birthday present for our region? 

By Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff

In 2021, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will be 100 years old. How shall we celebrate?

It’s been a busy couple of years for Port Authority watchers.  As if the fundamentally bizarre Bridgegate mess, an old-school bribery scandal involving a former Port Authority chairman and United Airlines, and recent back-to-the-future revelations that almost 40 Port Authority police officers may have systematically neglected their duties weren’t enough to feed the tabloid maw, recent months have seen a notable escalation of bitter power struggles between New York and New Jersey over the Port Authority’s $32 billion capital plan and long-overdue legislation to revamp the bistate authority’s awkward governance structure.

Inevitably, like sharks drawn by the scent of blood in the water, opportunistic politicians and well-meaning advocates have leveraged the current stalemate and confusion to advance a range of ideas for reforming and restructuring the Port Authority.  And why not?  Can you think of a better time to have an open and informed public conversation about the Port Authority?

Let’s begin at the beginning: Should this bistate agency exist?

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