There is a better choice to Newsday’s recent call for Nassau County MTA Board member David Mack to leave. “Mack’s ride should end” (Newsday Editorial — Aug. 1).
I’ve been a regular LIRR commuter for decades and previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions of dollars in grants that supported capital projects and programs for the MTA, including the LIRR, NYC Transit, Metro North Rail Road, MTA Bus, NYC Department of Transportation Staten Island Ferry, NJ Transit along with 30 other transit agencies in New York and New Jersey.
During my tenure at the FTA, I developed a detailed knowledge of all MTA operating agencies, including the LIRR physical assets such as equipment, stations, yards, shops and maintenance as well as management of capital projects and programs. I gave emphasis to completing federally funded projects on time, within budget with a minimum number and dollar value for contract change orders that had to be justified as fair and reasonable. This was my motto for the MTA and LIRR.
I’m unaware of any MTA board member today who has firsthand experience in applying for and managing federal assistance from Washington that I would provide. Federal dollars play a key role in the success of MTA’s capital program. My addition to the board could be a real asset. Having no drivers license, I have always been transit dependent, Unlike David Mack, I have no interest in obtaining a police placard. Being retired, I could represent the interests of Nassau County commuters and taxpayers full time on the board at no expense.
(Larry Penner is a transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 New York Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for billions in capital projects and programs for the MTA, NYC Transit, Long Island and Metro North Rail Roads MTA Bus, New Jersey Transit along with 30 other transit agencies in NY & NJ.)r