To the Editor:
Last May, State Assemblyman Dan Stec published an article that called for proactive solutions in New York. In this article Stec blasted “Albany’s culture of corruption.”
Four months later, Stec published another article that called out “New York’s bad apples” and pledged to restore honor and dignity to the public service.
On Dec. 1, an MTA train derailed downstate, leaving four dead and 60 hospitalized. As the press and public reared from the horror of the event and began to search for accountability, it has become clear that the chain of responsibility does not end pegged to the shirt of engineer William Rockefeller.
A culture of complacency has over-run the Metro Transit Authority, and the individual responsible resides in Governor’s mansion, 147 miles north of the smoking wreckage. The MTA’s Board of Directors has 23 members. As of current, 13 of those members are “holdovers” from previous governors. To be clear, over half of the MTA’s leadership has not been confirmed by people’s representatives. Also, the employees of the MTA have, according to a recent expose published in the New York Times, become complacent in their duties, just as the leadership of a public institution have become comfortable in their post.
Furthermore, Governor Cuomo has repeatedly manipulated the executive budget to divert funds away from the MTA - most recently diverting $20 million in funds from the agency to other government programs.
Until Dan Stec calls on Cuomo to sign into law Lockbox Legislation, a rule that would forbid the Governor from manipulating and diverting pre-allocated funds, and until Dan Stec demands that the 13 holdover members of the MTA board are replaced by new, qualified, and vetted professionals, he has failed the people of the 114th District. To date, Stec has failed to comment on the deteriorated leadership that has led to the death of four fellow New Yorkers. Though the 114th District is far removed from the hustle and bustle of commuter trains, we still have the moral obligation to combat corruption and complacency that may seem distant today, but could one day fall upon us. If Assemblyman Dan Stec does not act to curtail lazy government, he has failed in his commitment to the people of New York.
In an interview given last year Gov. Cuomo said, “The New York State government was at one time a national model. Now, unfortunately, it’s a national disgrace.” Until good men stand, lower their shoulders to the wind, and press against those who do nothing, the culture of complacency that has lead to the death of four, will remain.