New Port Authority head admits agency’s too slow

February 15, 2012 04:00PM

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey should stay out of real estate development and stick to airports, ports, bridges and tunnels, Patrick Foye, the new executive director of the agency, suggested to the New York Times in a sit-down interview.

“When the World Trade Center nears completion there will be a peace dividend — in the sense that Port Authority has borrowed about $7 billion to put into the World Trade Center, and total spending is more than that,” he said. “As One World Trade Center is completed at the end of 2013, we’ll be able to stop investing at that level. That will enable us to return to our core mission — airports, ports, bridges and tunnels — not real estate development. Government is not good at real estate development.”

One of the reasons that the agency is not suited to development, Foye said, is that it’s too slow.

“There is too much process at the Port Authority, and it slows us down,” he said. “All the steps and protocols and forms were put in for the best of reasons — to avoid fraud, waste and abuse, and to increase transparency — but we’ve overstepped it.”

A review and audit of the agency that started last year may make inroads towards improving that fact, he said, noting that the Port Authority needs to find a balance between the need for these safety procedures and the need to meet deadlines. [NYT]