Lawmakers from the Garden State are accusing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio of working to intentionally slow down the construction of the proposed new Manhattan bus terminal.
Speaking at a press conference in Trenton on Monday, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney and several other Democrats said their New York peers are “playing games,” Politico reported. They are now urging commissioners from New Jersey to block the adoption of the agency’s proposed capital plan this Thursday, unless the board signs off on putting $70 million towards design and planning of the terminal.
“We’re here today to continue to call on New York to stop messing around and stop jerking us around, to move forward quickly with the study,” said Sweeney, according to the publication. He was supported by Bergen County state senators Bob Gordon and Paul Sarlo. Sweeney said he will request a meeting with de Blasio’s office to discuss the issue.
Earlier this month, New York City elected officials — including Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris — wrote letters to the authority requesting a “tiered” environmental review that would allow the agency to consider alternatives to the terminal. Gordon said he believes Cuomo is behind the letters, but a spokesperson for the governor said Gordon is peddling a “totally fabricated, paranoid conspiracy theory.”
The agency has long been plagued by infighting between appointees from New York and New Jersey. In November, the vice chair of the Port Authority Steven Cohen resigned from his position amid ongoing disagreements about the future of the bus terminal. Last week, Scott Rechler, CEO of RXR Realty and former Port Authority vice chair, wondered aloud if breaking up the authority could be a possible solution to the agency’s problems. [Politico] — Miriam Hall