MTA Board Welcomes Two New Members

Earlier today, the MTA announced the addition of two new members to its board. Here are the details courtesy of the press release sent out:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today welcomed two new members to its Board: Jonathan A. Ballan, an attorney from Westchester County who specializes in public authority finance, and Fernando Ferrer, the former Bronx Borough President.

Mr. Ferrer is one of New York City’s best-known and most accomplished political figures. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Mr. Ferrer served in the New York City Council from 1982 to 1987 before being elected Bronx Borough President from 1987 through 2001. During his 14-year tenure as borough president, he created housing for about 66,000 families. The borough saw a significant drop in crime, particularly in the South Bronx, and a steady rise in business and real estate investment.

In 2005, Mr. Ferrer became the first Latino to the win the Democratic Party nomination for New York City Mayor. He served as President of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, a non-profit, progressive think tank dedicated to economic and social justice. He served on the board of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and chaired the board of the Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association.

Mr. Ferrer is Co-Chairman and a Partner at Mercury, a high-stakes public strategy firm. In addition, he serves as a director of Sterling Bancorp, Sterling National Bank and the Regional Plan Association.

He was nominated to serve on the MTA Board by Governor Cuomo, and he was confirmed by the New York State Senate on June 15. He succeeds Doreen Frasca, who joined the Board in 2008. His term expires on June 30, 2016.

Mr. Ballan is a member of the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., where he heads the firm’s New York Public Finance practice group. His law practice involves municipal finance, public authority finance, economic development, project finance and privatization. He has broad experience developing innovative legal structures for financings for numerous state and local governments.

In addition to his law practice, Mr. Ballan has served for many years in a number of significant governmental positions, including as Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York, Chairman of the New York State Public Asset Fund, and Board Member and Chairman of the Capital Committee of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

Mr. Ballan earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Williams College, and his J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center. He is married, has four children and lives in Scarsdale. He has been active in coaching children in local soccer, basketball and baseball leagues.

Mr. Ballan was recommended by Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino, nominated by Governor Cuomo and on June 7 confirmed by the New York State Senate. He succeeds Donald Cecil, who joined the Board in 2005. Mr. Ballan’s term expires June 30, 2015.

MTA Board members receive no compensation for their service.

Do we really need more board members whose main background does not stem from running mass transit operations? While the resumes of the new members seem impressive on paper, it does not translate to the right people for the job in my honest opinion. Hopefully they prove me wrong but I am not holding my breath.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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