Public Authority, My Ass!
Who took the public out of New York's Public Authorities? And Who's watching over them, as they borrow, steal, and beg taxpayers for more, more, more?
Certainly not our State Legislators. Why, they can barely watch over their own self-inflicted demise.
The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), one of New York's way too many Public Authorities, recently hired the former energy point man for Governor Paterson, Paul DeCotis, as a VP.
Leaving aside the ethical consideration of hiring a hired gun -- and one who lobbied against legislation that would mandate review of all LIP increases -- how about that salary the ratepayers will now have to tack on to their electric bills somewhere down the line? $225,000 per year!
$225,000 a year? Who do they think this guy is, a Long Island school Superintendent?
Outrageous? Of course. Out of the ordinary? Not at all.
This is, most unfortunately, just business as usual at one of the more than 800 so-called Public Authorities in New York State, with a combined debt now standing at more than $129 billion.
Reporting, commissions, talk of accountability, all well and good -- or all for naught.
Frankly, the only good Public Authority is a defunct Public Authority.
The time has come to abolish these self-serving fiefdoms of a bygone era, debt-mongers all, and, at long last, to return the power to the people of New York State.
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State official DeCotis to join LIPA
BY MARK HARRINGTON
As Senate Republicans from Long Island advance their version of a bill that would mandate review of LIPA rate increases, the one-time energy point man on the matter for Gov. David A. Paterson, who has opposed the bill, is preparing to join LIPA. Deputy energy secretary Paul DeCotis had been the "lead guy" in discussions with state lawmakers to craft a version of the bill the governor could support, according to people involved in the talks. He joins LIPA as vice president of power markets in July.
Talks among LIPA, lawmakers and DeCotis broke down recently and Long Island Assembly Democrats introduced a bill without LIPA or Paterson's final input.
Steven Liss, a senior aide to Assembly bill sponsor Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), said he was not concerned that DeCotis was conflicted in his post, given his new job.
"I do think they were working honestly and openly, but we ran out of time," Liss said.
A Senate version of the bill, which would mandate that LIPA increases over 2.5 percent in one year undergo Public Service Commission review, was introduced last week by Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson).
LIPA chief executive Kevin Law said DeCotis has no reason to step away from talks on the bill because "there are no discussions going on - there's nothing to recuse himself from."
Morgan Hook, a Paterson spokesman, said the governor will decide on the bill "once it has been delivered to his desk."
DeCotis, who didn't respond to a call for comment, will receive an annual salary of $225,000 a year, a jump from his current $163,000.
Copyright © 2009, Newsday Inc.