One day after he called for the resignation of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's chief executive, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano spoke to Patch about why Jay Walder is the wrong person to save the MTA, and more specifically, Long Island Bus. The MTA operates Long Island Bus, though Nassau County owns it.
Jay Walder has been the MTA head for less than one year. Why should he resign so quickly?
He has taken $100 million more from Nassau County businesses. He has eliminated or affected 19 routes. He has raised the fare. And now, after all that, he is effectively eliminating Long Island Bus by threatening to remove the budget. I don't think that's good management. His budget is wrought with PR people, accountants and attorneys. The only pain is from the riders, though his mission is to provide transportation. He makes $350,000 per year, and he is well paid. He has to wake up. People need bus service and he's decided not to provide it. Simply put, that guy is a train wreck.
What would the MTA threat to cut spending on LI Bus mean to Nassau's taxpayers?
We aren't giving that guy a dime more to manage. We have tried, in fairness, to negotiate. He comes up with this $26 million bill to pay. It's impossible. He has refused to come off that number. It's his budget. He devises it and says there is a $26 million shortfall.
The MTA has a $900 million budget deficit. Why is it so outrageous for them to ask Nassau to spend more on the system?
What set of books are you using today? I don't know why anyone takes this as gospel.
What would a bus stoppage mean to daily riders?
First, they can thank Jay Walder. But we are trying to come up with a plan to continue bus service. He would strand 100,000 people. We haven't received official notice, but we are preparing for the threat, though right now all they are doing is threatening.
For more on Mangano and the Long Island Bus issue, click here.