The inner workings of Albany, and many other political bodies in this country, are often complex to the point of indiscernible for your average American citizen. This shit is often just too convoluted to follow if following it is not your literal job. The recent mess of tiffs between de Blasio, the MTA, and Cuomo reveal, though, that at the end of the day a lot of interpersonal relationships, politician blame games and skirting taking the responsibility for a half-century of neglect are the real news here – nothing else is changing much. (We did get some welcome mats out of this mess, for better or for worse.)
The most recent scuffle between the old white men upstate and our fair city was about money, and the fact that the State of New York, despite controlling the subway, felt we had enough cash to pay for the majority of the “fix-it” costs. The head of the MTA, Joe Lhota, who was appointed by Cuomo and is clearly still salty about losing to de Blasio in the 2013 mayoral race, said things, “are getting silly,” and de Blasio’s complaints on Cuomo were simply “political posturing,” the Post reported.
After mounting pressure from de Blasio, this morning Cuomo released a rush transcript saying the state will fork over cash and split the cost of the plan with the city. Why? “Because it’s smart.” The rest of the transcript, pasted below, was equally vague and unconvincing of anything but that Cuomo would like to get reelected and thinks he can accomplish this by buttering us up with synonyms for strength and many different phrasings of “this is a priority”.
The NYC Subway Action plan, for which the state has now agreed to help pay, was revealed on July 25th by Lhota. The 30-point, $836 million plan was launched virtually immediately with the Tuesday announcement and will address, in two phases, everything from a new signal system (praise!) to standing only cars and litter crackdowns.
And now, Governor Cuomo, on how to extend a fact into a brief and repetitive speech.
New York State commits itself to fund 50 percent of the plan. Why? Because it’s smart. Mass-transit is the city’s circulatory system. You slow down the subway system, you slow down the blood flow in this city. That’s why it’s smart. Its fair, it’s right, and at the same time we are not going to wait for additional promises. I want Mr. Lhota and Mr. Samuelsen to know, today I am making the state’s funds available to begin the transformation of the MTA. Our partners should do the same. There is no time for delay and there is no tolerance for a lack of commitment on this issue. To me, this is black and white, New Yorkers need help and they need it now. The fundamental responsibility of government is to respond in a timely and effective when people need help. And the current MTA situation is a crisis. And that’s why we’re going to get to work today because subway riders are suffering and subway riders are the hardworking men and women, who are the back bone of this city.
Thanks for the cash, New York State. I still vote we secede.