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Subway

So I know this guy who actually owns a modestly large network of stores (I also know his IT guy who, in the context I’m about to discuss, is a much bigger deal but not relevant). He was my boss one year in this rather large but temporary project I was involved with annually for about a decade.

He was one of the best bosses I ever had.

In my role then I had advanced from line grunt to team leader and had introduced a super simplified system that handled 1000% of the output in a quarter of the time by decentralizing a useless and redundant piece of record keeping. Hey, I don’t need to know this stuff, I just need to know how to find it and the question arises rarely if ever.

Some of course were skeptical.

So my Subway boss comes in and says, “There are people with questions.” I say, “Here’s how you do it.” He’s like, “Oh, that could work. Are you sure?” “Trust me.”

Now I’m sitting there without much to do except amuse my excess staff and he comes to me and says, “You know, we’re having a little problem over here.” “Well, it’s not really my area but I’ll take a look.”

The problem was that the clients were continually waiting in line. I applied my vast Retail knowlege (among my duties as Manager of Shipping and Receiving was Inventory Control) and said, “Just give them the stuff.” “But what if they’re cheating?” “Doesn’t matter. You have records, you’ll catch them. And most won’t cheat.”

Sure enough.

He gave me the best recommendation I ever got. The next person who came in told me, “Well, I have this action plan the last guy gave me- Get ek hornbeck. Stop worrying.”

Andrew Cuomo on the other hand…

New York Subway Failures Begin to Cost Cuomo Politically
By Henry Goldman, Bloomberg News
July 25, 2017

Months of mass-transit breakdowns have done more than deepen the misery of New York City commuters. They’ve also begun to cost Governor Andrew Cuomo political capital.

Recent polls show Cuomo, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, with approval ratings near lows. A majority of New York voters disapprove of his leadership of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city’s subways. Over the last five years, delays have more than doubled, to about 70,000 a month from 28,000, according to City Hall data.

Cuomo has tried to deflect the criticism by saying that the city, which owns the subway system, should be paying more to fix it. As he and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio blame each other, the worsening crisis highlights a national need for investment in crumbling infrastructure after years of neglect, as commuters question where their fares are being spent.

“It’s not as if the governor just got elected. He’s had seven years to deal with these problems,” said Richard Barone, vice president for transportation at the Regional Plan Association, a non-profit group that advises governments on infrastructure policy. “The agency has been treading water for years without improving its subways and adapting with new technology.”

As the transit crisis worsened, Cuomo declared a state of emergency in the city’s subway system, and warned of a “Summer of Hell,” including reduced Long Island Rail Road service into Penn Station for Amtrak’s track repairs. He directed Joseph Lhota, his newly appointed MTA chairman, to prepare an overhaul plan by the end of this month.

Lhota said Thursday he will call on the city to contribute more to the MTA’s five-year, $32.5 billion capital plan. He and Cuomo both cited a 1981 state law that says the city leases the subway to the MTA, while the agency has the power to borrow money for upkeep and growth.

“The state has put in more money than ever before in the history of the state and it’s the city’s legal obligation to be funding it, even though we stepped in on a moral level,” Cuomo, who faces re-election next year, said during a July 20 news conference. “New York City is solely responsible for funding the capital plan for the New York City subway system.”

De Blasio, meanwhile, says it’s Cuomo’s job. He took their feud underground Sunday morning, attracting a gaggle of reporters and cameras by traveling to a Brooklyn event on the subway.

“The state of New York is responsible for making sure our subways run,” he said. “It has been decades and decades that the governor of the state, whoever the governor is, has named the head of the MTA and has effective control over the MTA.”

Lhota, a Republican who was defeated by de Blasio in the 2013 mayoral election, described the mayor’s comments as “disingenuous,” and his subway ride as a “photo op.”

In the past, Cuomo has touted his role as the subway system’s ultimate boss. He began this year with a party opening a segment of a new subway line extending about 1.5 miles along Manhattan’s Second Avenue, without the mayor’s participation. Cuomo decided to shut down the entire system without consulting the mayor in advance of a January 2015 blizzard.

De Blasio’s fiscal 2018 budget already includes a five-year, $2.5 billion commitment to the agency’s capital plan, its largest contribution ever. The city’s $85 billion spending plan also gives the agency about $1 billion to subsidize its operating expenses.

The governor dominates and appoints the 17-member board, to which the mayor may recommend four. Lhota says the city has ultimate control because it has the power to veto the board’s capital plan. That action is unlikely to be taken because it would precipitate an even worse crisis, withholding funds needed to keep the system in a state of good repair.

Given New York’s transit issues, it’s no wonder Cuomo’s approval is suffering, said William Cunningham, who advised former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan, and former Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo.

“The MTA is a huge entity in the most populous part of the state,” Cunningham said. “The governor of late has taken so many bows for the Second Avenue subway, reinforcing the idea that he and not the mayor is in charge, that it is an object lesson in the adage, ‘Be careful what you take credit for.”’

4 comments

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  1. ek hornbeck

    Vent Hole

  2. esquimaux

    Am I reading this right?

    The nominally Democrat Governor appoints a Republican as head of the MTA, and not just any Republican, but the Democrat Mayor’s most recent Repub challenger.

    That is some fucking balls. That’s a Trump-worthy big public thumb in the eye to a political adversary.

    Will that be Cuomo’s angle to run for President? “it takes a New York asshole to beat a New York asshole”.

    1. ek hornbeck

      Yes.

    2. TMC

      That’s Andy, the chief asshole in NY state

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