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Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, who just yesterday proposed a series of reforms to institute greater transparency and accountability at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, today reacted to the news that the authority’s current Executive Director is stepping down.

“Whoever is chosen to succeed Mr. Ward should be someone who is willing to embrace the reforms we proposed yesterday. They must express a firm commitment to greater accountability and transparency.

“This is a position that is paid over $300,000 a year to oversee a budget that is over $7 billion. Anyone appointed to undertake these enormous responsibilities should possess an allegiance to the taxpayers first and foremost,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen).

Vainieri Huttle has been calling for reforms at the Port Authority for quite some time. Just this August, after a New York Comptroller audit revealed that the Port Authority had wasted nearly half of a billion dollars on overtime costs over the last five years, Vainieri Huttle called on Governor Christie to institute stricter financial controls at the authority.

Not seeing any action, she unveiled a comprehensive set of proposals yesterday, along with New York State Senator Andrew Lanza, that are designed to increase public access and participation in authority decisions, in light of the recent sizeable toll hikes, and ensure the proper functioning of the authority by requiring a series of new financial and management controls that will increase transparency.

For a detailed description of the reforms, click here.