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Cuomo taps Molloy as MTA Nassau representative

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has chosen the retired chairman of a Melville engineering firm as Nassau County's representative on the MTA board, according to an administration official familiar with the selection.

John J. Molloy, 67, of Wantagh, would fill Nassau's vacant seat on the 16-member MTA board, which votes on service changes and fare increases.

Molloy, the former chief executive of H2M, which provides architectural and environmental services for construction projects, was selected by Cuomo on Friday, sources said. His name will now go to the state Senate for a vote.

It was not clear if the state Senate will vote on the nomination before the scheduled end of the legislative session on Thursday.

Molloy said Monday he planned to focus on holding down fares for Long Islanders and improving services.

"It's a complex and important system to the people of Nassau County," said Molloy, who conceded he has a lot to learn.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano nominated Molloy, Edward Powers, the Town of Hempstead's director of emergency relations, and David Mack, a Kings Point real estate developer and former MTA board member, who stepped down in 2009.

"I have the utmost confidence that John Molloy will put his private sector experience to use in cutting costs and represent the commuters and taxpayers of Long Island, who have endured enough fare hikes from the MTA," Mangano said.

The MTA board meets every six weeks and votes on issues affecting all the authority's agencies, including fare increases, service changes, project planning and annual budgets.

Board members are nominated by the governor, with four recommended by New York City's mayor and one each by the county executives of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Putnam.

Nassau has been without a board member since Patrick Foye left in December 2011 for his current job as executive director of the Port Authority.

Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), called the MTA pick overdue. "Any representative is better than no representative at all, which is what we've had as critical decisions have been made on fare hikes and service cuts," Denenberg said.

An MTA spokesman declined to comment.

MTA Board member Mitchell Pally, of Stony Brook, said he would welcome another Long Island representative on the board.

"The importance of having a Nassau County representative on the board is paramount, especially as we move into further discussion regarding next year's operating plan and the new capital plan for the MTA," Pally said. "I'm hopeful that the governor and the Legislature will make this happen before the Legislature leaves on Thursday."

Bureaucratic confusion caused a lengthy delay in Cuomo's selection process.

Mangano's office said they submitted the list of candidates to the governor last June but Cuomo administration officials said the document was never received. Mangano resubmitted the list of names in April.

With Alfonso Castillo


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