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Dem lawmakers: Fill Nassau's vacant MTA seat

Two Nassau County Democratic lawmakers are calling on County Executive Edward Mangano and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to fill Nassau's seat on the Metropolitan Transit Authority board -- a spot that has been vacant for more than 14 months.

Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) said Nassau residents need a representative on the board to protect their interests after recent Long Island Rail Road fare hikes and service cuts. "Nassau, under the law, has a seat at the table on the MTA board," Denenberg said Thursday during a news conference at the Mineola train station. "But Nassau isn't filling that seat. So, the voice of Nassau County residents are not being heard."

County spokesman Brian Nevin said Mangano sent Cuomo a list of candidates to fill the seat in June, but the governor has yet to make a selection. Nevin declined to identify the candidates.

Cuomo's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Nassau's seat on the 17-member board has been vacant since December 2011, when Pat Foye left to become executive director of the Port Authority. Since then, Victor Politi, Nassau's deputy county executive for public safety, has attended MTA board meetings on the county's behalf, Nevin said. Politi does not have a vote on the board.

Democratic Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy said his village's LIRR station lacks adequate security cameras, and noted that the escalator was out of service recently for six months. "We need someone to represent Nassau who can inspect the station and demand these issues be addressed," he said.

LIRR spokesman Aaron Donovan said Freeport's platforms and platform waiting areas have cameras. The escalator, he said, needed "a major overhaul" and was part of a rehabilitation project involving a dozen LIRR escalators.

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