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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Critic reappointed to revamped LIPA board

Matthew Cordaro (Nov. 12, 2013)

Matthew Cordaro (Nov. 12, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

One of the most outspoken critics of the revamped Long Island Power Authority has been reappointed to its board of trustees.

Matthew Cordaro has been reappointed to the board by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), the Speaker’s office confirmed Monday. Cordaro, a board member since February, has questioned whether a LIPA downsized by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo can handle its responsibilities.

Cordaro is the lone member of the new board with a background in energy.

Silver used his other pick for the nine-member board to select former Long Island Assemb. Marc Alessi. He represented parts of Suffolk County from 2005 to 2010.

Silver’s selections now complete the newly fashioned governing board for the utility.
The Cuomo administration earlier named five new appointees: Thomas McAtee Jr., Mark Fischl, Sheldon Cohen, Elkan Abramowitz and outgoing Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi.

Last week, Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said he will reappoint Jeffrey H. Greenfield (first appointed in 2012) and Suzette Smookler (board member since 2006) as his representatives. Under a reorganization plan advocated by the governor last year, Cuomo has five board selections, Silver two and Skelos two.

The old 15-member board will be abolished as of Wednesday.

Cordaro has been critical of Cuomo’s plan for LIPA since he was appointed to the board in February by Silver.

Under the plan that takes effect Wednesday, PSEG, a New Jersey-based utility company, will take over not only the day-to-day operations but also management duties including budgeting and power-plant planning. LIPA is being scaled back to essentially a financial holding company while maintaining ownership of the transmission and distribution system.

  Cordaro opposed Cuomo’s initial idea to privatize LIPA and the governor’s scaled-down plan to shrink LIPA and increase PSEG’s role. Cordaro favored an opposite approach: Instead of privatizing, make the authority a fully public utility.


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