Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman plans to keep Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member David Mack as Nassau’s representative, Blakeman confirmed to The Point Wednesday.
"I intend to retain David Mack on the MTA board and have made it clear that our top priorities are improving station maintenance, holding the line on fares, improving access to the UBS Arena and obtaining a new parking garage for downtown Hicksville," Blakeman said in a statement. The final choice, however, will be up to Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The statement came after Mack, 79, who attended Blakeman’s inauguration this week, told The Point that he had spoken to Blakeman since Election Day, and was reassured that the board seat was his to keep. Mack, who first held the board seat more than a decade ago but wasn’t reappointed after he refused to cooperate with then-Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s investigation into the State Police, was newly recommended to his board seat by former County Executive Laura Curran in 2018 and has held the spot since.
"I look forward to continuing to help Nassau County — and Suffolk, too," Mack told The Point. "It’s always been my goal to maintain on-time service and keep the millennials here."
Meanwhile, Suffolk County will be losing its board member, Kevin Law, shortly. Law is awaiting his confirmation as chairman of Empire State Development, which could come in a matter of weeks. That timetable would mean that Law might be at the MTA’s January meetings — but could be gone by February. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone hasn’t said publicly whom he might recommend for the seat, although Mack himself told The Point that Mack is recommending a return for Long Island Builders Institute head and former MTA board member Mitch Pally.
As for Mack, he said he has no plans to leave the board anytime soon.
"I’ll be here for another four or eight more years, God willing," Mack said, nodding to the fact that MTA board members’ terms are in line with the appointing official, in this case, Blakeman.
But that’s not entirely up to Mack or Blakeman, who gets to make three recommendations for the Nassau seat. While Blakeman can unofficially push for the board member he wants, the ultimate decision lies with Hochul.