Using extremely blunt language, Dilan’s letter to chairman Jay Walder notes his worry that this more recent communication breakdown is indicative of a bad case of same-old-same-old, and sends the message that MTA CFO Gary Dellaverson might need to let the press office handle the media relations.
On the plus side, he suggests that a contentious relationship would be good for newspaper revenues.
The full text:
Dear Chairman Walder:
I am writing you today to discuss the unfortunate circumstances regarding my lack of notification of budgetary shortfalls within the Metropolitan Transportation Agency. Specifically, I find it disappointing that members of your staff would notify the media, while excluding my colleagues and I in the Legislature.
To be clear, my sentiments are not rooted within the action of notifying the press, I simply believe your organization should provide the Legislature with the same consideration we have provided you. Both, prior to your arrival, with the new revenue package advanced in May, and throughout your nomination process, we have continually relied and agreed upon the importance of an open dialogue. I am disappointed that your commitment to an openness within the MTA and initiating a new era of accountability and transparency has not begun to take shape.
It is an affront to our burgeoning partnership, often discussed in previous months, to exclude us from this critical information. Additionally, it is difficult to think that our exclusion was not simply a matter of being overlooked. One can only conclude that by going to the press first, your organization was in fact using the media to once again stir the bees’ nest, rallying fears of insufficient funding and potential fare increases and service cuts.
In conclusion, this occurrence reflects my greatest fear regarding the MTA. It appears, even under new leadership, that business will continue as usual with Gary Dellaverson assuming the additional role of press secretary for the MTA. Instead of a cooperative exchange of thoughts and information, we may be left with an adversarial relationship played out in the press. While this may be good for newspaper revenues, it will not be good for the State of New York or for the state of the MTA.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your response.