The Kessel NYPA Watch, October 3, 2009 – By George J. Marlin

NYPA CUSTOMER ALERT: KESSEL EYES UPSTATE MONEY TO REVIVE DOWNSTATE POLITICAL CAREER

LIPA’s decision, reported by Mark Harrington in Newsday on Saturday, September 24, 2009, (www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/lipa-will-not-buy-barrett-power-plant-in-island-park-1.1476123), not to buy National Grid’s Barrett power plant in Island Park for $70 million (annual property taxes, $34 million!) and the logical consequence—LIPA not buying any of the Grid plants—is a relief.

Kevin Law, LIPA’s CEO, once again put the interests of Long Island businesses and residents ahead of empire-building.  Law said he hasn’t seen any evidence to convince him that owning the other plants would be worth it.  “We can’t make a compelling financial business case to acquire it,” Law said, “even if it were offered for free.”  That’s a public servant taking the long view and acting like an adult.  Kudos to Law who is cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor, Richie Kessel.

Newsday also reported in that story that NYPA was a possible buyer for the National Grid plants.  The next day, Newsday editorialized that deep-pocketed NYPA could buy the plants and thereby lower rates on Long Island (http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/editorial-five-old-power-plants-and-the-future-of-long-island-1.1476207).  

Now, Street Corner Conservative pays LIPA’s high rates and would like to see rates controlled. We put a large part of the blame for the Island’s extortionate electric rates on Kessel.

Street Corner Conservative served on Governor Pataki’s LILCO Transition Team many years ago and has followed LIPA and Kessel since 1995.  Upstate businesses and ratepayers and legislators should consider themselves on notice that Kessel has designs to buy the National Grid plants using NYPA’s stronger balance sheet.  Having seen the movie before, we foresee Kessel promising lower rates and using that vow to return to the Long Island political scene.  Why upstate would allow NYPA to be hijacked to reverse the sky-high rates Richie favored Long Island with and to advance his political career is a mystery.

The political demise of Kessel’s promoter, our accidental Governor, David Paterson, will likely entice Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi to run for statewide office in 2010 and leave Kessel well-positioned to run for County Executive, a position he ran for in 1993 but lost resoundingly, according to The New York Times, in the Democratic primary.  Worst case, Kessel’s friend and best man, Joe Mondello, Chair of the Nassau County GOP, might arrange for Republican County Legislators to deliver Suozzi’s chair to Kessel and avoid the inconvenience of elections in which Kessel has a career record of 0-2.

* * * * *

Street Corner notes the significant increase in calls, emails and notes from NYPA staff since President Obama defenestrated Governor Paterson last week.  Please keep your cards and letters coming.

THE KESSEL COUNTDOWN: 455 DAYS UNTIL RICHIE KESSEL IS FIRED BY THE NEW GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK.

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8 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, October 3, 2009 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. SickofKessel Says:

    I just heard that Kessel and Paterson are being honored together this month by the Long Island Pine Barrens group. How appropriate for two short timer losers. And more Long Island love for Kessel

  2. Sobbing at NYPA Says:

    Marlin–since you made your freedom of infomation request a few months ago, Kessel has been very conscious about flying the NYPA plane. He knew this all would end up in the papers. So, you saved NYPA customers money from the get-go

  3. NYPAWPGuy Says:

    I thought the “all staff meeting” on Monday was an absolute farce. It was all ‘Me me me” from Richie. And what was all that nonsense about buffalo wings? And flying Jet Blue???

    Please bring back some sanity to PASNY – Members of the Board, I hope you read this page.

    • Colleague2.5 Says:

      Richie also tells us that he is tight with Andrew Cuomo and will be at PASNY for a long time. I like what this Cuomo is doing and hope he doesnt keep this guy on. How can he try to fix the State and leave Kessel in place?

  4. Colleague Says:

    Where is the NYPA board in all this. Sell the in city CTs …. after all the impairment charges NYPA has recognized…that w/b nuts !! Of course the impairment charges reduce the booked value so maybe a private buyer c/b found but can’t see it being NYC. Where is the Chief Risk Officer in all this….ooops…forgot….Richie and Gil already threw him and the IG under the bus…so no one w/b looking over their shoulders to raise the alarm on this insanity. But both Richie and Gil have already proven they will do anything to make themselves look good….at the expense of NYPA…and staff.

  5. PASNY Tech Says:

    And Fran Evans was just promoted to be Chief of Staff.

    Can you really see Richie leaving NYPA though? Think about it – he doesn’t come to the office. He has his own plane and flight crew. He has his own TV crew and appears to spend an inordinate amount of time on-screen boasting about his “efforts” to NYPA staff (who honestly could care less).

    We just want to make power and keep the lights on and have someone at the helm would actually knows what a power plant does.

  6. WorriedinWhitePlains Says:

    I work in White Plains and the talk among people close to Richie and Gil is that Richie wants to sell our NYC peakers and use the money to invest in Long Island. Who knows whether that makes sense. Gil used to work for Bloomberg and how that is good for NYC beats me. I dont see Bloomberg or Gallagher or Lieber agreeing to that. Richie is desperate obviously to do things on Long Island.
    The other buzz around the office is that if one of the Democratic Nassau County Legislators–either David Meijas or Joe Scannell– loses next month Richie has agreed to hire them in government relations. And Fran Evans used to work for the County Legislature.

    • NervousinNYC Says:

      Just what we need more Long Island political hacks. The degradation of this place that has happened under this guy in only a year is sad.


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