The Kessel NYPA Watch, December 19, 2010 – By George J. Marlin

Senator Skelos Opposes Kessel’s NYPA-LIPA Merger Proposal

Senator Dean Skelos, the presumptive Senate Majority Leader, come next month faces massive challenges when the Senate convenes with new Governor Cuomo—a State that is broke, oppressive taxes and endemic corruption in State government.  Skelos, a Republican from Rockville Centre, regained the majority after losing it two years ago.  Skelos will be a bulwark against the City-centric Democratic majority in the Assembly and tbe out-going Democratic Senate Majority who see Long Island’s role as financing City expenditures.

One of the issues the State faces in addition to massive budget deficits and over-burdened business and individual taxpayers is the leadership of the State’s energy authorities.  As readers of Street Corner Conservative know, NYPA CEO Richie Kessel has been working full time to preserve his high paid, political patronage position at NYPA, a gift of the out-going and incompetent Governor Paterson (“it’s someone’s fault, but it ain’t mine”).

With public money, Kessel has hired an old, Democratic warhorse lobbyist who has been peddling proposed legislation to merge NYPA and LIPA, which Kessel also used to run before being dispatched to the showers by former Governor Spitzer, who believed that a reform administration couldn’t include Kessel.  The reasons why a combination of NYPA and LIPA doesn’t make sense are many and include financial, operating, economic equity and political reasons.

To his credit, Senator Skelos in an interview this week with hometown paper, Newsday, made the following statements to its editorial board:

Board: Most likely the new governor will be appointing a new head of LIPA. And for the first time, under the new authority reform law, the Senate will have to confirm that appointment.  What qualities and skills will you be looking for?

Skelos: “Richie Kessel?  No, I think what you need is really an energy expert. I think we have to bring in somebody that really knows energy and financing and all those aspects of energy.”

Board: Would you consider a merger of LIPA and NYPA?

Skelos: “I think that that would be a problem.  Upstate is very protective of their NYPA [hydropower] energy.  I think you can figure out a way to get additional energy to the Island, if we could do it in a fair way.”

____________________________________________________________

The evident disdain that Skelos has for Kessel manifested in the “Richie Kessel?” answer bodes well for Skelos upcoming term running the Senate and for overburdened NYPA and LIPA ratepayers, both of whom have been treated harshly by the Kessel PR machine.  Additionally, the new Majority Leader’s rejection of a NYPA-LIPA merger is welcome news to electric customers upstate and down.  Finally, Street Corner expects that Senator George Maziarz who is expected to be Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee will stand as a vigilant watchdog against Kessel’s continued reign of economic terror throughout the Empire State.

 Street Corner applauds Senator Skelos for his solid start to the new Legislative year.

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8 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, December 19, 2010 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. HopefulatNYPA Says:

    My sources tell me that Kessel was missing yesterday from the inauguaration of the man he always calls “my good friend”, our new Governor. The Cuomo people maybe wise to Richie and his tenure at NYPA may be nearing an end. Richie always talks about how he played basketball with Mario and Andrew Cuomo and about how much they owe him.


  2. Instead of just freezing all NYPA employees salaries for 2011, The large one has decided to budget 0% for Management but 3% for the upstate Union. As usual he knows where his large slice of bread is buttered. A competent CEO would reopen the union contract on 3/31/11 & save NYPA & the state tens of millions of $’s by rewriting many of the ridiculous give aways in the current contract.

  3. GroundedatLIPA Says:

    I work at LIPA and survived the Kessel reign of terror there. Word on LI is that Kessel is going around to the LI Senators and asking them not to confirm any new LIPA CEO except–him, Fat Boy Kessel. While it sounds like Skelos is not ok with that plan, Kessel is a survivor and determined to return to LIPA.

  4. Phil Mihiney Says:

    We can only pray that all the political dead weight, and there sure is a lot of that at NYPA, gets what they truly deserve, a kick in the butt out the door. First it was all of Pataki’s political appointees and thieves, most from Peekskill, then Fat boy’s Long Island Buddies. Gee, I hope the NEXT governor is from my home town!! Just imagine, a do nothing job with a huge salary at taxpayer expense. A politicians dream.

  5. colleague 1.0 Says:

    wow. Maybe there is a shred of hope for NYPA….if the new Gov can get rid of the
    Whale before he manages to so destroy the balance sheet that it can’t be saved…..maybe things at NYPA can be turned around……. again by the hard working and abused staff. A good start would be to get rid of all the dead weight friends of Richie that the Whale has hired including the suck up Gil Q. A combination of NYPA and LIPA would be a disaster….especially for the NYPA side….after all the years of fiscal mismanagement at LIPA by Richie …their debt load would be something that might be impossible to get out from under. The last real outside expert NYPA had who knew the energy business was the first chief risk guy…. not the puppet we have now…..and look what happened to him when he stood up and complained..trying to do his job… the first one the Whale and the suck up Gil threw under the bus. At least he cared enough to try and do the right thing…and he stuck out his neck…..probably no way he would agree to come back though and he wasn’t politically connected….which would be so good for NYPA.

    • PASNY Person Says:

      It’s definitely true that Kessel, Gil and their overpaid entourages need to be shown the door immediately. However, that former “chief risk guy” was a crass fool who should’ve never been in that position. It really does not matter who has replaced him since he was booted; the bottom line is that he was not an asset to NYPA at all.

  6. DepressedatNYPA Says:

    Kessel and his merry band of Long Islanders have been working full time to try to engineer a merger of LIPA and NYPA in order to transfer money to Long Island in order to lower LIPA rates. My friends in WPO tell me Kessel has hired a lobbyist named Jerry Kramer who worked in the State Assembly to draft a bill that would merge LIPA and NYPA. This would be a disaster for upstate and for the state. It’s time to get rid of this guy.

  7. pasnytech Says:

    I would ask Senator Skelos to start investigating the wonderful Richie, and our Board of Trustees. Start by insisting that the FOIL requested by Mr Marlin is answered – as is required by LAW.

    Then he could start cleaning house – get rid of all the political appointees. Here are the ones I can think of:

    Francine Evans
    Frank Ryan
    Karen Pasquale
    Sarah Barish Straus
    Denise Ellison
    Ronie Epstein
    Rocco Iannarelli
    Christine Pritchard
    Jen Becker
    Terryl Brown
    Libby (still don’t know CFO’s last name)
    And many many more

    Have a great holiday season, SCC readers. I’m glad I’m on vacation for a while, and don’t have to hear the bullsh*t all day.


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