University Hosts Port Authority Reform Panel

Jersey City, N.J. – February 12, 2015 – Saint Peter’s University today announced that it will host a bipartisan, bi-state panel on reforming the Port Authority. The event, “How Should We Fix the Port Authority?,” will be held on Monday, February 23 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in The Duncan Family Sky Room in the Mac Mahon Student Center. The panel will feature a number of key officials who will discuss how to reform the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey so that it is more responsive to the region’s needs.

The five panelists include New York State Assemblyman James Brennan, chair of the Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Thomas D. Carver ’58, former New Jersey commissioner of Labor Workforce and Development; New Jersey State Senator Bob Gordon of Bergen County, chair of the Senate Legislative Oversight Committee; New Jersey Assemblywoman Amy Handlin of Monmouth County, member of the Health and Senior Services as well as the Regulated Professions committees; and Martin Robins, director emeritus of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.

Each member of the panel has in-depth experience relevant to the transportation industry in the tri-state area. In particular, Carver previously served as the assistant general manager of Newark Liberty International Airport, Gordon sponsored the Senate bill to reform Port Authority, Handlin sponsored the reform legislation in the General Assembly, and Robins previously served as director of the Port Authority’s Planning and Development Department and as deputy executive director of New Jersey Transit.

“Saint Peter’s is bringing together the key players from both sides of the Hudson River to help us solve a regional problem and take advantage of new opportunities,” said Philip Mark Plotch, Ph.D., director of the master’s program in public administration at Saint Peter’s University and author of the forthcoming book Politics Across the Hudson: The Tappan Zee Megaproject. “We are acutely aware of the Port Authority’s importance in Jersey City given our proximity to many of its bridges, airports, seaports, tunnels, PATH trains and World Trade Center.”

The Port Authority affects every business and resident in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area because it builds, operates and maintains a vast network of aviation, rail, surface transportation and seaport facilities. In 2014, both the New Jersey and New York legislatures unanimously passed legislation to reform the Port Authority.  However, this legislation was vetoed in December 2014 by both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Governor Chris Christie. Although the New York State and New Jersey legislatures have not overturned a veto in a decade, they are now both considering overturning legislation to reform the Port Authority.

The event is sponsored by the Saint Peter’s University Master of Public Administration program and the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Plotch and Nicholas Chiaravalloti, J.D., executive director of the Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership.

“The Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership is dedicated to sponsoring programs that bring together leaders to discuss issues that affect our world,” said Chiaravalloti. “Given the location of Saint Peter’s, the topic of Port Authority reform is critically important to our students, the community and local and state leaders. We are proud to bring this distinguished group of panelists together for such a timely and relevant discussion.”

For more information or to register, please contact Dr. Plotch at or (201) 761-7458.

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Media Contact:
Angeline Boyer
(201) 761-6238