By Roz Hamlett, Portfolio
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners’ first-ever meeting tomorrow in the brand new boardroom at the state-of-the-art 4 WTC is historic for lots of reasons. Much has changed at Port Authority board meetings since the Congressional Compact creating the agency was signed in 1921. Tomorrow’s board meeting is an important milestone because it is the first one to occur in the heart of Lower Manhattan since the pre-9/11 days.
The room itself has a commanding view of the construction of 3 WTC and the iconic 1 WTC. There are new monitors for the public’s viewing and for those listening, better sound. What’s more, the Board is encouraging public comment on the issues, and members of the public are seated right in front of the Commissioners, instead of along the walls and the back of the room.
So we encourage you to check us out for yourself. Come on down or stream the proceedings live at www.panynj.gov
Even before the Special Panel on the Future of the Port Authority had issued its recommendations last year, this Board was restructuring its monthly meetings to promote input from the public by minimizing the use of non-public executive sessions, and conducting roll-call votes on all Board actions.
We have also adopted a new Freedom of Information policy mandating the disclosure of any record that would be available from a public agency under the law of either New York or New Jersey, as well as establishing a two-tiered appeals process. The Port Authority has also undertaken a comprehensive review and updating of the agency’s Code of Conduct for employees, Commissioners, and contractors, to ensure that we are observing the most stringent ethical standards in our operations.