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NFTA BOARD STILL SHORT ONE MEMBER; 3 ON HOLDOVER

One year after former Chairman Raymond F. Gallagher resigned, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority still is operating at less than full strength.

Gov. Cuomo still has not appointed anyone to the seat of Robert D. Gioia, who moved up to take over as NFTA chairman, following Gallagher's resignation on Dec. 1, 1989. As a result, the 11-member board overseeing the transit authority has been operating for a year with only 10 commissioners.

And with three other "holdover" commissioners serving as long as 3 1/2 years after the expiration of their terms, there appears to be no plans to act quickly on new appointments.

"We're preserving our options until the question of the local appointments is worked out," said Cuomo spokesman Darren Dopp. "We want to avoid any kind of musical chairs situation."

Under new "reform" legislation adopted last year, the county executive and the County Legislature may now each recommend one person to serve on the NFTA board. County Executive Gorski recommended Joseph DiVincenzo, while the Legislature recommended Ronald J. Anthony, whom Cuomo did not renominate after his term expired on June 30, 1987.

Other holdovers include William G. Gisel, whose term expired June 30, 1988, and James M. Wadsworth, whose term expired last June 30.

Despite the recommendation of both DiVincenzo and Anthony on holdover
last spring, another Cuomo administration official said no action has been taken because supporting paperwork on both men has only recently reached Albany. That has slowed the state police background investigation, required for any appointment to a state authority.

Gioia said he would prefer an 11-member board, but noted the NFTA has encountered no real problems operating with 10.

"It hasn't hurt us, but it should be dealt with," he said. "I would say we've weathered the year OK."

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