"Be a man," MTA Chairman Joe Lhota urged an MTA board member today. "Be a man." Apparently the MTA board is way, waaaay more dramatic than we ever knew—because that is just the tip of the iceberg!
In a meeting today regarding reducing the number of MTA board meetings from 11 to 8 (and adding two public "forum" meetings), things apparently got heated when board member Charles G. Moerdler expressed the opinion that the idea was bad, since he felt, "At this time, we need to increase, not decrease, timely disclosure."
Lhota apparently didn't like that idea and told Moerdler he hoped he would reconsider his opinion, "since your flawed thinking and the erroneous things that you’ve just said are actually scurrilous." Oh, and then he said, "The blubbering that you’re talking about is just a waste of time and a waste of effort."
Then Lhota referenced Moerdler's alleged abuse of a police parking placard, saying, "To make statements in public like this, similar to the statement that you made when you only parked in that parking spot for a few minutes when it was documented by camera that it was over four hours - enough of lying to this board." Daaamn, you gonna take that, Moerdler? Pretty much, reports City Room:
Mr. Moerdler appeared taken aback. “Mr. Chairman,” he said, “character assassination does not do you credit.”
But he said he “will not challenge” Mr. Lhota, to which the chairman responded, “I wish you would.”
“Be a man,” he said. “Be a man.”
“Oh, I’d be happy to do it,” Mr. Moerdler said. “In your words, I will bring it on.”
“Let’s go,” said Mr. Lhota, known as a feisty deputy mayor under Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Mr. Moerdler said he stood by his opposition to the plan.“With respect, and I say with respect, I find your comments disturbing,” he said. “I will leave it at that.”
“Respect is not mutual,” Mr. Lhota said.
Afterwards the board voted to meet less frequently—only Moerdler opposed. Meanwhile, we love this recent tweet by the MTA Chairman:
In America, the answer to a free speech problem is more free speech.
— Joe Lhota (@JoeLhota) September 27, 2012