NYPA chairman praises new CEO, won’t speculate on his own future

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The New York Power Authority’s chairman said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pick for the authority’s president and CEO is a good one, but he declined to speculate on his own future.

Michael Townsend, a Fairport resident and partner at Monroe County-based Harris Beach LLP, technically saw his term as a NYPA trustee run out in May of this year, but a decision hasn’t been made on whether he’ll be reinstated or released. Townsend said that will be up to Cuomo and Gil Quiniones, who Cuomo tapped as NYPA’s new head earlier today. (The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.)

“I really haven’t heard much one way or the other, and I don’t think it behooves me to speculate on my future,” Townsend said in a phone interview today. “I think that’s for the governor and his staff, in conjunction with the new CEO and president, to decide what’s best for the authority.”

Townsend had good things to say about Quiniones, who had served as acting president since Richie Kessel resigned in July. Specifically, Townsend was impressed with Quiniones’ performance during recent extreme-weather events.

“He’s served as interim (president) before, so we’ve had the chance to evaluate him in that capacity,” Townsend said. “We’ve been very pleased by his performance, and he’s more than capable.”

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