Home>Governor>Port Authority nominees could face Senate confirmation as early as May 13

Port Authority Commissioner-designates, left to right: Dana Martinotti, Rob Menendez and Michelle Richardson.

Port Authority nominees could face Senate confirmation as early as May 13

Full six-member board could be in place by June — for the first time in three years

By David Wildstein, April 29 2021 7:03 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy’s nominees for commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could be confirmed as early as June 1, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to consider the nominations of Rob Menendez, Dana Martinotti and Michelle Richardson on May 13, along with the reappointment of Kevin McCabe.  That decision is up to Nichola Scutari, the committee chairman.

Commissioners serve six-year terms, but all of the nominees will fill seats with less than six years remaining, according to Amber Greene, a spokesperson for the Port Authority.

McCabe was not nominated for his own seat, but instead for the one being vacated after 18 years by David Steiner.  McCabe, the Middlesex County Democratic Chairman, joined the Port Authority in December 2017 for a term that expired on June 30, 2019.

By taking Steiner’s seat, McCabe would remain on the board until mid-2026.  Reappointment to his own seat would have shortened his term by one year.

Menendez has been named to McCabe’s seat and will serve until June 30, 2025.

Martinotti is slated to fill the unexpired term of Caren Turner, who resigned in 2018 after about one year in office following an incident with a badge.  Martinotti would be up for reappointment in mid-2022, so she’s effectively getting a one-year term.

Originally named to a six-year term in 2012, Richard Bagger will be replaced by Richardson.  She’ll serve until June 30, 2024.

If approved, these will represent the first Port Authority nominations on the New Jersey side since 2017, when lame duck Republican Gov. Chris Christie picked three new commissioners – two of them prominent Democrats.

The 91-year-old Steiner, named by Gov. James E. McGreevey in 2003, has remained in hold-over status for seven years.

Kevin O’Toole, the current Port Authority chairman, will remain in his post under an agreement between Murphy and Senate President Steve Sweeney.  O’Toole’s term expires in 2023 but would remain in place until a successor is nominated and confirmed.

A sixth commissioner, Raymond Pocino, is the senior member of the board.  First named by McGreevey in 2002, Pocino will celebrate his sixth year on holdover status in June.

If confirmed by the Senate, Menendez, Martinotti and Richardson would be set to attend their first Port Authority board meeting on June 24.


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