Stung by criticism about behind-the-scenes dealmaking, commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, April 23 took the unusual step of postponing decisions on two projects that had come under fire. The decision, reported by Shawn Boburg in The Record, reflected rare public disagreement among the agency's commissioners.  One decision postponed involved renegotiation of a lease by NJ Transit of the park-and-ride lot in North Bergen; the other involved a proposal to guarantee loans for World Trade Center reconstruction. The proposal regarding the park-and-ride lot was to increase the rent paid by NJ Transit; the current rent is a nominal $1 per year, reduced in 2012 from over $900,000.  That deal has come under fire as a conflict of interest for former Port Authority chair David Samson who at the time was reportedly also advising NJ Transit on how to maximize its profits from operating the lot. The postponement on the decision apparently is due to a lack of consensus on how much NJT will have to pay, not on the general idea of an increase. The World Trade Center loan guarantee postponement reflects criticism of the Port Authority's involvement in real estate as opposed to its primary mission of operating port and transportation infrastructure in the bi-state area, and of its relationship to developer Larry Silverstein.

The increased openness in decision-making at the Port Authority mirrors recent decisions by NJ Transit to improve transparency, including opening committee meetings to public access for the first time.

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