The State Senate has confirmed the appointment of businessman Howard Zemsky to be the new chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Zemsky was nominated by Governor Cuomo in March. He will take over from acting chairman Henry Sloma, who has served in the role for past three years. Zemsky, 52, is a member of the NFTA's board of commissioners and is co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
Rep. Brian Higgins, in a statement, calls Zemsky "a true Buffalo believer."
"The appointment of Howard as Chair of the NFTA is the right choice at the right time as we work to free the NFTA from the waterfront business and help the agency concentrate on its core mission.”
The NFTA operates Metro Bus and Rail in Erie and Niagara counties, as well as the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport. It also manages the downtown bus terminal and the marina at the NFTA Boat Harbor.
Sloma expressed his consent just this week with the wish of some area lawmakers for the authority to turn over its long-vacant land on the Outer Harbor to a separate agency focused on waterfront development, like the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.
“Putting Howard Zemsky at the helm of the NFTA is good news for Western New York, and it’s a great nomination by Governor Cuomo. The NFTA has experienced some challenges, especially in the last few years. The agency needs some work, and Howard will roll up his sleeves and get the job done," said State Senator Tim Kennedy, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.