Elliot "Lee" Sander of Queens, who took over Jan. 1 as executive director and chief executive of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has made several appointments within the MTA. They include Susan Kupferman, formerly president of the MTA Bridge and Tunnel Authority, as MTA chief operation officer and James Henly as MTA general legal counsel. Henly was previously the New York State Attorney General's chief of litigation. Sander also appointed Ernest Tollerson, formerly with the New York Times editorial board and a consultant on city planning, as head of media relations and public policy for the MTA. Sander, who was appointed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, is to be paid $340,000 annually, $40,000 more than former MTA executive director Katherine Lapp, who recently resigned. Sander effectively succeeds MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow, who has indicated his intention to resign within the next few months. When he was appointed to his second term late last year by Gov. George Pataki, Kalikow had talked about serving out his term. His term would have expired at about the same time two of the projects for which he was a strong advocate were expected to be completed - the Second Avenue Subway and the East Side Access to bring Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central Terminal. Lawrence Reuter last week resigned as president of the New York City Transit Authority, the MTA subsidiary which operates buses and subways.Reuter said he would join Parsons Brinckerhoff, an engineering and consulting firm in Miami, Fla. Sander was among those who praised Reuter for his performance. "Larry has done an outstanding job," Sander said. "All New Yorkers owe him a debt of gratitude." Reuter, in his 10 years as head of the Transit Authority, presided over many improvements in the transit system including the conversion from tokens to the MetroCard, which brought new technology and a 31 percent annual increase in riders to the transit system between 1996 and 2005. Sander, appointed by Spitzer, has a long association with mass transit. He founded and has been director of the Rubin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University. Sander is also co-chairman of the Empire State Transportation Alliance and is a former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. Sander, 50, grew up in Jamaica, Queens and lives in Douglaston.Reach reporter Philip Newman by e-mail at news@times
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