Thruway Authority Board Member to Vote Against Toll Hike

9:07 AM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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By Jon Campbell, Gannett Albany

For the second time in a week, the state Thruway Authority abruptly canceled a board meeting where it was expected to consider a toll hike on large trucks.

2 On Your Side's Pete Gallivan spoke to board member Donna Luh Tuesday afternoon.  She says the constant cancelling of meetings hurts the credibility of the authority and the proposed toll increase.

Luh says she can no longer support the 45% toll increase, and that if it comes up for vote again, she will vote against it.

A Rochester-based business group says that speaks to bigger problems with the authority board.

Unshackle Upstate-one of the most vocal critics of the proposed 45 percent toll increase on commercial traffic-is out with a new statement knocking the Thruway Authority, knocking it for a "lack of transparency and accountability."

"How are we to believe that the Thruway Authority is ready to act in the best interest of tollpayers when they can't even conduct a standard board meeting?" Executive Director Brian Sampson said.

The Thruway Authority canceled its meeting this morning without explanation. It also postponed a Friday meeting at the last minute, and hasn't met since August. (A September meeting was also postponed.)

Here's Sampson's full statement:

"With the second cancellation of its board meeting in less than a week, the Thruway Authority board has clearly demonstrated the lack of transparency and accountability that has plagued the Authority for decades. How are we to believe that the Thruway Authority is ready to act in the best interest of tollpayers when they can't even conduct a standard board meeting?

"Since there is no proposed date for a rescheduled board meeting, we urge Thruway Authority Chairman Milstein and the other board members to take this opportunity and submit to a forensic audit of the Authority's operations.

We believe that a forensic audit will enable the Thruway Authority to right its fiscal house and avoid an irresponsible toll hike that will continue to perpetuate New York's anti-business reputation."

 

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