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Business Leader Calls Timing Of Thruway Toll Hike “Shameful”
Posted By Joseph Spector On November 8, 2012 @ 4:12 pm In Other | Comments Disabled
The Thruway Authority’s apparent decision to move forward with a toll hike on trucks Friday is “shameful,” said Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate.
“The timing of it is shameful, on the heels of the storm, right after the election when we have no idea who is going to be in control of the state Senate, on a 2:30 on a Friday,” Sampson, head of the Rochester-based business group, told Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
The Thruway Authority quietly scheduled a meeting in Suffern, Rockland County, for 2:30 p.m. Friday. They are expected to consider as much as a 45 percent toll increase on trucks.
The Thruway Authority was expected to vote on the toll hike in September, but postponed the meeting and didn’t say when it would be rescheduled. On Thursday, it posted the meeting notice on its website. A spokesman said there is no agenda available for the meeting.
Sampson contended that the Friday afternoon meeting is a way to try to keep the public in the dark about the plans.
“What does that lead us to believe? It makes us think that they are just going to pass that 45 percent toll increase,” Sampson said. “They will have done nothing to correct their internal problems that they have. They are just looking to pass the buck onto the trucks, which ultimately will pass the buck onto us as taxpayers – because everything we are going to consume is going to cost more.”
He added that, “It’s shameful the way they are going about this. It certainly feels they have planned this out to this at the absolute very last minute so that there isn’t time for the public to once again stand up and say we don’t want this. It’s shameful.”
Some Assembly Republicans also blasted the meeting.
“I once heard Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward say that the most dangerous threat to representative democracy is ‘secret government.’ Clearly, the Thruway Authority doesn’t want the public to know what they are doing with our tax dollars,” said Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Schenectady.
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