2008-04-11 / Editorial/Opinion

Assembly Did The Right Thing For Outer Boroughs

Westchester Assemblyman Richard Brodsky was right when he said recently that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has alienated many of the state legislators with his "my way or the highway" mentality. "Clearly, the mayor has shown some disdain for legislators," he said recently. "He's a bright man who has been a good mayor. He just doesn't understand it when people say no to him." Well, on Monday Brodsky and the other Assemblymembers said no to Bloomberg in a big way by refusing to vote on his Congestion Pricing Plan, thereby effectively killing the funding and the plan. Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, who represents a portion of Rockaway, called right after the Assembly consensus showed that the body was against the plan by roughly a four to one majority. "We're not going to the floor with this," Pheffer told The Wave. "There are not enough votes to bring it to a vote." Pheffer then added that the Assembly had pledged at a Monday meeting to adequately fund the city's Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) so that outer borough residents will still get the increased transportation alternatives promised by the mayor if the plan was approved. The action of the Assembly in supporting the middleclass residents of the outer boroughs is in contrast to the actions of the City Council members such as James Sanders, who voted for the plan largely because the mayor promised perks for their individual districts in return for their affirmative vote. In fact, a few Council members have filed a Freedom of Information Law request for all of the mayor's files and communications regarding the plan. In any case, the plan, which would have charged motorists $8 simply to enter lower Manhattan, is dead. Let's hope it stays that way, but with our mayor intent on getting his way, we are not going to count him out so quickly.

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