Priorities, Bridges & Political Posturing

June 23, 2011

I am a resident, taxpayer and voter in Westchester County, NY.

I just learned that Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has called on NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to make building a replacement bridge for the Tappan Zee a top priority.

The news release indicated that Astorino said, “The time has come to invest real political capital in getting the replacement bridge built. We can’t wait forever for a perfect solution.”

I find it very sad that our Westchester County Executive seems to be less than fully informed about highway and bridge issues.

Perhaps this is to be expected when there is no experience or knowledge requirement for elected officials.  ‘Look pretty, speak eloquently, raise money, and the voters will vote you in!’

County Executive Astorino is a poster child for this.

My sense is, “The time has come to require a knowledge and experience test before anyone can run for elected office. We can no longer accept or tolerate elected officials who were put in office as puppets, or as the result of winning a ‘beauty contest’.”

Fact is, the Tappan Zee Bridge is part of I-87, the national highway system. While it is one of many connections between Westchester County and other parts of New York State, it hardly seems to be something that would be near the top of a priority list for the Westchester County Executive.

The Tappan Zee Bridge is operated and maintained by the New York State Thruway Authority —a Public Benefit Corporation created by the New York State Legislature to build, operate and maintain the Thruway System.

The Thruway Authority is responsible for a 570-mile system of highways crossing New York State, the longest toll highway system in the United States.  Who can say with certainty that the Tappan Zee Bridge is more critical than the Grand Island Bridge, or the Champlain Bridge?

The Thruway Authority operates autonomously and if County Executive Astorino had done his homework, he would have been calling on the Chairman of the Thruway Authority to take action, not the Governor.

It seems that the County Executive of Westchester County could find dozens – maybe hundreds! – of more critical local issues to focus on.

If called upon, I am available to provide informed citizen input on critical local issues.

Please don’t be bashful, County Executive Astorino!  I am one of your constituents. Use me!  Challenge me!

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4 Responses to “Priorities, Bridges & Political Posturing”

  1. I’m glad to see your very strong position with the County Executive.
    He picks and choose his priority issues ,not addressing those social and economic issues tat affect everyday life. like affordable housing, and employment. DB, Good job. DMcD

  2. Peter J. Gallagher II said

    Keep me on your list, if only to enjoy the amazing likeness of you at the top of the blog. The shorter whiskers look great. Peter Gallagher II

  3. Doug Young said

    I agree that Astorino still plays the crony game (his staff and appointments) and looks for issues that won’t reflect on the short comings of this administration. Can’t he prioritize the needs of the County and make them the focal point? What is he thinking about with the TZBridge?

    • walrus51 said

      Thanks.

      Sad that there isn’t another ‘check & balance’ today, but maybe if we had some sort of comprehensive exam that preceeded running for elective office, the majority of these issues would fix themselves.

      I think we are currently operating on an original model based on 18th century perceptions and understanding. Our society has changed significantly, but not our methodology of citizen engagement and involvement. It’s time, I think…..

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