When the Governor put forward his nominee, Jay Walder, to run the MTA, I asked the relevant Senate Committee Chairmen to hold a hearing in the Metro-North region. Not only was the request ignored, but to add insult to injury, the Senate Democrat Leadership held a hearing on Long Island and a hearing in New York City -- basically sending a loud message to the Hudson Valley that it’s okay to take our money to support the MTA but they don’t want our input on who is charged with spending it.
Today I questioned Jay Walder when he came before the Senate Finance Committee. While Mr. Walder has an impressive resume and is certainly knowledgeable, I was troubled that he was unwilling to commit to a financial plan that would eliminate the MTA’s reliance on the newly enacted payroll tax which I vehemently opposed. In fact, Mr. Walder went as far as saying that he “appreciated the actions taken in May” referencing the disastrous MTA bail-out legislation. Dutchess County taxpayers should not be forced to pay nearly $100 million a year into a transit system that provides little benefit to the county.
I voted no on the MTA bail-out and I voted no today on the confirmation of Jay Walder who failed to outline a plan to reduce our taxes.