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Thruway official says toll hike poorly handled

By Lombardo David
Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The number two board member of the Thruway Authority says the handling of the proposed toll hike has been botched.

For the second time in a week, the Thruway Authority canceled meetings at the last second that likely would have addressed a proposed 45 percent toll hike on the thruway. Today's meetings included a finance meeting and a meeting of the entire board. The meeting has not yet been rescheduled.

"I'm not happy with the consecutive postponements," said Donna Luh, vice chair of the Thruway Authority Board of Directors. "It certainly doesn't look good"

She said the actions of the authority, including a refusal to even release an agenda for the two canceled meetings, represent a violation of the public trust. "I'm disappointed as a board member that we're doing this," she said, adding that it wasn't clear why the meetings had been postponed.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison released a statement saying the proposed toll increase requires more evaluation. "The Thruway is looking at a number of options and doing extensive research and it will continue to do this due diligence work before another meeting is called and a recommendation is made," Madison said.

Based on the handling, Luh said, "I would have a very difficult time voting for a 45 percent increase"

While another meeting hasn't been scheduled yet, she said the board has been informed that the next meeting will be after Thanksgiving.

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