Lawmakers: Hey, State DOT Commissioner, How About a Straight Answer? (Updated With Video)


Missed among all the news yesterday over redistricting was the grilling that state DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald received at a transportation budget hearing yesterday.

She was accused of offering vague answers to how the state will fund a $1.2 billion infrastructure plan for 2012-13 fiscal year. She didn’t say what projects would be funded and was accused by a Queens lawmaker of not even knowing that a road project was already underway in his district.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, was miffed by some of McDonald’s vague answers.

Check out this exchange:

“In order to make our informed judgment, would you agree that we need some facts and some information about the areas you are in charge of in the Transportation Department?” asked DeFrancisco, a lawyer and the Senate GOP’s lead floor debater.

“I believe that’s a fair assessment,” she responded.

“Now tell me, how we can do that function when your answers have almost been uniformly to all questions, ‘We’re studying it’?”

She responded, “This is the start of the dialogue.”

The DOT is also being knocked for planning to close some regional offices.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, Broome County, a member of the Transportation Committee in the Assembly, is raising concerns about the potential loss of the area’s DOT regional office.

“I understand the governor wants government to be more efficient, but we need make sure the Southern Tier isn’t negatively affected,” she said in a statement today.

Updated: Here’s the hits by DeFrancisco on McDonald. It starts at the 56:00 mark.


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  1. Leave DoT alone. Unlike politicians, if they don’t know they won’t make something up on the spot. That used to be called sensible

  2. Reminds me of Jimmy Carter’s mother who once stated: “I don’t know why they criticize Jimmy; HE hasn’t done anything!”

  3. People:
    Understand the Andy Cuomo is playing everyone in NY state inc politicians for his personal jollies and future gain to his ascent to higher politics in DC

    He has insturcted his “Commisioners”, including this hack McDonald, to give unpopular answers.

    He has instructed her to say, for example, that the new Tappan Zee Bridge will have NO mass transit lane or rail line. He will then laugh and curse all the politicans and public comments for 3-4 weeks as they argue the need for mass transit.
    After he has had enough personal satisfaction, enough jollies, enough of his ego trip control game…he will then appear at a place in Westchester or Rockland and

    He did it with the Millionaire’s tax and he will do the same with the Tappan Zee

    The man is a master manipulator and start understanding that people and pawns because that is what he enjoys we are : pawns in his grand scheme !!!