Thruway Board Member: “We’re Looking Foolish”

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Donna Luh, vice chairwoman of the state Thruway Authority board, said today she’s angered that Thruway leadership continues to delay a vote on a toll increase on trucks, saying she would now vote against the proposal.

The Thruway Authority has canceled three meetings since September on a proposed 45 percent toll increase on trucks, including one scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today in Albany.

Luh said she received an email Monday morning from board chairman Howard Milstein that today’s meeting would be held. Then at around 9 p.m., she received an email from executive director Thomas Madison that the meeting was canceled. She said there was no reason given, and board members haven’t discussed any changes to the proposal in months.

“We’re looking foolish. What are we doing? Why do we keep scheduling meetings and taking them off?” Luh said in a telephone interview with Gannett’s Albany Bureau.

Luh, who was appointed in June 2008 by then-Gov. David Paterson, owns a consulting firm in the Buffalo area. She said the Thruway should have the vote on the toll increase, saying it’s unfair to keep delaying action because so many people would be affected by it.

As for her position, “If that vote was today on a 45 percent increase, my vote would be no,” Luh said. “If you’re doing a 45 percent increase, you darn well better be strong and supportive of it and just do because you do need for the sake of the authority.”

But Luh said she doesn’t feel that way: “If you’re a leader, you put it on the table and vote yea or nay …. I’m not hiding. I can’t sell what I can’t buy.”

Gannett’s Albany Bureau reached out to all six board members. Only Luh provided an immediate response.

Jose Holguín-Veras, a professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, referred a reporter to the Thruway’s press office.

Spokesman Daniel Weiller declined comment after the postponed meeting.

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2 Comments

  1. Unhappy taxpayer on

    Their board needs a shakeup in leadership, starting at the top. They couldnt plow one year and now they can’t even schedule a meeting. Better yet, disband them and merge them with DOT!

  2. You are looking foolish because you ARE foolish. And Greedy.

    This “authority” needed to be abolished decades, ago. Roll it
    into the Department of Transportation who might, in fact, be
    bothered to show up at their own meeting. This group has no
    reason to exist. None, whatsoever.

    Disband this mess, immediately.