As you know by now, a major transportation bill that would benefit bus riders & drivers got defeated by the State Assembly Transportation Committee. The perpetrator behind this was the chairman of the State Assembly Transportation Committee, David Gantt. Ben Fried of Streetsblog has been all over the chairman since this bill was defeated (rightfully so I might add!) & continues to be so with a new report on just how Mr. Gnatt strong-armed the voting process. Hereis a sample of his report:
With last week’s bus camera vote in Albany inspiring calls for Mayor Bloomberg to engage in civil disobedience, Streetsblog has been taking a closer look at how Assembly transportation committee chairman David Gantt was able to bring down a bill that reportedly enjoyed majority support among his members and won approval in the New York City Council by a 40 to 7 vote.
Recall that the bill, critical to the success of the city’s Bus Rapid Transit plans, was scheduled by Gantt for a motion to hold, meaning that a “Yes” vote would table the bill. In the official roll call, six co-sponsors of the bill were recorded as having voted “Yes,” essentially killing legislation they had earlier endorsed. This drew the attention of the Times, which questioned whether Gantt had influenced the votes of committee members.
While Gantt told the Times he doesn’t go around “breaking people’s arms,” multiple sources familiar with the vote told Streetsblog that some co-sponsors sided against bus cameras in order to preserve their relationship with the chair.
The rest of the story indicates why a committee member would want to stay in good standing with Gantt.
Click here to view Ben’s complete report.
I am sorry but this vote should be held again as this vote was clearly fixed from the outset which defeats the purpose of the so called democratic process. I applaud Ben for keeping the pressure on David Gnatt as he along with other shady politicans need to be exposed & booted out when the time comes. Albany & government everywhere needs elected officials who understand why our transit infrastructure needs proper investments from funding to actual laws.
xoxo Transit Blogger