On Friday, May 21st, PCAC Executive Director Bill Henderson, Associate Director Jan Wells, and MNRCC members Jim Blair and Rich Cattagio were guests of the New York State Hudson Valley Minority Assembly Conference at a public meeting held in Harriman, NY. Serving as the moderator of this round-table discussion about Metro-North and the MTA was Steve Neuhaus, Director of the Assembly’s Mid-Hudson Regional Office. Assembly members present were Nancy Calhoun (R, Blooming Grove), Annie Rabbitt (R, Greenwood Lake) and Marc Molinaro (R, Red Hook).
After some opening remarks by Mr. Henderson explaining the role of the MNRCC and PCAC, the Assembly members asked a variety of questions ranging from the possibility of fare increases to potential service to Stewart Airport to the assessment of Jay Walder as Chairman and CEO. One topic that loomed large was the voting power of the MTA Board members from Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland Counties (1/4 of a vote each) . MNRCC member Blair, who is a non-voting member on the MTA Board, responded that it is not the size of the vote, but the ability to influence the discourse at the Board table that is most important.
Associate Director Wells pointed out that for several years there has been a vacant position on MNRCC designated for the Dutchess County representative. Assemblyman Molinaro indicated he would work to find a candidate.
In concluding remarks, Mr. Cattagio, the Council’s representative from Orange County, pointed out that Metro-North provides excellent service and is a very well-run railroad. All of the panelists agreed!
There was press coverage by the Times Herald-Record and the Mid-Hudson News Network.