Staten Island's Grimm wants meeting with Cuomo over Port Authority tolls
The congressman appeared in today’s Staten Island Advance:
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Let's talk.
So said Rep. Michael Grimm today, requesting a "one-on-one" with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over wasteful Port Authority spending pegged to sky-high bridge tolls.
Grimm also told the Advance he is exploring the possibility of holding a congressional oversight hearing on the Port Authority -- noting that the last time the bi-state agency came under such scrutiny was 1960.
Grimm said he wants to "partner" with Democrat Cuomo to find a solution to tolls that are financially impacting Staten Island residents and businesses every time they cross the Goethals and Bayonne bridges and Outerbridge Crossing.
"I fully agree with your statement that the 'toll payer is not an endless, bottomless well for government to dip into to cure their incompetence,'" Grimm wrote to Cuomo. "It is extremely problematic that, as you note, toll revenue is being directed toward projects unrelated to transportation improvements."
Grimm also pointed to the amicus brief he filed in support of the Automobile Association of America that argues the P.A.'s "diversion of toll-generated funds violates the just and reasonable standard established by federal code, which dictates that toll increases must be closely related to transportation infrastructure improvements."
Grimm also asked Cuomo to weigh in on seeking the immediate release of the long-delayed P.A. study on the impact of the tolls on the New York Container Terminal at Howland Hook.
In addition, Grimm asked Cuomo to "require the Port Authority to release an authoritative list of any subsidies, benefits or tax relief provided to the ports and businesses of New Jersey, to ensure that our state is not being placed at a competitive disadvantage."