In my previous post, I pulled out a quote from City Council Chair Christine Quinn, who among her many charges, claimed that the MTA must have public hearings on these service cuts.
Those quotes are nearly identical to the talking points on a web page in the City Council’s “Action Center,” which calls on citizens to sign a petition to ask the MTA for a “more democratic process” in determining the 2010 budget.
Nowhere on the page does it mention that the MTA is required by law to pass a balanced budget before the end of the year. Nowhere on the page does it mention that the two major sources of the deficit are the result of mandated cuts and underprojection of revenue by the state. Nowhere on the page does it mention that today’s vote by the MTA Board was completely democratic, nor that the board is represented by members appointed by elected officials. Nowhere on the page does it mention that it is the city’s responsibility to fund transportation for students, nor that the MTA was funding it voluntarily. Nowhere on the page does it mention that the MTA faces an overall $400 million deficit, most likely because the City Council merely proposes a $140 million source of funding from Federal stimulus dollars and shifting of capital funds that will further delay construction and rehabilitation projects.
All this page does is use city resources – a taxpayer-funded web site – to attack the MTA. It does not suggest any long-term solutions for revenue to prevent this crisis from happening annually. The page is a five-paragraph screed of misleading statements meant to deflect blame and purposely misinform the public.