Not willing to settle for simply making uninformed accusations about the MTA’s finances, New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther decided to rewrite history in a letter to the editor in last Wednesday’s Middletown Times Herald-Record:
The MTA failed to put tolls on the New York City bridges, which would have generated vital revenue for the state. It is that kind of frivolous spending and financial mismanagement that has put the MTA in this awful predicament — not the Legislature.
This borders on the level of hilarity. Not only do these legislators not understand the dire need for state support for the MTA, but they do not even understand that one proposed solution – East River bridge tolls – needs to be approved by the very legislative body they’re in. And last year, that solution failed.
In addition, the assemblywoman makes a baseless attack on Jay Walder’s salary, ironically, by calling his salary level “baseless:”
Jay Walder, the MTA chief, who has been blaming the Legislature for the MTA’s problems, has an excessive — and baseless — $350,000 salary.
Assemblywoman Gunther fails to mention that Walder will be taking a 10% paycut this year as part of the MTA’s plan to cover its deficit. She also neglects to mention the salaries of San Francisco and Los Angeles’ transit chiefs, who each make over $310,000 a year to run agencies that move a tenth as many people as the MTA.
The misinformation campaign continues, and there’s seemingly nobody in the MTA’s 400-strong Public Relations department strategizing a campaign to deflect the blame.