Assemblymen representing villages along the main line of the Long Island Rail Road took matters into their own hands on Thursday by appointing a community-driven New York State Assembly Advisory Committee on the MTA “Third Track Plan” to galvanize and focus community efforts in fighting the Third Track project. The effort is being spearheaded by Assemblymen Thomas Alfano (R,I,C,WF-21st District), Tom McKevitt (R,C,I-East Meadow) and Rob Walker (R,C,I,WF-Hicksville). The Assemblymen’s creation of the Committee comes on the heels of a secret impact statement developed by the MTA and given to the Federal government.
The three Assemblymen each appointed members to the Advisory Committee that will hold hearings in an effort to coordinate a united community effort to block the track plan.
The Assembly Advisory Committee is made up of the following appointees and their sponsors:
- Mayor Jack Martins, Mineola - Appointed by Assemblyman McKevitt
- Businessman Timothy Dalton, Floral Park - Appointed by Assemblyman Alfano
- Mayor Daniel Petruccio, New Hyde Park - Appointed by Assemblymen McKevitt & Alfano
- Trustee Bill Wise, Westbury - Appointed by Assemblyman Walker
“This is the most positive and pro-active way we can have an open discussion with the community and formulate a plan to open this process for our communities,” said McKevitt. “The recent actions of the MTA have left communities outraged over their intentions and plans to be forthright with residents. We want to listen to residents and then formulate a plan that helps stop the trains going down the Third Track.”
McKevitt appointed Martins and Petruccio to the Advisory Board adding, “Mayors Jack Martins and Dan Petruccio have been leading advocates for Mineola and New Hyde Park against a proposal that could have devastating consequences to these communities. I look forward to working with them to protect our residents.”
“The MTA’s actions are an affront and a slap in the face to my constituents,” said Alfano. “The MTA obviously is trying to hide from our Villages. This board is going to shine the light on their plans, organize our communities and fight for our homes - it’s as simple as that. My appointee, Tim Dalton, understands the Floral Park community, not only as a businessman, but as someone who has a generational lifelong investment in our community. I wanted someone who would be able to look at all options from all perspectives. That person is Tim Dalton.”
Alfano pointed to the recent federal government submission of the MTA plan as proof positive of the shenanigans of the MTA plan to mislead, confuse and keep people in the dark, adding, “What’s so hard with being up front with homeowners? What’s so hard about making this an open process so that people have all the facts and information?”
“The Advisory Committee is a sure-fire way to focus all community efforts to protect neighborhoods,” concluded Walker. “We need everyone to be involved and this board working with us will make it happen.”