The following is directly from a press release issued by 149th Assembly candidate Joe Mascia on August 25th, 2012.
August 25, 2012 – Buffalo, N.Y. 149th Assembly candidate Joe Mascia condemned local politicians and media outlets for their participation in a mid-morning press briefing by Lt. Governor Duffy on the Peace Bridge Plaza expansion that barred the public from attending. “This is a matter concerning public health, public dollars and public land and I think it’s outrageous to exclude the public”, Mascia said after being told the event was closed. Mr. Mascia, a waterfront resident, expressed dismay that the issue of the Peace Bridge expansion would proceed without participation by the public or concerned stakeholders.
“I really feel that the Governor has not been fully informed on this matter, and I know for certain that the public hasn’t been informed at all.” Mascia claimed. Plans for the proposed expansion have not been disclosed. Announcements regarding the expenditure of millions and the acquisition of property have been routine events over the last 10 days.
Those announcements have been silent on the National Environmental Protection Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, State Environmental Quality Review Act, and City Environmental Review Ordinance. Mascia cites compliance with these statutes as being required before the government may approve plans, permits, funds, or other actions.
Joe Mascia believes the Peace Bridge matter illustrates the short-sighted policies and lack of commitment that were decisive factors in the Canadian government’s decision to close its consulate here. “We should be discussing a modern multi-modal commercial crossing that would expedite trade with our Canadian counterparts” according to Mascia. “It would produce more construction jobs, infrastructure, and higher paying jobs and allow us to site the facility in proximity to transportation networks away from residential neighborhoods. The governor plans on spending six billion on the Tappan Zee bridge replacement. Buffalo is the second busiest border crossing in North America and current plans call for a tiny fraction of the cost for the downstate bridge. “I know the Mayor’s in a tight spot” said Mascia, “but nothing can justify Congressmen, State Senators, Assembly members, and a pack of other elected and appointed officials sneaking around to please big business interests and avoiding the public.”
Mascia ended by saying, “These people are willing to destroy our historic neighborhoods, and poison our parents and children for a patchwork solution of dubious benefit to a few select people. I’m not one of them and that’s what this election is all about.”