New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, right, shakes hands with Ambassador Gary Doer of Canada after announcing a Peace Bridge deal in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, June 26, 2013. Photo: David Duprey
First Gov. Andrew Cuomo huffed.
In October, he had his emissaries tell the Public Bridge Authority he wanted it to turn over control – along with $95 million – to New York State to redevelop the U.S. side of the bridge plaza.
When that didn’t work, he puffed.
The governor in April had a member of his senior staff write a caustic letter to a senior Canadian transport official accusing Canadian members of the bridge authority of “foot dragging” and a “lack of cooperation” and demanding the removal of general manager Ron Rienas who, you guessed it, is a Canadian.
When that failed, he threatened to blow the house down.
Cuomo had his minions in the state Legislature gain approval of a bill aimed at disbanding the authority. In doing so, the governor issued a thinly veiled threat to the Canadians: “Do as I say, or else.”
Cuomo flew to Buffalo on Wednesday to announce an agreement to settle what had developed into an ugly cross-border political brawl. With one exception, the agreement was little more than a regurgitation of projects already announced or approved. The only new work involves a traffic study that may or may not lead to an expansion of the bridge plaza.