NEWS RELEASE

 

For immediate release: 2004 June 25

For more information -- Glenn A. Walsh --

                    E-Mail: < gawalsh@planetarium.cc >

                    Telephone: 412-561-7876

                    Internet Web Site: < http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/ >

 

PORT AUTHORITY USES LEGAL TECHNICALITY TO PREVENT FURTHER

PUBLIC INPUT ON WASTE OF $2 MILLION OF TAXPAYERS’ MONEY

                               

Pittsburgh, June 25 – In a June 22 letter, Port Authority of Allegheny County General Counsel Dennis L. Veraldi has informed public transit advocate Glenn A. Walsh that Mr. Walsh does not have any right, under the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, to address the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

 

Mr. Walsh had requested to address the PAT Board at the June 25 monthly meeting, to respond to a

May 18 letter from PAT Chief Executive Officer Paul P. Skoutelas, regarding Mr. Walsh’s address before  the PAT Board on April 23. Mr. Walsh’s April 23 address was regarding the proposed abandonment of a never-used rail car storage yard at Penn Station, Downtown, as part of the proposed “North Shore Connector” rail line expansion project, which will result in the complete waste of $2 million of taxpayers’ money.

 

Mr. Walsh had requested to address the PAT Board at their monthly meeting on June 25, in a June 9 letter to PAT Board Chairman John A. Brooks. In a June 11 letter, Mr. Brooks denied Mr. Walsh’s request. In a June 15 letter to Mr. Brooks, Mr. Walsh had contended that the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act required the Port Authority to allow public input at each Board meeting. Mr. Walsh also indicated that the Sunshine Act permitted the public to file a verbal objection at any public meeting that is perceived to be in violation of the Sunshine Act.

 

In Mr. Veraldi’s June 22 letter, he cites a 1990 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling as evidence that the Port Authority of Allegheny County is not subject to Section 10.1 of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act. Section 10.1 regards public participation at meetings of “the board or council of a political subdivision, or of an authority created by a political subdivision.”

 

According to Mr. Veraldi:

 

“In Marshall v. Port Authority of Allegheny County, 524 Pa. 1 (1990), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, concluding that the Port Authority is an agency of the Commonwealth and not an agency created by a political subdivision…”

 

At the conclusion of Mr. Walsh’s April 23 address, Mr. Brooks had indicated that the PAT Board would discuss the matter at the next month’s Board meeting. This did not occur, and the Port Authority Board has never discussed this issue at a public meeting.

 

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ATTACHMENT:

 

Letter from Dennis L. Veraldi to Glenn A. Walsh, 2004 June 22, 2004

(Stating that PAT does not have to legally comply with Section 10.1 of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act):

< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/veraldi1.htm >

 

 

 

 

MORE INFORMATION:

 

Letter from Glenn A. Walsh to John A. Brooks, 2004 June 15

(Stating that PAT has violated Pennsylvania Sunshine Act):

< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/L-BrooksRailYard3.htm >

 

Letter from John A. Brooks to Glenn A. Walsh, 2004 June 11

(Denying request to address PAT Board):

< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/brooks1.jpg >

 

Letter from Glenn A. Walsh to John A. Brooks, 2004 June 9

(Request to address PAT Board):

< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/L-BrooksRailYard2.htm >

 

Statement of Glenn A. Walsh before the PAT Board, 2004 April 23

(Abandonment of never-used rail yard at Penn Station would result in complete waste of $2 million of taxpayers’ money.)

< http://andrewcarnegie2.tripod.com/transit/ST-PATRailYard.htm >

 

gaw  2004 June 24