Dennis L. Veraldi




June 22, 2004




Via E-mail (gawalsh@planetarium.cc)

and U.S. Mail


Glenn A. Walsh

P.O. Box 1041

Pittsburgh, PA  15230-1041


RE:     Pennsylvania Sunshine Act Request


Dear Mr. Walsh:


As General Counsel to Port Authority of Allegheny County (“Port Authority”), I am responding to your letter of June 15, 2004, to John Brooks, Chairman of Port Authority Board of Directors.


In your letter to Mr. Brooks, you reference certain provisions of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act (65 P.S. §§ 701, et seq.) which you maintain provide you with the right to appear and be heard at Port Authority Board meetings.  Please be advised that your reliance on those sections of the Sunshine Act which you quote in your letter for this proposition is incorrect.  The sections of the Sunshine Act which you cite in your letter are applicable to the board or counsel of a political subdivision or of an authority created by a political subdivision.  Port Authority does not fit into either category.


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, stated:


In view of this plain statutory language, it would be impossible to conclude that PAT is anything other than an agency of the Commonwealth.  PAT was created by the Commonwealth, rather than by local government, and acts as an agency of the Commonwealth (even though PAT’s Board is appointed by County Commissioners pursuant to 55 P.S. § 556).

Accordingly, I have advised Port Authority that Section 10.1 of the Sunshine Act does not require Port Authority to provide you with an opportunity to be heard at its Board meeting of June 25, 2004.


Further, I have advised Port Authority that your request to object to Port Authority’s proceedings when the Board meeting agenda reaches the “New Business” section is equally inappropriate.  This item in the agenda pertains only to the right of members of the Board to introduce new items of business.  It does not provide for public comment.  I have advised Mr. Brooks that if you attempt to verbally object to the proceeding when the Board meeting agenda reaches the New Business section, you should be ruled out of order and the meeting adjourned.


It is Port Authority’s position that you have been given a reasonable opportunity to make your views known at a prior meeting and that further input on this subject is not necessary at this time.


Thank you for your interest in Port Authority.


Very truly yours,




Dennis L. Veraldi




cc:       John A. Brooks

            Paul Skoutelas

bc:       Joel L. Lennen