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It is deeply disappointing that you would publish a story that is so grossly misleading.
First off, the title of the article “Big trucks bill supported by Zeldin” misleads readers to think that Congressman Zeldin voted for a truck bill, which is astoundingly inaccurate. You are headlining half a sentence of a 164 page bill as if the entire bill was that half a sentence. Why would you do that?
You then speak of the practical implications of that half a sentence as if these big trucks would ever travel east of the big box stores in Riverhead. You further fail to give the appropriate amount of consideration to the reality that the state and feds would be able to specifically block this truck traffic on the North Fork. The state and feds can work together to exempt segments of roads if they aren’t capable of safely accommodating trucks of that size.
H.R.2577, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016, which you are referencing, is a $55.3 billion, 164 page bill that funds the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It also funds Amtrak and the National Transportation Safety Board. This legislation is also an important funding stream for the LIRR, including $1.9 billion in capital grants to help expand bus and light rail service at the local level.
Additionally, the legislation included Congressman Zeldin’s amendment blocking the FAA from taking punitive action against East Hampton for enacting noise restrictions and forcing the agency to pay attention to the noise issue on the North Fork, an important victory for the East End.
You are referring to half a sentence related to trucks in a 164 page bill and then branding it the “big trucks bill” as if that had anything to do with the other 164 pages.
As you may know, Congressman Zeldin worked hard to remove from the NYMTC proposal the Cross Sound Enhancement Project to reroute 5,000 trucks per year through the North Fork.
If the Congressman voted no on the bill would you then be slamming him for voting against funding the Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and for allowing the FAA to take negative action against East Hampton Town for the enactment of noise restrictions?
Your article, referring to Congressman Zeldin’s District Director said, “Woolley, when confronted with this information by a reporter after last night’s meeting, refused to answer any additional questions. ‘You’ll have to call the communications director,’ he said.” What you failed to point out to your readers was that you were asking Mr. Woolley for his comment on “the Shelby Amendment”, which he was not familiar with because it is a United States Senator’s proposal, not a United States Congressman’s proposal. Is that really so unreasonable that he was requesting a reporter to contact the Communications Director?
Our District Director, Mark Woolley, is solely and completely dedicated towards serving the local community on Long Island. Congressman Zeldin has voted on almost 500 pieces of legislation since taking office in January. There is no way that Mark would know every single line of every single piece of legislation that Congressman Zeldin has voted on in Washington, DC, especially the “Shelby Amendment”, introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Shelby. That is why he referred you to the Communications Director, who would be able to research the Shelby Amendment and respond.
Congressman Zeldin’s record of fighting for his constituents speaks for itself and he remains fully committed to this effort, regardless of your unfortunate spin.
ERIC R. AMIDON
Chief of Staff
Office of Congressman Lee Zeldin (NY-01)
Washington, DC Office:
1517 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Long Island Office:
31 Oak Street, Suite 20
Patchogue, NY 11772