croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york


On The House Subcommittee on Railroads...

August 15, 2006

Contrary to recent verbal and printed statements that a bill sponsored by Representative Sue Kelly to make changes in the Surface Transportation Board rules is on a “fast track” and will be acted upon soon, please note the following status report taken from GovTrack.com.

Official Title: H.R. 4870. To establish certain rules for Surface Transportation Board approval of waste management company applications to become rail carriers.

Status: This bill is in the first step in the legislative process. Introduced House bills go first to House committees that consider whether the bill should be presented to the House as a whole. The majority of bills never make it out of committee.

Introduced: Mar 2, 2006

Last Action: Mar 3, 2006: Referred to the Subcommittee on Railroads.

Sponsor: Rep. Sue Kelly [R-NY] (no cosponsors)

Clearly, there has been NO action since it was introduced in March and referred to the subcommittee. As stated in the Status section, the process for any House bill to move ahead in arduous and “the majority of bills never make it out of committee.”

Further, Rep. Kelly had no co-sponsors to help move the bill along or give it more impetus.

It is likely that this bill was just giving lip-service to a local constituency (see: “Kelly Introduces Legislation to Keep Waste Companies from Evading Local Environmental and Zoning Laws”) and that there is little likelihood of any action or positive results in a time frame that would help the Village of Croton-on-Hudson in dealing with the terrible consequences of having a 24/7 unregulated waste operation at 1A Croton Point Avenue.

— Ann Gallelli, Charlie Kane, Leo Wiegman, Trustees, Village of Croton-on-Hudson

On August 15, 2006 2:44 PM, weewill said:

Trustees Gallelli, Kane and Wiegman have supplied a realistic and accurate assessment of STB activity currently taking place.

Unfortunately a report delivered by Bob Wintermeier at last night’s Village Board on a bill submitted by Sue Kelly to limit the actions of the Federal Surface Transportation Board was lacking in an understanding of the process or faulty in its “spin”, perhaps by deliberate omission.

Congresswoman Kelly did indeed submit a bill to the House Committee suggesting changes. The legislative process as accurately stated in the letter above by Ann, Charlie and Leo REQUIRES this as a first step. The House Committe then must determine if the bill should be presented to the full House at all.

Probably the most egregious omission in Bob Wintermeier’s report is that THE MAJORITY OF BILLS introduced to the House Committee NEVER MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE. In addition, while important elected officials from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts have written supporting letters to the STB, Ms. Kelly’s bill lacked so much as even one co-sponsor.

Obviously, we need all the help and support we can get and we thank Congresswoman Kelly for her efforts.

Bob Wintermeier (search) and Richard Pellicci (search) took great pains to paint those of us who disagree with their shortsighted approach to the 1A Croton Point Avenue fight as “trash terrorists.”

Perhaps they should enlarge their circle of friends to get an idea of what others think. They might be surprised to learn that many of us would be in favor of “diplomatic and negotiated settlements” instead of more litigation. Many of us are opposed to a limited and narrow “No Negotiation” stance. We want to keep all our options on the table.

Finally, if you haven’t watched the videostream of Monday night’s Village Board meeting, I urge you to do so and make your own assessments.

— Georgianna Grant



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