BY MICHAEL RICONDA
With the passage of a resolution through the County Legislature’s Planning and Public Works Committee on April 30, the naming of the Spring Valley toll plaza in honor of the late Rockland County Times publisher Armand Miele has come closer to being a reality. The resolution requests New York State and the New York State Thruway Authority to recognize Miele by naming the Spring Valley Toll Exchange in his honor. Though the legislature does not have the authority to change the name of the plaza itself, it can make the request.
Current RC Times editor-in-chief Dylan Skriloff appeared at the committee to read a statement by Miele’s family supporting the memorial. “Our family is touched and moved and we know that although he is in a better place now, Mr. Miele is touched and moved as well,” The letter read. “He campaigned hard to make the Spring Valley toll plaza free for the sake of Rocklanders. He used the thruway every day.”
The vote was almost unanimous, with the sole nay vote being cast by Legislator Alden Wolfe. Though he expressed respect for Miele, he cited a local law requiring a certain amount of time to pass after the death of a person before a public building could be named in his honor. “My vote tonight has nothing to do with Mr. Miele’s person or his legacy or anything like that,” Wolfe said.
Legislator Schoenberger pointed out that the law did set a timeframe for county office building naming, it did not extend to toll plazas. Still, Wolfe explained he cast his vote in the spirit of the existing law and believed the process should take more time.
The stated request is for the plaza to be named Armand Miele Free Toll Plaza rather than Armand Miele Toll Plaza, as he was the vital force behind making the plaza free to all travelers, with the exception of trucks.