BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
As a result of this column’s April 12 publication of “What is the cost of removing and replacing the numerous Tappan Zee signs on the Thruway and Palisades Parkway with Mario Cuomo signs,” the Ombudsman Alert was contacted by several individuals closely connected to the history of the original Tappan Zee Bridge, including its re-naming in 1994 as the Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge upon the recommendation of none other than Governor Mario Cuomo.
These individuals were most familiar with Mario Cuomo’s intent in keeping the words “Tappan Zee,” to preserve the historical nature of the Dutch and Indian roots of this area. Then-Governor Cuomo wanted to bestow some honor on a former governor without deleting the vital historical roots of the region in which this landmark bridge exists!
The great majority of signage continue to bear only the name “Tappan Zee Bridge,” as desired by Governor Mario Cuomo, with only a relatively few smaller signs bearing the complete title: “Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge,” to bestow the honor on the former governor Malcolm Wilson.
We can all agreed that Mario Cuomo would never condone removing an honor once bestowed on a former governor and having it bestowed on himself instead!
For all of the above reasons plus the unknown costs associated with removing and replacing the numerous signs on the Tappan Zee bridge by Mario Cuomo signs, the Ombudsman Alert respectfully requests all of our elected representatives, including County Executive Ed Day, assemblypersons Ken Zebrowski and Ellen Jaffee, as well as Senator David Carlucci, ask that, at a minimum, most Tappan Zee Bridge signs remain as is.
Finally, the Ombudsman Alert would like to criticize the manner in which the re-naming of the Tappan Zee bridge was accom- plished: Before the end of the 2017 New York State legislative Session. a bill, A40001 was introduced into the New York State Assembly, which was an essential comprehensive bill, permitting, among other things, the vital extension of all local sales taxes and the Mayoral Control of the New York City Schools.
Placed right in the middle of this bill, labeled as part M, was the provision to change the name of the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Mario Cuomo Bridge.
I leave my readers with one simple question:
If part M was voted on separately, do our readers believe it would have passed on its own?
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