Former Dutchess Legislative Chairman and Dutchess Comptroller Vote to Support Hikes

Poughkeepsie, September 27… As reported in the Daily Freeman and Poughkeepsie Journal, the New York State Bridge Authority, until recently under Joe Ruggiero’s charge, intends to issue another round of toll hikes. Former Dutchess Legislative Chairman Roger Higgins and former Dutchess County Comptroller Diane Jablonski, Democrat Appointees to the Bridge Authority Board of Commissioners, voted to support the toll hikes. A new round of toll hikes was proposed by the Bridge Authority at its September 19 meeting.

“Dutchess residents deserve better representation from their Board members instead of rubber stamps,” said Dutchess County Republican Chairman Mike McCormack. “This is the same group of Democrats who raised taxes on Dutchess residents back in 2007-2009. What is really sad is that Dutchess County Democrat Legislative candidates remain silent and refuse to stand up for their constituents.”

Roger Higgins was elected vice chairman of the Bridge Authority in 2016. Prior to his appointment to the Authority, Higgins served as chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature after Democrats took control of the body in 2008. As chairman, Higgins pushed through a tax increase as well as a pay raise for elected officials. Diane Jablonski was appointed as a commissioner to the Bridge Authority by Governor Cuomo in 2016. She is a former Dutchess county comptroller and candidate for county executive who was defeated in 2015.

On a late Friday afternoon “news dump,” the Daily Freeman reported that the Bridge Authority Board tried to “sneak” through a toll hike which was quietly announced by Joe Ruggiero in 2016, as reported in the Times Herald-Record. From 2007 to 2009, Dutchess County Democrats controlled the Legislature and were run out of office in 2009 for raising property taxes by double digits and increasing spending.

“Dutchess Democrat candidates want us to forget that former Legislative Chairman Roger Higgins was at the helm when they raised taxes but he is at it again by raising tolls. They may have amnesia but Dutchess taxpayers are smarter than that,” said McCormack. “Dutchess Republicans for 10 years have controlled spending, cut taxes and presided over one of the most efficient county governments in generations. On Election Day, Dutchess voters will have their voices heard by re-electing Republicans to the county legislative majority.”


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