Beaty: Bus deal will cost locals millions plus loss of control

Readers,

Recently the W/C board of supervisors sold their taxpayers down the river in so many ways.

The GFTA (Glens Falls transportation authority) has the authority to dictate bus routes throughout the county. This is important on many levels for seniors, and those seeking transportation to and from work.

They have done a good job getting those needing transportation around the county.

The GFTA did NOT have a negative budget. Money is NOT the issue. They were actually budget neutral so MONEY was a moot point.. They received funding from the Fed and NYS governments. As well as QBY giving them 60k, GF 66k, LG 10k and Bolton Landing around 10k.Ridership contributed 225k a year.

So the issue was getting enough bus drivers for the summer routes. That was the biggest challenge. The mayor and the GFTA director basically gave up trying to get 5 needed additional summer drivers and 1 additional mechanic.

So the mayor demanded that the GFTA abdicate ALL decision making power to the CDTA (Capital District Transportation Authority). One big catch, it had to be approved by the W/C supervisors. If approved by the county board (which it was) WARREN COUNTY taxpayers would have to pay approximately 1.5 MILLION EVERY YEAR to the CDTA . The CDTA in return will NOW be able to dictate to W/C what bus routes they will have. So for apox. 15 MILLION over the next 10 years, from county taxpayers, the Capital district authority will tell W/C what bus routes they will have or get cut. Also the CDTA will have control over the county waterways.

Going forward, QBY taxpayers will be on the hook for approx. 5 MILLION for the next 10 years to the CDTA, G.F taxpayers will be on the hook for 1.5 million for that same time frame to the CDTA and so on. (Note QBY would pay only 600k for the 10 years NOT 5 MILLION going forward if the supervisors were not bullied into ignoring their responsibility).

(I was out sick for the board meeting and this board does not allow participation via zoom) so I apologize for not being there and getting all the facts out.

So, the GFTA will now become the CDTA with routes in Washington county and Saratoga county. There was no funding coming from Washington County.
The Mayor informed some supervisors that the retiring GFTA director would be hired on as a consultant with the CDTA.

We found that quite interesting. Especially since there had not even been a vote by the board if this transfer would be approved or not.

In my opinion, leaders should FIX challenges, not saddle county taxpayers to pay millions for the board not wanting to do the hard work. Seeing this board of supervisors take the easy way out is very disconcerting but expected. But hey, YOU the COUNTY TAXPAYER will pay the BILL so they could care less. I find that insulting but that is me.

Regards,

Doug Beaty, Queensbury
At-Large County Supervisor

Editor’s note: The Chronicle followed up by contacting GGFT director Scott Sopczyk. He said “I am and have long planned on retiring by May 30th.”

“I agreed to stay on on a part-time basis to assist with the transition whatever that transition was going to be. To CDTA, new City management, or something else.”

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