by Rick Pezzullo –
An on-line petition, spearheaded by a Port Chester man that opposes naming the new bridge for former Governor Mario Cuomo, has attracted more than 101,000 signatures to date.
Dr. Monroe Mann, 40, started the petition on Change.org on November 2 and stated the public should have had input before the state Legislature voted in June to support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request to have the New NY Bridge honor his late father.
“While Mr. Cuomo may be deserving of something named after him, it should not be at the expense of history, and the original settlers of our land: the Tappan Indians and the Dutch. And certainly not at taxpayer expense,” Mann stated on the website. “The name Tappan Zee has no politics associated with it. And it properly recognizes the true founders of this land: the Tappan Indians and the Dutch. Plus, it sounds cool to say, ‘I’m taking the Tappan Zee.’ It does not sound cool to say, ‘I’m taking the Cuomo.’ Come on people!”
“Out of curiosity, why didn’t the taxpayers have a direct vote since we are the ones who ultimately paid for it, and will through toll taxes?” Mann continued. “Didn’t a large part of the funding come from a FEDERAL grant? That is OUR bridge. America’s bridge. New York’s bridge. Last I checked, Mario Cuomo and his family did not personally contribute hundreds of millions to its construction…It is time for Albany to do the right thing: bring back the former name of the Tappan Zee Bridge.”
Mann later maintained he wasn’t against having the Cuomo name associated with the bridge as long as Tappan Zee remained in some form.
“The original bridge was called the Governor Malcolm Wilson–Tappan Zee Bridge, known commonly as the Tappan Zee. So why can’t the new one be called the Governors Cuomo/Wilson—Tappan Zee Bridge?” he stated. “In this way, we recognize Cuomo while not destroying the bridge’s true namesake. Why shouldn’t this happen? The answer: there is NO reason. It should happen immediately, at very minimum. At best, it should just be the Tappan Zee Bridge.”
In published reports, Andrew Cuomo has labeled the opposition “vindictive” and stressed the bill was passed in late June by about 90 percent of legislators in the Assembly and Senate.