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Westchester Daughter Of Ex-Governor Joins 65K Who've Signed TZB Petition

Kathy Conroy Wilson
Kathy Conroy Wilson Photo Credit: Bertine Hufnagel, LLP

The battle over the naming rights of the new Tappan Zee Bridge has become a real family affair.

Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?
Final Results Voting Closed

Do you think the new Tappan Zee Bridge should be named in honor of the late NY Gov. Mario Cuomo?

  • Absolutely
  • Absolutely not
  • Not sure
  • The new bridge shouldn't be named after any person

Kathy Conroy Wilson - the daughter of the late Gov. Malcolm Wilson, whose name was included in the official title of the old bridge - has joined the tens of thousands of other New Yorkers who have signed a petition protesting the designation of Mario M. Cuomo Bridge as the official name of the new Tappan Zee span.

Wilson, a New Rochelle resident and Scarsdale attorney, joined more than 65,000 other New Yorkers that have signed the petition that was started by Port Chester resident Monroe Mann.

The petition insists that the bridge be returned to its original name, the Tappan Zee, saying that “the bridge is our history.” Its official full designation was the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee bridge in 1994, honoring the memory of Kathy Conroy Wilson's father, a Yonkers native.

The bill to rename the bridge for the elder Cuomo was introduced at the end of a long legislative session by a Suffolk County state senator. It came under immediate criticism by both residents and local politicians.

"Mario Cuomo has no connection whatsoever to Westchester or Rockland," Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said earlier this year.

The petition says "it sounds cool to say, 'I'm taking the Tappan Zee" and not cool "to say, 'I'm taking the Cuomo.' "

In a statement , the organization Reclaim New York lambasted the naming proposal, calling it "absurd."

"Since citizens are paying for the bridge, they should get to decide what it's called."

“The governor’s sly attempt to put his family’s name on the bridge, which he can’t figure out how to pay for, even with his massive toll hikes on the horizon, is simply outrageous," Astorino added in June . "Governor Wilson lived in Westchester and should not have his name stripped from the Tappan Zee Bridge to satisfy Andrew Cuomo’s ego. Mario Cuomo has no connection whatsoever to Westchester or Rockland."

In a poll released by Reclaim New York Initiative earlier this year, it was determined that 53.8 percent of Hudson Valley residents disapprove of renaming the bridge in the name of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s father. There was a 33 percent approval rating and just 14.7 percent of respondents thought the bridge should be named for the former governor when selecting from multiple options.

According to the poll, 80 percent of voters believe that Westchester and Rockland residents should have had a say on the vote, which was pushed through the Legislature in a “late-night scheme.”

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