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Task force won't back down

There is no backing down now.

That message was clear on Thursday when the Upstate New York Safety Coalition Task Force met at the Skaneateles Village Hall.

According to Chuck Murphy, legislative aide for Sen. John DeFrancisco's office, Vinny Gramuglia of the Mohawk Valley Citizens and Truckers Unite called him the Tuesday following the Black Friday truck protest throughout the Finger Lakes and asked if the task force and legislative representatives were ready to back down.

"No, we are not going to back off our support for the regulations," Murphy said. "These things were not made by the senator. They were an executive order by the governor."

Throughout the weeks since the truck demonstration on Route 20, members of the task force have continued looking over the state Department of Transportation's draft regulations that ultimately restrict long haul tractor trailers from driving on seven specific state highways. The regulations do not affect local trucks or deliveries, one aspect of the law the task force feels area truckers have been misinformed about.

"They were mostly local," said chairwoman Barbara Ann Clary of the participants in the Black Friday convoy. "This task force and the regulations do not affect the local truckers."

"They were upset because they thought rights were going to be taken away from them," add Skaneateles Mayor Bob Green.

While dissemination of the truth in regard to how local truckers will be affected by the regulations is in talks -- primarily by sending letters and statements to local media outlets -- the main task at hand on Thursday for the force was to make final remarks on draft.

All the members of the task force, which includes not only residents of the Finger Lakes but also local leaders and aides to state and federal representatives, said there are no changes they would make to the proposed regulations.

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