Letter: State sold us down the Sakonnet with tolls

To the editor:

It’s time we finally arrived at the foregone conclusion that is the inevitable implementation of the Sakonnet River Bridge tolls. But instead of playing the blame game, let’s give credit where it lies for the perpetration of such a ruse.

The well intentioned and even better organized residents opposing the toll deserved more than the Mickey Mouse tribunals, predisposed aloofness from state officials, and the charade that this guise of due process was any more than a game of trivial pursuit.

To insinuate that this ill-conceived and universally loathed toll was ever going to be deterred by the voice of reason and compromise that permeated the overwhelming sentiment of our community is as disingenuous and condescending as the custodians of its implementation.

The only thing more reprehensible than the inevitability of this ramrod agenda was the manner in which the people and their legitimate opposition were sold down the Sakonnet by a state-choreographed cacophony. To quote Fielding Mellish: “It was a travesty of a mockery of a sham.”

Considering our state’s dubious notoriety as a haven for political chicanery and malfeasance, it warrants recognition that the type of corruption which inhibited cogent discourse on this issue, primarily: insouciance, apathy, inaccessibility and collusion, is more pervasive and damaging to Rhode Island’s quality of life and its people’s trust than the more publicized, less frequent cases of bribery or kickback schemes that bring Rhode Island such disrepute.

Representatives Edwards and Felag have given commendable integrity to the plight of their constituents , but the nucleus of their colleagues aren’t worthy of the same accord. Those synonymous for their deference: leaders Chafee Paiva-Weed, Fox and Ciccilline should be paying a different toll in upcoming elections, no transponder necessary.

The pre-ordained approval of the Sakonnet River Bridge toll is hardly a revelation for the reasonable and trustworthy people strapped with the impending burden of this encroachment. The disillusionment with a dysfunctional, usurping state infrastructure is harder to quantify.

It’s always sunny in Tiverton.

David Silverberg

Tiverton

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