Editorial: Maybe leaders should listen as much as they defend

Posted 11/7/19

The revised plan for Silver Creek Bridge replacement is great news for Bristol. There won’t be a total blockade of the downtown district; vehicles will continue to pass in one direction at all …

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Editorial: Maybe leaders should listen as much as they defend

Posted

The revised plan for Silver Creek Bridge replacement is great news for Bristol. There won’t be a total blockade of the downtown district; vehicles will continue to pass in one direction at all times.

But why was it so difficult to find a solution that was so within reach?

When the little people — namely, shop owners and private citizens — began protesting, the folks in power became overly defensive and somewhat obstinate. They said the deal was done, the plans were fixed, and nothing could be done about it.

“There is no other way,” we were told — multiple times, through multiple channels, from multiple sources.

Now there apparently is another way, and it was found during a few discussions with the contractor, within a budget that was already on the books.

That obstinance is a dangerous habit for those in power. Often the little people have perspective, creativity, talent and intellect that can help a community solve its problems and deliver its services. Too often those opportunities are lost in the confrontational nature of society today, where it’s us vs. them, the elected vs. the electorate, the powerful vs. the many.

Let this be a reminder to all — the people usually know what they’re talking about.

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Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.