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.

2022 by East Bay Media Group

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Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.