To the editor:
Jim Cameron’s commentary concerning the issue of highway tolls in Connecticut is unfortunately very out of touch.
Sadly when an opposing viewpoint is voiced on a given issue, the voice is labeled by its detractors as trolling, both counterproductive and disturbing. In elementary school we would simply hold our hands over our ears yelling aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. Not much has really changed.
Highway tolling was not an issue that lost or won an election; it was another issue that was misrepresented by the party that won the governorship. Quoting electoral vote totals does not equate to endorsement of a particular idea.
The promise made was for border-only tolls and/or truck only tolls, (which most of us knew to be illegal), a commitment that sits right up there with “you can keep your doctor.”
Purporting residents want highway tolls is another perfect example of Hartford creating a narrative advancing an agenda regardless of population desires. Congratulations, another false bill of goods sold, not something to be proud of.
Tolling is a tax, relabeling it a user fee is the same shell game Connecticut swindles its residents with regularly on the road of financial insolvency, this bad idea will over burden our side streets and avenues as traffic diverts around — great idea, lets create an insatiable demand for our limited supply of smaller roads.
The question of being concerned for hard working men and women driving to their jobs daily was voiced — and the response is pretty close to his public transit my friend. Commuting in traffic is the deal you made when you accepted your employment. Yes I know it sucks, I’ve commuted in it.
My favorite references were to the lock box which the state already raided (not so locked) and this plan being a “vision.” The reason this “vision” is hard to sell is because most residents see it as it is, a terrible plan that’s only purpose is to gloss over Hartford’s inability to dig itself out of a hole.
Tolls are not the answer; they are continuation of bad fiscal/tax policy which has gutted the state of both corporations and population. The Hartford Insurance Company, for example, relocated out of Hartford with a majority of insurance carriers. Hartford is no longer the insurance capital. The Hartford Currant reported 426 more people a week are leaving the state than coming. At a time when home values are crashing, the state in its infinite wisdom wants to build tolls, increase home taxes and combine town school systems — yes, the school systems that are the basis of our home values.
Credibility, of which Hartford currently is at deficit, is problematic. The budget was presented and to everyone’s surprise (sarcasm), the state of Connecticut not only increased spending, but did not make a single budget cut. Shocking.
Our current governance can’t be taken seriously until spending is under control, wasteful spending is eliminated and meaningful fiscal cuts enacted. Connecticut has a spending problem and before we misrepresent it as a revenue issue, Hartford’s lack of forward thinking and inability to make bold decisions has to be fixed.
Until that time please stop selling the idea tolls are necessary and our governor is really, really trying to fix the problem. The proposed budget demonstrates they really, really are not.
Jim Ryan, Zombie at large