Anti-Toll Movement Has Impact

The Newport Daily News “Our View” of January 8 discussing the impact of the local anti-toll movement on the recent election for the District 11 senate seat is good, as far as it goes. Mr. Seveney failed to understand the importance of this issue to the “constitutes” residing in District 11. This is the underlying reason for his defeat, not simply the toll issue itself. How many times have I attended Portsmouth Town Council meetings and witnessed Mr. Seveney listening to Portsmouth citizens expressing their opinions when he had already made up his mind?

Portsmouth is a microcosm of America. If there is anything to learn from the popularity of Donald Trump it is that Americans are tired of politics as usual. Several letters to the editor listing issues appeared in our local newspapers prior to the election. Tolls were prominent in each of these letters. In spite of the desires of the people in District 11 and the significant efforts to remove the tolls on the Sakonnet Bridge, Mr. Seveney’s position on this issue was fuzzy. Apparently, he intended to assume his office in Providence and fall right in with the Governor.

no tollsMr. Pagliarini, even though he had never held elective office before, was astute enough to listen to the people and his position opposing tolls never changed.

In my mind, this is not a Democrat vs Republican issue, but rather an attempt by the voters in District 11 to elect someone who will listen and work with and for them. The people of America are sending a message and it would benefit all incumbents to listen. Rhode Island is a great state, but we are tired of being last in every significant category by which states are measured.

Good luck Mr. Pagliarini!