2010-10-29 / Letters

Stop The Highwaymen

Dear Editor,

No, I’m sorry, but the hardworking people of Rockaway should not be encouraged by the presence of Congressman Weiner and Assemblywoman Pheffer at a rally to protest the Cross Bay Bridge toll.

Sure, it’s nice to know that they sympathize; it’s nice to have their support. That’s all well and good.

But their support is misplaced. Remember, they’re politicians. They don’t belong shoulder to shoulder with marchers at a mass rally. The reason is simple: The people were rallying at the bridge to protest, not just an added hardship, but an injustice.

If I recall, the Cross Bay toll was lifted several years ago, not because the MTA suddenly felt guilty about the financial burden it placed on the Rockaways. No, the toll was stopped because it was deemed illegal. It wasn’t sympathy that determined the change, it was law.

So now the toll is back, and the people are upset. And with good reason; If the toll was illegal several years ago, what changed to make it legal today? Legal matters belong in courts, with lawyers and judges. Not on bridges, with banners and speeches.

Were the banners and speeches on the bridge that night supposed to move the MTA to pity? Yeah, well, good luck. Maybe they should be directed at the powers that control and enforce the laws of the land. After all, isn’t that essentially what politicians are paid to do; uphold the constitution, the law of the land?

Look, the people of Rockaway do not need Weiner’s and Pheffer’s sympathy. What they do need is their legal expertise and their power to seriously challenge and hopefully stop what could be the extortion of a community they swore to protect. And if the bridge toll has been determined legal, then the politicians should just say so, and tell the people means of travel that will put a dent in the MTA’s treasury.

So, please, enough groveling at the palace gate, enough of these pathetic mass appeals for mercy from greedy toll takers.

For once, let’s try to keep emotion out of the fight. If Lew Simon wants to lead another rally, terrific. Let him lead it right to where the powers of change reside; the offices of Weiner and Pheffer, with banners that read, WE PAY YOU TO ENFORCE THE LAW! SO ENFORCE IT!! STOP THE HIGHWAYMEN!!!


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