Though the fight to lower the toll costs of Brooklynites crossing the Verrazano may be an important one, another fight has broken out between Senator Martin Golden and Andrew Gounardes, the Democrat vying for his seat.
In a June 28 release from Gounardes’ camp regarding the announced relief for Staten Islanders crossing the Goethals, he wrote:
These significant savings came about because Staten Island legislators worked with Governor Cuomo and the Port Authority. They came up with a plan, lobbied for it and made it happen. What they did took hard work and creativity. But most of all it took leadership. Bay Ridge residents may now rightly ask “What about us?” Well unfortunately the answer is that we don’t have any chance at a similar deal if Senator Golden is asleep at the wheel. The lesson here is that you can’t accomplish anything if you don’t try.
Later, Golden came out with a statement supporting a relief for Brooklyn drivers.
The discount proposal slashes the price for enrolled E-Z Pass users with non-commercial plates to $4.75 per trip for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge after three trips in one calendar month.
Upon Golden’s announcement, Gounardes shot back by “welcoming” Golden to the fight for toll relief on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge.
Boys, can’t we just play nice and fight for the toll relief together? Afterall, $13 one-way is a lot of lunch money.
UPDATE (4:40 p.m.): Well, looks like boys will be boys… will be boys.
Councilman Gentile just threw his hat into the “who said it first” ring, with his spokesperson sending us an e-mail noting, “Actually… Councilman Gentile was first ;)”
Attached to the e-mail was a press release from Gentile’s office dated June 28, the same date as Gounardes’, noting that the councilman sent a letter to MTA Bridge and Tunnels President James Ferrara demanding the discount.
Still, fellas, can’t we all just get along? If you can’t play nice, we’re going to burn that bridge to the ground and then no one gets to go to Staten Island. Wait, that also means Staten Islanders can’t get here. This idea is getting better and better…
UPDATE (7/20/2012 at 1:00 p.m.): Now Assemblywoman Malliotakis weighs in, telling the boys to behave. Oh, and that Gounardes has his facts wrong.