When we first learned the details of the public-private partnership that would create the tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels, many Portsmouth residents took immediate action to organize opposition to the proposed tolls. We all recognized that any toll, no matter the cost, would devastate Portsmouth's economy and well-being.
At the same time we were organizing opposition to this agreement, Mayor Kenny Wright sent a letter
to the Department of Transportation stating, "We in Portsmouth have long supported the project." Mayor Wright claimed the tolls were "necessary" and urged Secretary Ray LaHood to "favorably support" the agreement so it could move forward as quickly as possible.
While Mayor Wright sent this letter in an attempt to lower the cost of the project, he inadvertently conceded the very point at the heart of the anti-tolls movement: that these tolls are an unconstitutional tax levied by an un-elected organization. By characterizing the tolls as "necessary," in a letter he wrote, "on behalf to the citizens of Portsmouth," Mayor Wright effectively gave the public-private partnership his blessing of approval.
Every Portsmouth resident that opposes the tolls needs to demand Mayor Kenny Wright rescind this letter and his tacit support of the tolls! So long as our leaders in Richmond and Washington believe Portsmouth residents support the tolls, they will never take action to abolish them. Please share this petition with your friends and, together, we will hold Mayor Wright accountable!