As the executive officer of the Chamber of Commerce I have to state how disappointed the Chamber was this morning to see the Bristol Press editorial staff endorsing a Busway project that is out of control with costs and will provide no tangible benefit to Bristol or any of the communities that make up the Central Connecticut Chambers. Since saving the Press and Herald from the “mouth” of bankruptcy the paper’s management has repeatedly told the Chamber that they were going to “completely change the newspaper” and that coverage of Bristol and the Bristol region would be better than ever. Evidence of this change has been minimal at best. The Busway issue provided maybe the greatest opportunity for a breakout from the status quo and leap into a new day. The Press editorial board missed the opportunity. They could have worked hand in hand with the two largest communities of Bristol and New Britain to push our federal leaders to adapt to the changing environment and work with us to evolve the limited and costly Busway project into transit solution that could service hundreds of thousands of residents providing a bidirectional rail solution to New York and Hartford with the potential in future to service Bradley International and Boston. Instead they chose to protect that status quo. Instead of demanding to know why this project is in reality a 60/40 (new federal money/state) split and not the 80/20 that we have been told all along that it was they stayed silent. Instead of leading, they chose to follow. If we are going to change the future of our region we need to be happily accused of being “dreamers” and we need to fight to reverse ridiculous bureaucracy that works to force through bad ideas simply because they’re “too far along.” We have to work by the adage that “good enough is not good enough.” This was the opportunity to make that statement and they just plain missed it.
Michael D. Nicastro
President & Chief Executive Officer
Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce/
Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce
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