Local leaders react to the end of the Crescent City Connection t - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Local leaders react to the end of the Crescent City Connection tolls


New Orleans, LA -- Voters from Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes sent a message loud and clear. They do not want to pay one dollar for the Crescent City tolls anymore.

In Saturday's controversial election nearly 76,000 voters said no to renewing the bridge tolls with more than 22,000 voting to renew the tax for another 20 years.

City Council Woman, Jackie Clarkson fears the worst of what's to come for motorists who travel across the Crescent City Connection.

Attorney for "Stop the Tolls," Patrick Hand believes the defeat sends a message that voters were frustrated with what he says is the mis-management of the $20,000,000 in toll revenue.

"Means we don't have to pay this unfair tax anymore. I think it's great. It's great for the city, it's great for the West Bank. It's great for all of us citizens who have been triple-taxed for 24 years. No more discrimination," says Hand.

But Clarkson, a proponent for the tolls, says she knew when a Baton Rouge judge threw out the previous election results that it would not pass a second time around.

"Yes, there is money in Baton Rouge for us, but we get in line behind other bridges and I've been there with the highway fund," says Clarkson.

 "You have nineteen cents on every dollar so the money is coming from the same place its always come from. The money is there. They want us to believe that it's not there because the tolls are gone that's not true the money is there," says Hand.

"Structural maintenance is my biggest fear," says Clarkson.

"The lights are not going to go out. If they do it's a disgrace. The fact that the turned them out a month or two months ago was disgraceful, and I think that was a catalyst for our victory yesterday," says Hand.

But Clarkson says voters can expect to feel the effects of what's to come immediately.

"I want the voters to hold the people that represented the no tolls responsible. I want them to hold those political leaders responsible for making sure that bridge is maintained lighted and policed," says City Council Woman, Jackie Clarkson.

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