To the editor:
I am writing to express my disappointment in our local legislators for accepting thousands of dollars in travel stipends, as detailed in The Eagle-Tribune’s Saturday story titled “Travel perks ease legislators’ commute.”
This issue is one which burns extra hot when I look at officials like Rep. Diana DiZoglio. Just last year Rep. DiZoglio told us that she believed that increasing the gas tax would hurt her constituents. Then after she told us she was opposed to such a tax hike, Rep. DiZoglio flip-flopped and voted to increase these taxes. It is disgusting to now read that she has requested and received $2,470 in travel reimbursements, on top of her annual salary of over $60,000. I suppose Rep. DiZoglio doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of her flip-flop on increasing the gas tax, as she expects us to subsidize her travels -- taxes and all. We live in a state that compensates legislators for full-time work.
Here in the Merrimack Valley our representatives run for office fully understanding that they’re expected to drive to Boston to do their job. The commute to Boston is one which local legislators share with countless residents from greater Methuen -- residents who are not reimbursed for their travel.
Kudos to those area legislators, including our state senator, for not taking these payments. And shame on Rep. DiZoglio and others for their sense of entitlement. It’s reading stories like this that leaves residents feeling jaded and cynical about our government and the officials we elect. I know voters will have their first chance to send a message in the Democratic Primary on Sept. 9, and I ask that Merrimack Valley voters say “no” to flip-flopping, and “no” to self-serving interests. We in the Merrimack Valley deserve better.