With the Goethals and Bayonne and Outerbridge tolls rising from $8.00 to $12.00 for commuters paying cash, you would think there would be rioting on the streets, protests and traffic barricades to show our anger towards this unfair additional tax on our borough. I am surprised that commuters haven't come over the bridge in masses and shut their cars off in unison in the middle of these bridges, but no, instead we quietly and reluctantly pay these ridiculous fees. The politicians have no fear. Don't worry Staten Island will pay. They know we have to.  What other choice do we have.

The real question is, other than deciding who we should elect next time we vote, what have we learned from this? This is what comes to mind for me. Staten Island is too dependent on our bridges, our politicization and our jobs in other boroughs.

The entrepreneurs on the Island need to capitalize on this by making it easier for Staten Islanders to do most of their buying, living and working on our Island. We are fools if we don't make the Island more efficient for our residents. We are only rewarding the entities that penalize us. Working on the issue helps us save money on tolls, gas and time.

Business Owners

Make signs that encourage people to buy on Staten Island. Use phrases like “Avoid The Toll” , “Support Local Business” and  “Support Staten Island Businesses”. Thank your customers for keeping their purchases on Staten Island. Put a sign at the exit letting them know they saved $12.00 by staying  in Staten Island.

Consumers

Consumers need to do their part too. We know there are certain advantages to buying certain things in NJ or the other boroughs but every time you do it costs a local business in Staten island  something. This creates a chain reaction because lower demand locally creates more expense per product sold because small local business doesn't have the same resources to cut expenses as the big chains.  You as the consumer loses quality of service over time or cost efficiencies that create savings here on Staten Island. As a consumer you need to be conscious of this. At the same time you should be supporting small business of the chain stores but that's another argument.

Workers

Make a conscious choice for quality of life. Try to work on Staten Island. Have more free time because you'll commute less. Transportation and food costs will normally go down. Living and working on the Island creates all kinds of efficiency for you.

It's fun to live and work on Staten Island. I used to be a commuter. I spent too much of my time on the road, paying tolls and for tankfuls of gas. I enjoy working a few blocks from my office and serving the Staten Island Community. I take pride in creating more jobs on Staten Island and helping my employees to make their wages right here where they can spend it. Every commuter we have that goes to Manhattan to work usually pays two tolls, gas and car expenses. They probably buy breakfast lunch or dinner in that borough and also shop there during some of their free time. Let's try to keep more of our business on Staten Island. It's great for all of us.