I write this belated response to an editorial published in early summer titled ''Real world passes by on turnpike," on May 29.
This article cites a retiring turnpike employee who received $110,000 separation payment and also mentioned toll collectors who, they claim, average $63,000 per year.
This piece contained so much inaccurate and misleading information that I really do not know where to begin, but will start by stating that the retiring employee was not a toll collector at all, but the turnpike's chief engineer, Dan Castrigano, in a position managing 500 workers and overseeing road projects averaging $80 million a year.
It is obvious the editorial's intent was to portray a toll collector as a greedy, overpaid public employee living the good life on the backs of taxpayers, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.
The turnpike functions just like any enterprise in the private sector. Wages and benefits are paid from fares collected from commercial and private vehicles traveling the toll road. Although overseen by a state appointed commission, it receives no tax dollars.
I am a toll collector with more than 20 years of full-time experience. I have never made $63,000 per year, let alone average that amount. I pay for my own health care, as I have for several years and, not to denigrate any honest work, I would respond to the writer's comparison of working in a toll booth to that of a parking lot attendant by inviting the writer to spend a day in my "office." I am confident he or she would come away with a totally different take.
An editorial is, by definition, an opinion piece based on factual, objective information. This particular piece, however, was full of misinformation, misleading information, and the omission of pertinent information.
Your readers deserve much better.
-- Chris Crowe, Canfield