Don’t Take Your Guns to the Tolls

1204122490Until now, our favorite wise-cracking head of a Massachusetts institution was outgoing Boston Public Library President Bernard Margolis. But when we found today’s Herald screaming PISTOL PACKING AT THE PIKE, we thought the quote about the “wild west show” was a creation of the paper’s brilliant headline writers.

But no. It was from the mouth of our new favorite wise-cracking public official, Turnpike Chairman Alan LeBovidge.

It seems that those gruff individuals who take your money at Pike tollbooths were packing heat. LeBovidge stripped the workers of their firearms after he found out they hadn’t undergone police training to teach them how to properly handle a the gun in an emergency.

“I didn’t want to have a wild west show out there,” said Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Executive Director Alan LeBovidge[.]

Sure, it may not be up to the level of calling Mayor Tom Menino an anti-intellectual dictator like Margolis did, but LeBovidge also got in on the dictator jokes at a meeting last week to discuss the Turnpike Authority’s dismal financial situation.

LeBovidge compared the Pike’s bureaucrats to psychologically damaged citizens living under “dictatorship” and “absolute monarchy,” and said, “When I came here, I felt like a little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke.”

Perhaps the best thing about LeBovidge is that he inspires humor in politicians.

“It’s absurd,” said state Sen. Steve Baddour (D-Methuen). “The last time I saw a toll taker carrying a gun was when Sonny got blown away in ‘The Godfather.’ ”

Never has a potential threat to public safety been so funny. Well played, Chairman.