July 20, 2006

Cranston Mayoral Candidate Interview: Allan Fung

Don Roach

Cranston mayoral candidate, City Councilman Allan Fung, answered a few questions regarding the past, present, and future of Cranston:

1. What do you feel is THE major issue facing Cranston, and how do you propose to solve it?

Taxes are the priority issue in Cranston, and my goal is to make the city more affordable. I have a two part plan to achieve that goal. First, we need to get contractual benefits in line with the private sector. As a lawyer working for a Fortune 100 company, I honed my negotiating skills in the halls of corporate America. I will use my legal and business skills to negotiate contacts that are fair and responsible to the taxpayers. For instance, the city cannot afford free healthcare any longer. We need contracts that are not only fair to our hard-working employees but are fair and affordable to the taxpayers, as well. With fairer contracts, this should bring more stability to the budgeting process.

Second, I want to continue to develop Cranston’s economy. Our city has a good mix of professional offices, retail stores, manufacturers, and a vibrant food service industry. I want to continue to expand our business base by attracting more professional jobs to our city. I plan to use my contacts in the financial services industry to attract these jobs to Cranston.

2. Your campaign slogan, Forward with Fung, what exactly does that mean?

I rolled up my sleeves when I first got on the council during the fiscal crisis and we had to make many unpopular decisions to right a ship that was steering into financial bankruptcy. Cranston is back on track and out of junk bond status. But we still have many financial issues to tackle, including a large unfunded pension liability. The city cannot afford to go backwards and put back into place people that helped steer our municipality into disaster. I intend to move it forward and in the right direction toward long term fiscal stability. I plan to continue the same conservative fiscal principles that we have been using these past four years to help right the city.

3. Do you believe that shortfalls will continue for the school budget? If so, why, and what can be done to fix the problem?

The school budget is approximately 55% of the entire city's budget, and it must be closely scrutinized. Every year the budget is increasing, but it is a constant struggle to get adequate funding from the state. Thus, it keeps falling back to the taxpayers. I plan to work with and have an ongoing dialogue with the new school administration and school committee members to monitor the budget on a constant basis. I will also push for timely audits, including performance audits, as it will provide a good picture into our school system, its fiscal health, and its performance. Also, I will push for the repeal of numerous unfunded mandates at the state level.

4. What inspired you to enter politics?

I entered politics because I was angry at the politicians that were in office who caused a financial disaster of enormous proportions in the third largest city in RI. I love Cranston, as it is the home for myself and my family. I wanted to use my legal and business skills to help turn the city around, and I am glad that I had the courage to run, win, and get Cranston back on track.

5. If you are elected, what do you hope will be your lasting impact on Cranston?

I hope to ensure that Cranston is on sound financial footing for not only the short term, but also into the distant future. Elected officials must be cognizant of the long term ramifications of the decisions that they make in the present.

Fung has been campaigning since he announced his candidacy in March. Some say he started too early and had no need because he's already a recognizable figure in Cranston politics. However, I believe it speaks to Fung's passion for politics, which clearly comes across in his responses to questions posed to him.

(Cross posted with Converse It!)

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I like Allan Fung.

He is smart and has the experience to continue the historic turnaround in Cranston.

Napolitano is Trafs boy/puppet. I hear he even got an endorsement from John "I have no idea what I am doing. What rainy day fund?" O'Leary. These people must not be allowed back into City Hall. 1800 signs does not get this guy a victory. The people will see right through this scam just like the Gary Reilly debacle.

Laffey was the agent of change and fixed a broken city. Fung worked hand in hand with the Mayor and is just the guy to continue the process of rebuilding.

J Mahn

PS. Cindy Fogarty doesn't stand a chance. Quit now honey before you waste any more of Aram Garabedian's money.

Posted by: Joe Mahn at July 20, 2006 9:58 PM

Fung will have his hands full if he wins the election as I think Cranston will be facing some serious issues for at least the next few years.

He does look to be the best candidate in the Cranston mayoral race.

Posted by: Anthony at July 20, 2006 11:05 PM

I want to know how Allen Fung got my email address. The only political website I was on the email list of was Laffey's and I asked him to take me off it. I am guessing that instead, he gave the whole list to Fung.

Just for sending me spam, I'm not supporting him.

Posted by: Greg at July 21, 2006 10:59 AM

Not surprised, Greg.
I just wonder if Fung might be well advised to distance himself from Laffey a tad. If the Dems still control the council, it's obvious Laffey doesn;t have coattails.

Posted by: Rhody at July 21, 2006 11:13 AM

Forward with Fung indeed. I don't think that there is a better local candidate out there than Allan Fung. He is honest, determined, and has real leadership. I don't know if Fung has higher office on his mind, but he would be a great standard bearer for our state.

Posted by: johnb at July 21, 2006 11:46 AM

Allan believes in the policies that Laffey has put forth; however he is a much different man than Laffey. He stands up for the tax payers, and as a result will be stern when needed. At the same time, though, Allan is fair, honest and compassionate and extremely humble.

Posted by: Sean at July 21, 2006 2:42 PM

If what you're saying is true, Fung should a have a long career in politics and may very well be the "real thing" in terms of an electable RI conservate.

Posted by: Anthony at July 22, 2006 4:53 PM

napalatano is just a lackey for traf..who by the way is a democrat now.

all his sign locations are old traf locations.

he will set the city back to the oleary days

Posted by: daveofri1 at July 23, 2006 8:51 PM

napalatano is just a lackey for traf..who by the way is a democrat now.

all his sign locations are old traf locations.

he will set the city back to the oleary days

Posted by: daveofri1 at July 23, 2006 8:51 PM

We certainly need to keep Traf's Trash out of City Hall. Fung will win.

Posted by: Mike at July 24, 2006 12:01 PM