June 25, 2009

When Negotiators Are Using Monopoly Money

Justin Katz

Think of the attitude expressed, here, by West Warwick School Committee Chairwoman Lindagay Palazzo:

"Regardless, whether we win or lose [their Caruolo lawsuit], the town is responsible for our bills," Palazzo said. "They're going to have to pay them anyway."

One wonders what effect that point of view has on Mrs. Palazzo's negotiation tactics. One also isn't surprised to learn that she just retired (PDF) from her $80k job (PDF) as a Clinical Training Specialist with Rhode Island College's Child Welfare Institute.

Being in the public sector tends to impart the belief that somebody else has to pick up every professional bill that public "servants" manage to rack up — the racking up of which seems to become their central goal.

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Which, unfortunately, is why Rhode Island desperately needs some municipal bankruptcies.

The addiction to taxpayer dollars won't end with any rehab short of some "cold turkey."

It shouldn't have to be this way, but the political leadership of this state - owned and operated by the unions - render it necessary.

Posted by: Tom W at June 25, 2009 11:15 AM

Ms. Palazzo is dead wrong. If the School Committee doesn't get all the money they need, they will have to take it out of their own budget. If there is no more money left, they will have to make cuts in next year's budget to pay it. Just like what's happening in East Providence. You blow the money, you take responsibility for it.

Posted by: bobc at June 25, 2009 12:51 PM

"Regardless, whether we win or lose [their Caruolo lawsuit], the town is responsible for our bills"

You are wrong, madam. Pursuant to Rhode Island law, the government body which establishes the amount of the school budget - how much will be spent on "your bills" - is the town council. The role of the school committee is limited to determing how that amount will be spent.

Your confusion, however, is understandable. For decades, many town/city councils around Rhode Island have allowed their school committee to set the budget, thereby abdicating their lawful responsibility. (This, of course, has led to Rhode Island having the seventh highest property taxes in the country.)

Posted by: Monique at June 25, 2009 8:20 PM
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