June 1, 2012

Cicilline a Winner?

Patrick Laverty

In this week's Hot or Not by Dan McGowan, one stuck out at me as a little bit surprising. It's the logic of it that surprises me. I don't blame McGowan for the logic, I think he's just writing what the voters might think.

The Congressman also benefits from the fact that the “B” word will likely no longer be used when describing the capital city.
Agreed that without Mayor Angel Taveras throwing around the possibility of the city going into bankruptcy, or worse, the city actually going into bankruptcy does take a little pressure off of Cicilline during the campaign. But is that deserved? Look at it this way, Governor Sundlun guided the state out of the banking crisis. So does that mean that Ed DiPrete is exonerated?
David Cicilline has said that he inherited a finanically troubled city when he became Mayor. Angel Taveras has been the mayor of Providence for less than two years. Why was Taveras able to improve the financial health of the city in less than two years, yet Cicilline was unable to make it better, or seemingly make it worse, in his eight years, as Helen Glover noted on the radio this morning? How can you mess up a city's finances, hide that fact, then have someone else come in and at least improve the situation and then be considered a winner?

Being a good Democrat, Mayor Taveras might be stumping for Cicilline this summer. But if there is a time that they share the dais, I'd love for a reporter ask either man why Cicilline should deserve any credit for Providence avoiding bankruptcy. After all, it's not like we ever saw Sundlun and DiPrete campaigning together.

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I can see his canned response to questions now, "Bankruptcy? What bankruptcy?"

Posted by: Max D at June 1, 2012 11:12 AM

"Why was Taveras able to improve the financial health of the city in less than two years, yet Cicilline was unable to make it better, or seemingly make it worse, in his eight years?"

That's simply false to suggest that Cicilline made the financial situation of Providence worse during his time as mayor. Could he have done more? Perhaps, but to say that, minimizes the significance of the crisis that occurred in the Providence housing market and assumes that the mayor should have information no one could have had at the time. I think many of us hoped that battening the hatches would be enough to ride out the storm.

That's on top of the Carcieri cuts in aid to cities and towns, the impact of which are still cascading across the state. If Providence were alone in these problems, you might make the case that Cicilline was to blame, but that's to ignore reality.

I think you folks also conveniently forget that Cicilline proposed legislation that would have imposed a $150 impact fee on students attending the city’s colleges and universities and proposed taxing nonprofits up to 25 percent of the assessed value. The time simply wasn't right. Let's not forget that the voluntary annual PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) which was recently increased was created by the former, not the current mayor.

Chalk this one up to election year sniping.

Posted by: Russ at June 1, 2012 1:01 PM

Hey Russ-Carcieri didn't cut a dime in state aid. That was done by the 90% one party Assembley. The party you vote for. Tommy Slater did it. Edie Ajiello did it. Rhoda Perry, Frank Ferri, Art Handy, Teresa Tanzi, Scott Guthrie did it.
One party did it Russ.
One party controls the GA.
Your party.
The same party that made workers toil till 67, enacted the so-called "tax cuts for the rich", shot down the meals tax and ended (turns out a deal WASN'T a deal) the COLA's for a generation and crushed homosexual marriage like a bug.
Your party Russ. How do you like it?

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at June 1, 2012 1:49 PM

No excuses Russ. At the risk of giving Taveras too much credit, if Cicilline tried half of what Taveras did he would have never been elected to Congress and he knew it. Instead he chose to kiss the fire fighter's ass and lie about everything else. He hasn't the fortitude to do the right thing.

Posted by: Max D at June 1, 2012 3:09 PM

TC, true the GA shares the blame but it's fair enough to say that was the Carcieri plan. As for how I like it? Not so much. I wouldn't vote for most of those folks.

As for the firefighters, the deal signed saved $16 million and required them to share in their healthcare costs for the first time. An agreement that came at the end of one of the longest labor disputes in state history. Usually it's some on the left that faults him for that one.

Posted by: Russ at June 1, 2012 3:47 PM

"Carcieri didn't cut a dime in state aid. That was done by the 90% one party Assembley."

Thank you. If they didn't want to do it, it wouldn't have been done.

"Instead he chose to kiss the fire fighter's *ss"

... well, after a seven year, six month charade entitled "Look-How-Tough-I'm-Being-On-The-Firefighters".

" and lie about everything else"

Not just lie - lie AND cover up by locking out the Internal Auditor so he couldn't contradict David Cicilline's politically motivated lie about the city being in "excellent fiscal condition" with actual numbers.

Posted by: Monique at June 1, 2012 9:30 PM

Before you all congratulate Taveras, remember that Brown University and Brown's alum Gilbane took him for a ride -- big time -- and really screwed College Hill. The construction cranes are firing up their engines to transform College Hill for the worse as we know it. Someone acting for the city had way too much to drink when they negotiated that deal, and you know the smarter people from Brown were sipping only soft drinks.

Posted by: Bill at June 1, 2012 10:25 PM
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