Allan Fung: “Please Join Me Once Again as I Embark on This Journey to Bring Cranston Back and Make it a Place Where Dreams Come True”
Allan Fung, former Cranston citywide Councilman who lost a 2006 Mayoral bid to current mayor Michael Napolitano by less than 100 votes, announced last evening his intention to run for Mayor of Cranston again this year; here are a few excerpts from his announcement address…
Tonight, we stand here two years and a world apart from where Cranston was when I first announced my candidacy for Mayor two years ago. After serving on the City Council for four years, Cranston was headed in the right direction. The city was recovering from years of fiscal mismanagement, including having the lowest bond rating in the nation. I was proud to have been part of the team who worked to turn Cranston around….I was hoping to be able to bill this as Alan Fung’s first official interview after announcing his candidacy, but the Channel 12 guys got across the room before I did, so here is the question I asked former Councilman Fung during his second official interview after announcing his candidacy…
Our city has suffered two years of broken promises. It is easy to shake hands and walk door-to-door telling people what they want to hear. Politicians who lack the basic knowledge of municipal finance believe that short-term fixes are enough. The current Mayor promised tax-relief at his campaign kick-off. Instead, Cranston residents were faced last year with the maximum tax increase allowed by state law after inheriting a city with a balanced budget, increased funding of the city’s pension plan, and approval of three affordable labor agreements. This was the largest tax-increase that residents faced since the time when Cranston was merely days away from declaring bankruptcy. The Mayor’s maximum tax-hike was uncalled for and was a betrayal of you, the taxpayer….
Mayor Napolitano’s tax freeze budget this year is merely an election year trick, the same kind of trick that former Mayor O’Leary played on the voters of Cranston. Mayor Napolitano proposes to use a portion of the Rainy Day Fund in his budget while ignoring the multi-million dollar deficit that the City’s schools are accumulating. Because the Mayor refuses to make real changes in how we operate, he will either raise taxes or spend substantially more of the Rainy Day Fund when the bills come due after the election. My friends, our City’s future is in jeopardy as this Mayor makes decisions based on his own selfish political ambitions….
In these stormy times, Cranston needs a strong leader. It needs a leader who realizes that empty promises may win votes for a candidate, but do not result in a win for the people of Cranston. I will continue to tell you the truth as we move forward. I have the track record of being conservative with your money. During my tenure on the City Council, we ratified three reasonable labor contracts, ensured audits were completed on time, controlled expenses and ran surpluses that helped replenish the Rainy Day Fund. Together, we can stand up for the taxpayers of our great city….
So ladies and gentlemen, please join me once again as I embark on this journey to bring Cranston back and make it a place where dreams can come true…I am ready to take on that challenge — and ask you tonight once again to believe in me and join me in facing the challenge. Together, let us lead our city back to greatness.
Anchor Rising: Forgive me for using the wimpy formulation of this question; some people say that the problem with Rhode Island is that even though everybody knows what the problems are, Rhode Islanders keep sending the same politicians back into office who won’t do anything about them. You have more direct experience with that than anyone. What’s different about Cranston and/or about your campaign that’s going to make things different this time?
Allan Fung: You know, my biggest platform plank is being honest with the taxpayers. I think they are frustrated with the broken promises they keep hearing year after year from the same politicians. I’ve always been forthright with them about where our city has been and where it’s going, and during these next six months, I am going to be laying out my plan to get the city back on the right track, to make sure that Cranston is on sound financial footing, not only for the short term, but for the long term future.