Not the Way to Run a City… or a City-State

At this point in our decline, every public official should have a policy of zero increase. This is simply irresponsible:

Mayor David N. Cicilline is facing criticism this week for a one-time payment of retroactive raises to five current and former high-ranking police officers — over the objections of the City Council — and for his plan to merge the parks and recreation departments.
Cicilline’s administration last month made payments ranging from $14,400 to more than $20,000 to two majors, two retired majors and Deputy Chief Paul J. Kennedy, for time worked from Jan. 1, 2006 to July 1, 2008. …
According to the mayor’s chief of administration, Richard I. Kerbel, the retroactive pay for the nonunion officers matches retroactive pay awarded to police union members in arbitration over the last fiscal year and will be paid out of a reserve account for union arbitrations.

It exists everywhere, but the tendency toward battles of ego and plays of power (on both sides) is particularly acute in Rhode Island. One can picture the mayor telling his employees, “Don’t worry, you’ll get yours.” If he wants to make a stand against the unions, that’s wonderful, but the passive aggressive skirmish along the road will make it more difficult to achieve substantive goals on the next battlefield.

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