Nick Gorham, North Westconnaug Needs You!

The conventional wisdom is that Nick Gorham lost his seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives because of his support for regionalizing Exeter, Foster, Glocester, Scituate, West Greenwich and part of Coventry into a single town of Westconnaug, offending the delicate parochial sensibilities of his constitutents.
I wonder what Mr. Gorham’s former constituents from Foster think of former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino‘s plan, published in today’s Projo, to fold the town of Foster into a new Super-Providence…

The Providence County I envision would include Providence, East Providence, North Providence, Cranston, Johnston, Foster and Scituate — 36 percent of the state’s population at present, hardly enough to take over the state.
At least Mr. Paolino is more honest than most about his reasons for regionalization — Providence needs more tax money from other communities to fund city development…
Providence needs a much larger, growing tax base to launch additional renewal campaigns in the city.
Mr. Paolino also demonstrates the primary reason why people are rightly skeptical of municipal consolidation plans, with this section of his op-ed…
The new Providence County would be created by a “merger of equals,” rather than by an annexation of the other cities and towns by the capital city.
Why is “annexation” even being brought up in this context? Is Mr. Paolino suggesting, perhaps, that if you’re not from Providence you should agree to a regionalization plan, because Providence might just annex you anyway if you don’t do the right thing?
But if Joseph Paolino and others think that annexation of cities and town is a legitimate bargaining chip in the regionalization discussion, just think how they’re going to act towards those (former) cities and towns, when they have taxation and other formal powers over them!

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