Can’t See the Jobs for the Tree Stumps

Gerry Goldstein reports in Thursday’s Valley Breeze that State Senator John Tassoni wants to kill the North Central State Airport.

But Tassoni, who represents some of Smithfield and North Smithfield, termed the airport “a thorn in Smithfield’s side” that generates no revenue for the town, is an eyesore because of extensive tree cutting there, and disturbs some residents with flight activity between 3 and 5 a.m.
“It looks like the Johnston landfill,” said Tassoni. “If I had my druthers, close it down, sell it, and develop it.” …
“You can’t leave it like that. You’re not going to attract good corporations the way it looks with all those tree stumps,” he said.

Discussion about the future of the North Central State Airport was sparked by EDC’s applause-worthy efforts to identify and catalogue “potential office and industrial sites” around Rhode Island.

[EDC Interim Executive Director of the EDC J. Michael] Saul said his agency is “very supportive” of North Central because it can help attract corporations to this part of the state, which he called a “sweet spot” for economic expansion and job creation. …
[The study] sees the Route 146 area as suitable for “manufacturing, selected warehousing, and small to medium offices, noting that “a large manufacturing facility with land is for sale (and) several parks are being developed.”

Note that this is the EDC’s list of potential manufacturing and business sites in Rhode Island, not the EDC’s Sightseeing Guide to Scenic Rhode Island. Corporate types flying in and out of North Central will be focused not on tree stumps or irrelevancies along the flight path but on business prospects and the attendant details. (This translates into jobs and a larger tax base on both the state and local level.) For the sake of his constituents and the state as a whole, Senator Tassoni may wish to broaden his field of vision correspondingly.

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Phil Hirons
Phil Hirons
11 years ago

Classic special interest politics. Sen Tassoni figures he can lock up the anti-airport folks in his district and will not lose many votes as most people are neutral on the subject. He did it with the people who hated the Smithfield dog pound. And of course the government employee unions.

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