Abstract Consolidation Polls Well in RI, but….
According to the new Brown U. poll:
Gov. Carcieri has proposed a high-powered commission to study the feasibility of consolidating or regionalizing public services, like education, public safety, and other municipal services. The argument is that there is too much duplication of services among the state’s 39 municipalities. Do you agree or disagree the following services should be consolidated?
Q32. School Administration? Agree 64.3%; Disagree 25.3%; DK/NA 10.4%
Q33. Police? Agree 51.1%; Disagree 37.8%; DK/NA 11.1%
Q34. Fire? Agree 54.8%; Disagree 34.6%; DK/NA 10.6%
Q35. Public Works? Agree 69.2%; Disagree 20.8%; DK/NA 10.0
Q36. All Services? Agree 53.0%; Disagree 33.7%; DK/NA 13.3
However, as pollster Victor Profughi (he didn’t do the Brown poll–ed.) stated on the John DePetro Show this AM, how many would approve of consolidation when it is their school/police/fire department being streamlined? It sounds good in the abstract, but how will the neighbors feel when the fire station across the street gets consolidated with another a couple miles away? Or two half-filled neighborhood schools get split up and the kids spread around to 4 or 5 schools? That’s what real consolidation means–and it’s done all the time in the rest of the country–but I’m not so sure Rhode Islanders are ready to embrace that kind of change when it happens on their doorstep.