Revelation of Another (Alleged) Political Stick Up in North Providence
No frog march, though; unlike the other (alleged) stick up, this one failed.
With some … er, coaxing by Buddy Cianci, Mayor Charles Lombardi alleges (link currently broken) on ABC6 On the Record, to air this Sunday morning, that the RI Senate quashed the city’s request for a supplemental tax increase – an increase approved by the House and the Auditor General – because the mayor refused to re-appoint former Senate President Joseph Montalbano to a municipal judgeship.
Now, as it would be highly unusual if North Providence’s need for a supplemental tax did not arise out of decades of bad expenditure decisions at budget time (as opposed to a shortfall of revenue), I’m not going to pretend to be disappointed that North Providence taxpayers didn’t get a supplemental tax bill. At the same time, the levying of such a tax should not be ensnarled in completely unrelated (alleged) political extortion.
Additionally, how do North Providence municipal workers feel about their wages – okay, more accurately, their possible raises – being suppressed by (alleged) dirty work to benefit the former Senate president? I don’t claim to be a major ally of public labor but the Senate president purportedly was. Is this putting the working man first? It sounds more like maybe he was put second to a bigwig trying to keep a good gig.
Mike Stanton at the ProJo interviewed Mayor Lombardi today during which we learn that the current Senate president knows nothing (nothing) about what may have transpired between the mayor and a member of the body which she leads. We also gain a little insight as to why the former Senate president may have been anxious to be re-appointed to the North Providence municipal judgeship.
I was told that the general consensus down there (at the Senate) was that if Joe was reappointed, it would look good for his chances to become a state judge.