Signature Coverage of Jon Scott, Independent Candidate for Mayor of Providence
Jon Scott is running for Mayor of Providence, an office that is open in this election cycle due to current Mayor David Cicilline’s decision to run for Congress…
Anchor Rising: You can make the case that the job of city mayor involves a more intense combination of the administrative aspect of governance and the pulling-people together aspect of governance than does any other political office. How would you say the current occupant of the Providence Mayor’s Office has done in these areas?
Providence Mayoral Candidate Jon Scott: “City politics, it’s very much in tune with the people. It’s very much in touch with the people. The people understand that, if the stoplight at the end of their street doesn’t work, they call the Mayor’s office and the Mayor makes the stoplight work…” (Audio: 0 min 40 sec)
“But this really, all of the sudden, has become a 30,000-foot job. It has become about 50 million dollars in budget deficit next year, and 100 million in the next year [after]. It’s become about 556 million dollars in bond liability. It’s become about 108 million dollars in unfunded pension liability. We are talking about a city that’s in debt, almost a billion dollars…” (Audio: 1 min 15 sec)
“…the operational part [done by the current Mayor] has been poor, but the big part for him is the 30,000 foot-level that has been poor. Everything he does, he does in the background…” (Audio: 0 min 52 sec)
AR: Speaking of everyone have input into making decisions, on your website is a proposal for changing Providence to having an elected school committee. Would you like to talk about that a bit?
JS: “Having a school committee that’s appointed by the Mayor does a couple things very well. It allows the administration to move very quickly. That’s a good thing if in fact we are doing that. But we’ve had status quo, for so long, that we’re just kind of floundering out there…we have schools where rain is dropping through the roof onto classrooms. I don’t care how good teachers are or how bad teachers are, let’s not even get into that, a kid can’t learn if rain is dropping on his head…” (Audio: 1 min 1 sec)
“Now an elected school committee, on the other hand, answers to the people, it doesn’t answer to the Mayor. And that, in this city, is a big bonus. School committees, ultimately, should answer to the constituency, the parents. We wonder why parents aren’t involved. Well, parents aren’t involved because it’s so far removed from them, the process is so far removed from them, that they feel like they have no say…” (Audio: 1 min 17 sec)