Nesi: Providence Deficit Similar to Central Falls

Ted Nesi notes the similarity between the Central Falls and Providence deficits:

[Central Falls’] budget shortfall was also pegged at about 17% when it filed for receivership during its 2009-10 fiscal year. But because of its small size, the actual amount of Central Falls’ deficit was only $3 million – a rounding error compared with Providence’s $110 million gap.

Nesi asked RIPEC director John Simmons his take:

…Simmons cautioned against leaping to any conclusions based on this morning’s sketchy advisory, saying it’s impossible to really understand the Providence projections without knowing how the review panel defined “structural deficit.”
He also said the early numbers released by Central Falls when the city made its first, unilateral receivership filing probably understated its predicament.
Still, while Central Falls is significantly smaller than Providence, Simmons did see “common themes” between the two cities, notably a basic gap between money in and money out. But Providence is ”one of the engines of the economy activity, and having a structural balance in the capital city is important for the state as a whole,” he said.

As I tweeted to Nesi, “Remember: Simmons was Chief of Admin for Providence w/Cicilline before his new gig at RIPEC. Beware of self-serving spin.” Simmons replaced Gary Sasse at RIPEC after an initially rocky tenure as Chief of Administration for then-Mayor Cicilline. That doesn’t mean we should ignore or doubt Simmons off hand–he’s certainly got plenty of relevant experience to call upon. But it’s something to keep in mind.

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Bill
Bill
10 years ago

I would ignore whatever Simmons says regarding Providence’s finances.
Simmons is probably at least as guilty as Cicilline for the deceptive practices (to put it politely) that created this massive and unconscionable city deficit. In RI talk radio circles, Simmons is also imfamous for several smaller items, like his (“alleged”) registration of his car in Massachusetts (while living at the Regency apartments in Providence, and his (“alleged”) attempt to cash out with more money than he was entitled when he left Cicilline’s employ.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“But Providence is ”one of the engines of the economy activity, and having a structural balance in the capital city is important for the state as a whole,” ”
What does that mean??? That Providence has an obligation to the state to get its budget under control? Or that the state has an obligation to rescue Providence, regardless of cost?

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

That Providence has an obligation to the state to get its budget under control? Or that the state has an obligation to rescue Providence, regardless of cost?
Posted by Monique at March 2, 2011 5:05 PM
Come on now, you KNOW which one progressives mean.
LOL.

michael
michael
10 years ago

Hey! Somebody was looking for my book, googled “Rescuing Providence” and this came up!
Half of Providence is tax exempt. I wish I had time, I would get a big map, and color code the area, blackening the tax exempt property. Between the colleges, hospitals and “churches” there isn’t much left.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

Tommy:
Right. In that case, consider this a reminder that Option #1 is also on the table. Actually, in view of the $25 million/month that we already send to Providence and the noticeable absence of any excess revenue in the state budget, Option #1 is shaping up as pretty much the only route to take.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“Hey! Somebody was looking for my book, googled “Rescuing Providence” and this came up!”
Michael. Did that really happen?? Or is this a smart … er, sneaky way to promote your bestselling book (“Rescuing Providence”) and its upcoming sequel (“Night and Day” – sure to be a bestseller, too, as soon as the prospective publisher sees the light)?

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

LOL-Michael is a long time contributor here-why shouldn’t he market his book?
I met the reporter who wrote “The Prince of Providence”-he was covering a 10th Amendment rally-he looked like he had slept in an alley.
Real brilliant guy-he assumed that since I was there I also belonged to the Tea Party;that I hated the Federal government(I don’t);and that I was some kind of wild eyed radical running around in a militia.Gee,wrong again.
I wonder how much real research he did on Cianci?
Cianci has a book coming out.I plan reading it-some of the people who were after him were no angels themselves.
Why did Asst.US Attorney Richard Rose get away with violating a court order?
I know damn well I’d have been fired.
I also know some other things I won’t say here to spare the sensibilities of some folks who were hurt for no reason.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

I think some good investigative writer (Hummel?) should get an advance to write “The Princess of Providence”, covering the high misdeeds of you-know-who.

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

Joe – I got to know Rose through work a few years back. I don’t mean this as a racist statement as anyone here should know I don’t care about race, but it seemed like he was trying really hard to be the “angry black man” of the office. Always saying outrageous, unprofessional stuff, yelling, and deliberately falling into ebonics. He told me what his (very high) salary was without me asking. He definitely seemed like a pariah in that office. I don’t know if it was the Cianci thing that led to that kind of pathetic outcast behavior, or whether it’s just the way he is. Anyway, there would be obvious, uh, “ramifications” if somebody were to actually try to fire him. I think they have him doing a lot of BS outreach stuff now. Quarantine is probably the safest way to deal with him until he retires.

michael
michael
10 years ago

“Michael. Did that really happen?? Or is this a smart … er, sneaky way to promote your bestselling book (“Rescuing Providence”) and its upcoming sequel (“Night and Day” – sure to be a bestseller, too, as soon as the prospective publisher sees the light)?”
That is top secret information, just like the news that Night and Day is slated for publication in February of 2112, by Skyhorse Publishing, if we can ever get the contractual wrangling done.

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