An Audit of Popularity
More news today about Providence’s finances under Mayor David Cicilline:
At the time, Mayor David N. Cicilline, who was a candidate for election to Congress, vehemently denied the finding. He insisted about $30 million remained in the accounts, and charged that Lombardi was playing politics. The audit, by Braver Accountants and Advisers, of Providence, said $3.46 million was left. …
“Because of the popularity of the previous administration, no one was willing to listen to the truth,” [City Council Finance Committee Chairman John] Igliozzi declared. Cicilline and his forces “were extremely successful with their political spin machine.”
Asked why the council did not do more to head off the problem, Igliozzi said part-time council members found it hard to cope with what he called deception by Cicilline and his top aides and were obliged to acquiesce to questionable labor deals and budgets despite their vocal misgivings.
Whether the accusation concerns a narrow act or a broad state of affairs, we have to acknowledge that Cicilline was only the symptom of the problem. Everybody, from the Providence Journal to politicos to voters failed the city. Too many people put something else too far above good governance — whether it’s the ideology of the media, the personal greed of unions, the eagerness of social activists, or what have you. They wanted Cicilline to succeed, and so, as the article begins, nobody cared, even though “the watchdog was barking.”
Everything that we’re hearing, right now, is so much tail covering, all of it likely to be forgotten by the time the next election rolls around and Cicilline has to stand before the voters once again.