Question #1 for David Cicilline on the Category 5 That’s Hit Providence
In recent interviews with Scott MacKay of WRNI (1290AM) and Alisha Pina of the Projo, and in material available on the City of Providence website, David Cicilline claimed that he reduced costs by eliminating 445 positions in Providence government during his tenure as mayor.
However, the city’s most recent “Comprehensive Annual Financial Report” presents different numbers. Measured between June 30, 2002 (the last data point available in the report from before Mayor Cicilline took office) and June 30, 2010, only 222 full-time equivalents were eliminated. Measured between June 30, 2003 (where the baseline figure would include half of Mayor Cicilline’s first term) and June 30, 2010, 247 full-time equivalents were eliminated. How should the official figures be reconciled with Congressman Cicilline’s claim that 445 positions have been eliminated?
In addition, also according to the numbers in the comprehensive financial report, the reduction in total number full-time equivalents that occurred during the Cicilline administration occurred solely within the school department. Measured between 2003 and 2010, 278 full-time equivalents were eliminated from the school department, while 31 full-time equivalents were added to the municipal departments. Does the choice by Congressman Cicilline to use the number of city positions as a metric of fiscal and managerial responsibility, along with the actual changes in FTEs, reflect a belief on his part that the City of Providence’s fiscal issues are primarily with the school-side of the budget, while the municipal side has been running at near-optimal efficiency?
Table: City of Providence Rhode Island, full-time equivalent employees as of June 30 of each year. Source: City of Providence, Rhode Island, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2010. Page 85.
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