He’s Been Gone Less Than Six Months But Cicilline’s Raise to the Firefighters is Already Up in Smoke. (How’s the Obstruction of the City Auditor Turning Out, Congressman?)
First, former Providence Mayor David Cicilline spent seven years carrying out the charade that he was being tough on the contract demands of the Providence firefighters so that he could falsely claim the title of Champion of the Taxpayer.
Then, as the end of his second term approached and it became clear that the lack of a contract would interfere with the political promotion that he badly wanted, he settled with them quicker than you could say “fiduciary responsibility”.
The new contract included a phased in retroactive pay increase of 3%. Now, Mayor Angel Taveras, struggling mightily with a hefty budget deficit, has announced that unless the city can reduce the fire department’s budget by $6 million – which apparently equates to the amount of the raise and other consideration in the contract – one hundred firefighters will be laid off. (WPRO’s Buddy Cianci broke the news this afternoon.)
Once again, the former mayor’s misrepresentations about the fiscal condition of the city have been resoundingly disproven, this time to the detriment of a group – public labor – that he purportedly champions. How did it help them to reach a contract that has turned out to be financially unsound?
And once again, Congressman, you are learning that it wasn’t such a good idea to obstruct the city Auditor. If you had had accurate numbers as to the financial condition of the city rather than the willful vacuum of information that permitted you to make cheery (false) campaign statements, perhaps you would not have negotiated a contract founded in shifting sand.