Give ‘Em What They Want

Former Central Falls Mayor Thomas Lazieh has asked State Receiver Robert Flanders to leave his post in the city. State lawmakers have submitted a bill that will attempt to limit what a receiver can actually do.

City Council member Patrick J. Szlashta thanked citizens and elected officials for turning out Friday for a discussion of the city’s receivership and bankruptcy, then summed up why the council, which no longer has any power, was meeting:
“We’re trying to give the city back to you.”
About 40 people, some of them former city employees, such as former Police Chief Joseph Moran, filled the council chamber, lined the walls and stood in the back to support each other in calling on Governor Chafee to investigate receiver Robert G. Flanders and his chief of staff, Gayle Corrigan.

All the powers that be in the city, are now really pushing to have Flanders leave and let them self-govern yet again. Even state legislators are getting in on the act and doing what they can.

Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, D-Central Falls, said she would be willing to camp out at the door of the governor’s office if it would help the people of Central Falls get their city back.

This is all an interesting turn of events, especially since:

In 2010, the city’s mayor, Charles Moreau, requested the state appoint a receiver to assist with returning the municipality to financial viability

Let me see if I have this straight. The city was mismanaged for years. The city already doesn’t pay for it’s own school department, the taxpayers of the other 38 cities and towns assist in paying for that. The city, through its mayor, asked for the state to take over, but now they don’t like the decisions being made and want the city back and run it themselves. Is that about it?
Great. Give it to them. Let them have their city and let them run it. Give them their school department back, give them an amount of school funding that any other town would get with their demographics. Give them the same amount of state aid as any other town with their population and let them go. Let them continue on making the same decisions as they have in the past and electing the same people. But if they run the city into the ground again, let ’em go. Let people like Moreau, Crowley, Silva and McLaughlin sort it all out.

Crowley said she has heard other state senators say they’re “not going to give Central Falls another penny,”


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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

There is something “funny” about RI Reciever law, can’t say I have ever investigated it. I did get an explaination of how it was set up, and by who. Back in the 50’s as I recall. Unfortunately, I was distracted inthat conversation.
Check out the Boston Globe auction section with the Projo auctions, you will not see any reciever’s sales in the Globe. There is a recievership law in Mass., it lacks the “fluidity” of the RI law, and is never used.

10 years ago

“The city, through its mayor, asked for the state to take over,”
One small clarification: Central Falls’ solons asked to take their city into bankruptcy/receivership. They did not ask the state to take over. The G.A. then wrote a municipal receivership law which inserted – some would say gratuitously – the state into the receivership process, thereby usurping the power of the mayor and the council. (Thanks to Andrew Morse for explaining this a while ago.)
If you wanted to say: this and prior mayors and councils mucked up their city’s budget so bad, it had to go into bankruptcy, that would be pretty accurate.
The main point of the post, I agree with entirely. They can have their city back; we’ll happily keep our state aid in our pockets.

10 years ago

The funny thing about RI receivership law is how few people understand its use as a vehicle to transfer wealth from the debtor to the receiver (vs. majority of assets going to the benefit of creditors). Not in all RI receiverships, but enough.

10 years ago

“They can have their city back; we’ll happily keep our state aid in our pockets.”
That would basically mean that CF would collapse entirely. They would have to make a whole city government with a fraction of the resources.
As much as I appreciate the libertarian ideal, a Central Falls with two on-duty police officers, one fire truck, and auditorium-size classes would quickly devolve into a Mad Max scenario. This idea would change what is a dent on the state’s fiscal health to an actual physical threat to nearby neighborhoods.
CF needs to be merged with Pawtucket. Flanders should rip up the charter, send ALL the city workers home, and move the land under Pawtucket. I’ve already done the math, CF could be served ENTIRELY by Pawtucket’s existing government with little or no additional staff. The resulting addition of CF’s tax base would make Pawtucket 14-25% leaner. Basically, it would ‘fix’ both cities.

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