Keeping Taxpayers in the Dark
I hope everyone was able to keep safe and as warm as they could through the storm. The cleanup has begun, and even probably ended in many towns. However in some places, we hear about the plows’ inability to keep up and even still some people complaining that their road hasn’t seen a plow yet. For some great updates on cities like Pawtucket and North Providence, the Valley Breeze’s Ethan Shorey has been using his Twitter feed to report on conditions
Some of the more interesting tweets from Shorey included:
#Pawtucket resident just informed me that they’re hiring private plowing contractors so they can leave their homes.
Pawtucket’s cut a lot of staff since the last big snowy winter. In this case, I’m hearing lighter plows didn’t keep up during the day so they couldn’t get through later on. Shortage of big trucks.
Others were reporting that mayors of Pawtucket and Cranston were asking Governor Chafee for help with the snow removal in those cities.
These are the cities that had some of the most fiscal problems in the past, due to overly generous municipal compensation packages, and now they’re having trouble paying for snow removal? The answer is to ask the state to take state-funded trucks off state roads and put them in those towns to do the town’s snow removal?
To be clear, these are drivers and trucks that are paid for by people in all 39 cities and towns being sent to the couple of, at least previously, most fiscally irresponsible cities in the state.
Why does it seem like politicians are able to dodge a major awakening from their citizens just in time? What if these cities weren’t able to get help from the state? How angry would the residents get? Would they then start asking questions why there is no money allocated in the city budget for snow removal? Would they then start going over the budget and looking to see where their money is going?
If cities and towns are responsible for anything at all, one could argue that as an absolutely minimum, the responsibility is for safety and infrastructure before all else. Otherwise, you don’t even have a city.
I am glad that people are finally going to be able to dig out and get around, but I think some hard questions really need to be asked in some of these towns about priorities.