Adventures in Town Government

Tiverton Town Hall

Local governments love COVID-restriction freedom.

By Justin Katz | April 27, 2021 |

As the COVID-19 pandemic ebbs, state government has been slow to give up its enhanced powers (and may never give up their easy access to them, now that they’ve got a feel for them).  But COVID-restrictions have come with other benefits for government insiders — most especially the ability to keep the public at arm’s…

Rivera & crew seek vaccination sign-ups

Politicians have to walk (and constituents have to enforce) a subtle line.

By Justin Katz | April 20, 2021 |

Something in Dan McGowan’s Rhode Map column today reminded me of a question I had for Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera.  Asked by McGowan what has surprised her in her first 100 days in office, Rivera replied, in part: “I’m surprised by the enormous stress of providing basic city services while, at the same time, tackling…

Image of Police Line tape.

Identity politics is a distraction from uncomfortable reality.

By Justin Katz | April 19, 2021 |

The Providence Journal’s headline on a Katherine Gregg story draws attention to an important point about what is hidden: “RI lawmakers ask: Should police face stricter discipline?”  Put simply, the bright spotlight on race makes conspicuous what the politicians, unions, and activists are trying to keep off to the side, in the dark. International Brotherhood of Police…

Monkey hear no, see no, speak no evil statues

Politics This Week with John DePetro: Many Ways to Ignore Core Problems

By Justin Katz | April 19, 2021 |

For their weekly conversation, John DePetro and Justin Katz discuss Governor Daniel McKee avoiding the underlying problems at Zambarano, the media ignoring the underlying violence of BLM rallies, Providence ignoring the underlying issues with public safety, and the implications of fundraising results from Congressmen James Langevin and David Cicilline.

Keeping Taxpayers in the Dark

By Patrick Laverty | February 11, 2013 |

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.…

The Deterioration of New England Local Government (and of the United States)

By Justin Katz | December 4, 2012 |

Paul Rahe’s written an excellent essay explaining why libertarians ought to be social conservatives (via Instapundit), which is a point on which I’m writing for future publication. For the moment, though, this paragraph is more immediately relevant: In America, [Tocqueville] found institutions, mores, and manners antithetical to what he took to be democracy’s natural drift.…

A Familiar School Committee Time Line

By Justin Katz | November 3, 2012 |

“I had the sense that everybody around the table knew that we were part of the same team.” That’s how Tiverton School Committee member Carol Herrmann described negotiations with the teachers’ union this summer. On August 14, the committee passed the contract extension. It isn’t surprising that the negotiations would be “cordial,” as Herrmann put…

Things We Read Today (24), Thursday

By Justin Katz | October 4, 2012 |

West Warwick for all; the essence of education reform; declines in people births; declines in business births; the easy street to dependency. Continue reading on the Ocean State Current…

Tiverton Toll Meeting Shows Rhode Islanders Have to Stop Fighting Fire with Paper

By Justin Katz | September 28, 2012 |

Last night, I attended the first organizational meeting for the Tiverton branch of Sakonnet Toll Oppostion Platform (STOP), a cross-community effort to stop the state of Rhode Island from placing a toll on the Sakonnet River Bridge.  If I was skeptical about the ability of residents to prevent the tolls before, I’m pretty well convinced that…

Against Borrowing in Providence or Anywhere

By Justin Katz | July 28, 2012 |

In his Saturday column, Ted Nesi makes a point that I’d been thinking about as the week came to a close, related to a proposed $40 million infrastructure bond in Providence: Governments should borrow to fund long-term infrastructure projects that have a higher rate of return than the interest on the bonds, but [in Providence’s…

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