Adventures in Town Government

Gavel with a speech bubble

Racking up legal fees is win-win for government officials.

By Justin Katz | February 25, 2022 |

A very interesting article from Tamara Sacharczyk, of WJAR, puts a spotlight on an aspect of the people’s interaction with government that doesn’t get enough attention: lawsuits: Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent defending state agencies in Rhode Island in recent years, and the NBC 10 I-Team uncovered taxpayers are oftentimes picking up…

RI State House over caution tape

Take note of the socialist assumptions of AutoZone criticisms in Cranston.

By Justin Katz | January 26, 2022 |

Buzzwords flow through political and ideological debates — at the state level even more so than the federal — to the extent that one has to wonder whether the people using them really subscribe to the ideas that they represent. Consider Democrat Representative from Cranston Brandon Potter, tweeting about the city’s decision to permit construction…

Gears

Politics This Week with John DePetro: A Government Without Gears

By Justin Katz | January 17, 2022 |

John and Justin run through many of the ways in which RI’s civic system is just not functioning.

A traffic camera

Here’s what I wonder about East Providence school zone ticket cameras.

By Justin Katz | January 14, 2022 |

For seven weeks, East Providence sent warnings instead of tickets to drivers who went more than 11 miles per hour over the speed limit in school zones.  The system issued 69,528 such warnings, in fact, which works out to about 1,420 per day. The cameras have only been snagging drivers for actual $50 tickets for…

STORMTOOLS graphic of Barrington with 3 feet sea rise

A little skepticism about sea-level scares is needed.

By Justin Katz | January 11, 2022 |

Have you ever seen a mainstream news report that treated scary environmental projections with even an iota of skepticism?  Consider Tolly Taylor’s report for WPRI, which bears the headline, “Parts of Barrington will be underwater by 2035, sea-level data shows.” The first paragraph of the story gives the impression that the headline is a bit…

A water drop and ripples

Progressives have an interesting perspective on Barrington’s minimum wage.

By Justin Katz | January 4, 2022 |

Steve Ahlquist has a strange explainer on Uprise RI about how Barrington got away with implementing a minimum wage policy for municipal workers: State law passed during the regime of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello prevents municipalities from raising the minimum wage within their borders. But the state cannot prevent individual cities and towns from establishing their…

American flag behind a barred window

How can “open government groups” be so blind to the reality of remote public meetings?

By Justin Katz | December 21, 2021 |

I’m honestly baffled that a coalition of “open government organizations” would call on Democrat Governor Dan McKee to reinstate executive orders allowing government bodies to meet remotely again: We therefore once again strongly urge you to reinstate your earlier executive orders so as to permit public bodies to meet virtually and thereby allow the public…

School board member decked in CT

Parents’ rage is simmering nationwide.

By Justin Katz | December 17, 2021 |

This is exactly the sort of environment the education system in Rhode Island and other places around the country are inviting as they seek to impose ideological radicalism as guiding lights and institutionalize a system of lying to parents.  At the link, Rod Dreher supplies video of the emotional testimony and accusations of Jessica Konen,…

A hoodie on a beaten school bus

When they come for school bonds, ask where all the money’s been going.

By Justin Katz | December 15, 2021 |

Our system is set up to ensure that infrastructure, like school buildings, is left to rot.  That dynamic is inevitable when (1) budgeting and negotiations are tilted so heavily in favor of labor and (2) taxpayers can be bullied or forced into spending the additional money to repair or replace buildings when they become bad…

Casual office planning meeting

Politics This Week with John DePetro: PR Bumbling All Around

By Justin Katz | November 30, 2021 |

John and Justin discuss local, state, and national stories with which the messaging is going all wrong.