Adventures in Town Government


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.

A water drop and ripples

Fining the contractor for Providence’s Small Business Saturday street closure seems like a cover-up.

By Justin Katz | November 30, 2021 |

This is just a little too neat and tidy a resolution to the story of government incompetence in Providence mentioned in this space yesterday: The construction company responsible for the closure of a Providence street lined with small businesses during one of the busiest shopping days of the year has been fined for working without…

Cash, cuffs, and the American flag

The COPS Hiring Program is yet another way government spends tax dollars to force the spending of more tax dollars.

By Justin Katz | November 20, 2021 |

It adds up, of course, but when government is trillions of dollars in debt, a hundred million here and there seems hardly to count.  That may be part of the reason that news of grants like the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program doesn’t typically question where the…

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