Adventures in Town Government

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…

106 Plays Right Into Their Hands

By Patrick Laverty | July 24, 2012 |

When you’re budgeting for a school department, there are a lot of moving pieces. Of course you wish you had money to fund everything really well, but that’s not the case. Choices need to be made and sometimes cuts are necessary. But where those cuts should come from is often the topic for debate. We’ve…

How I’d Fix the School Committees

By Patrick Laverty | June 24, 2012 |

We have a problem in many towns with how our governance is set up. Towns have an executive and a legislative body that assist each other in running the town. Those two manage the municipal affairs including the Town Hall, police, fire, public works and almost all other parts of the town. However for some…

Waiting on Senator Crowley

By Patrick Laverty | April 30, 2012 |

Some of you might remember a few months ago when Senator Elizabeth Crowley of Central Falls wrote a letter to the editor in the Providence Journal excoriating the city’s receiver Robert Flanders. Flanders had recently appeared at the newspaper’s annual Follies show dressed in an executioner’s outfit and touted himself “Lord of the Pink Slip.”…

Transparency Now Equals Union Bashing

By Patrick Laverty | April 26, 2012 |

I was in my car yesterday afternoon listening to Matt Allen talking about this new ordinance in North Smithfield and talking with town councilor Ed Yazbak about it. The Town Council in North Smithfield will put new contracts up for public review for two weeks before signing. This ordinance will only cover contracts that the…

Bankruptcy Judge Rules that Central Falls’ School District is Separate from the City

By Carroll Andrew Morse | March 24, 2012 |

Federal Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Bailey has issued a preliminary ruling that the Central Falls School District is not part of the City of Central Falls. The Projo has the complete ruling available here. Specifically, Judge Bailey rejected a request from Central Falls receiver Robert Flanders to issue a declaration “that the School District is…

Déjà Woonsocket

By Justin Katz | March 12, 2012 |

Everything going on in Woonsocket sounds so familiar that I had to check back in Anchor Rising’s archives for the city. It’s worth scrolling down to the summer of 2009; very instructive. First observation, from a liveblog of a school committee meeting (most of which I missed): I’ve got to say that the casual atmosphere,…

RISC Panel Discussion on Municipal Finance

By Carroll Andrew Morse | March 10, 2012 |

[9:16] Good morning, from the Rhode Island Statewide Coalititon Winter Meeting, where a panel discussion on municipal finance in Rhode Island has been convened. Panel members are Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, Central Falls Receiver Robert Flanders, and the multi-titled Gary Sasse. [9:18] Central Falls Receiver Flanders is the moderator, and introducing…

Why Are We Soft on the Assembly?

By Patrick Laverty | March 9, 2012 |

I’m frequently reading articles about how towns are struggling financially because of millions of dollars less being given to the municipalities. The mayors say that they’re struggling because they’re not getting as much money. The Assembly is plugging their own budget holes with that money instead. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has said that a part…

Imagine Reevaluation of Political Philosophies…

By Justin Katz | February 29, 2012 |

… It may be more difficult than it seems. If dislike of dictators Is contingent on progressive dreams Over on the Current, I express restrained hope that some noise on the Left about Central Falls’ receiver will spur reconsideration of liberals’ long-running centralization project. I note, too, that Anchor Rising’s unease with the entire municipal…

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