East Providence Pols project hopeful air to begin their terms

op-ed head

Hope springs eternal is a tried and true phrase most often associated with the start of the baseball season each spring, though as we approach the first day of winter it can appropriately be used in context about the sentiment surrounding the just-seated governing bodies in the city.
East Providence’s Inauguration Day 2012 went off without a hitch earlier this week, a far cry from the near pandemonium of two years ago.
James Briden and Joel Monteiro were each elected to lead their respective boards — Mr. Briden the City Council and Mr. Monteiro the School Committee. Their counterparts did so by unanimous 5-0 votes, another seemingly good sign of what lay ahead.
We here at The Post whole-heartedly endorse both men as Council President/Mayor and Chairman. They each possess the temperament, knowledge and professional experience to excel in the positions.
Mr. Briden, in particular, should represent the city well in his other significant role as a member of the East Providence Budget Commission. He is a learned, thoughtful man, who can seriously speak to and about intricate topics at the level required.
This is not to say he or anyone should be a pawn of the Commission. On the contrary, he must vigorously represent the constituents of the city.
Many of the difficult decisions on cuts and consolidations have already been made, but the Commission still has important work left to do before it departs, most notably the finalizing of a five-year fiscal plan. There needs to be balance and fairness in the document, two attributes Mr. Briden has shown to have in amply supply.
Those traits, among others, will surely be tested over the next two years, not only for Mr. Briden and Mr. Monteiro the elected leaders of the city but also for the other eight members of the Council and School Committee.
Their entire term likely won’t go as smoothly as did the inauguration. Hopefully, however, that evening can serve as a touchstone for each of them to remember the senses of hope and cooperation with which they began. If they do so, then they will have served their city and its citizens well.


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