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Enough with the senseless grandstanding

By   /   November 30, 2012  /   1 Comment

While running the risk of sounding like a broken record on the subject, we here at The East Providence Post would encourage the incoming City Council and School Committee members, those to be seated Monday evening, Dec. 3, to discard the useless and seemingly endless grandstanding of their predecessors and set an immediate course of cooperation with the Budget Commission. In our humble opinion, it would not only behoove the newcomers to do so, but it would likely also go a long way in creating a sense of mutual respect and understanding between the three governing bodies, which has been sorely lacking.
All too often over the last year since the state over-seers were empowered to run the city, those in elected office have forsaken the reality of the situation. Instead, they have taken to posturing on issues they knowingly had little control of, while pandering to uninformed residents who did not fully grasp the powers the Commission was embodied to wield.
It is important to point out, doing so for seemingly the upteenth time, the Budget Commission — not the Council, Committee or even the City Manager — runs the day-to-day operations of East Providence. The Budget Commission is in charge of all hirings and firings. It sets the particulars and parameters of every governing decision, those of most import and otherwise.
It remains a bit jarring considering the length of time the Commission has been here, but too many residents of the city to this day still don’t understand this fact. It’s also disconcerting that too many of those formerly in elected office didn’t acknowledge their limitations to them.
Those days, however, have hopefully come to an end. The new Councilors and Committee members should embrace what in reality are their positions as strong advocates for the people, rather than touting their own agendas. They should argue on behalf of the city based on substance not bluster.
If they do so, if they act in good conscience instead of expedient politics, then they make actually get something of significance accomplished, which most of their predecessors failed to do.
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1 Comment

  1. Candy Seel says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that grandstanding and posturing by certain elected officials in the past year have gotten us no where with the Budget Commission. I would add, as an aside, that grandstanding and posturing by certain officials, rather than concentrating on the fiscal calamity before them, is what drove the state to take over our city governance in the first place.

    A rationale, mature approach by our incoming officials to solving our problems cooperatively with the Commission should go a long way toward proving that we are serious about these matters and capable of working our way back to self-rule.

    I think it is equally important to stress to the Budget Commission and the Governor and State Budget Director who sent them here that the citizens of East Providence have endured a year of taxation without local representation and that a quick return to local governance should be a goal for everyone involved.

    I would also strongly urge our City Council to invite the members of the Budget Commission to an upcoming Council meeting so that they may give the citizenry a status report, a list of milestones to be achieved, and at least a tentative date for them to consider their withdrawal.

    We know there will be a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan in 2014. We have no idea how long East Providence will be occupied. Even if this intervention is for our own good, we should have some idea when self-rule will return.

    Candy Seel

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