Give us our darn city back!

To the editor,
I have been quiet for some time now but after reading about the Budget Commission sending East Providence their fabulous bill of $245,000 smack-a-roos for services rendered, my quietness has turned into a roar and rather than statements, I have a million questions.
For those of you whom are quick with the texting letters here goes, OMG, WTH, SMH, UGBKM! For those whom aren’t, Oh my God, what the hell, shake my head, you gotta kidding me!
In the beginning, when the Budget Commission made their entrance, I made it a point to go to their meetings and listen. At first I thought, gee, we really need them here to straighten out our finances and help us get back on track. Boy oh boy, have I changed my tune. This is the classic case of not getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I heard with my own ears Mr. O’Keefe state several times that they are not getting paid for their services. I heard him say the state came looking for him, to take him out of his retirement to help. With all due respect Mr. O’Keefe, you could have told us the rest of the story. You may not have been getting paid but the staff workers were. The second part about the staff workers was never, never mentioned. Shame on all of you.
We have lost libraries, lost video streaming of our Council and School Committee meetings, lost middle school sports, losing our homestead exemptions and now, as if we aren’t in the dark already, we are facing the turning off of selected street lights. Since the inception of this Commission, I want to know exactly how much money have you saved us? Where can I get a printout of this information? How many more services are you going to take? There are other places to find some money but you aren’t going there. Why? How many more checks are we going to be writing to this Budget Commission? There is more to this story than being told to the people who support this city with our taxes. And to top all of this off, our city manager plans on writing the check immediately. Why couldn’t you write the check for middle school sports, keep a library or two open or keep our video streaming?
So, a little over a year ago, this city was at the brink of financial ruin. The Commission has saved us, God knows how much money only to spend a nice hefty chunk on themselves. Was all this cost cutting and saving of money meant to be spent on you first and foremost? We already know how to spend money, didn’t we prove that already? We don’t need you to do that for us.
This Budget Commission has preached to us, almost on a regular basis that, if you want things bad enough, you’ll find the money somewhere else. Well, my suggestion to the Budget Commission, you want the bill paid, than find the money somewhere else!
Give us answers, give us the entire story, tell us the truth and nothing but the truth and most importantly, give us our darn city back.
Lynn Miller


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.