Two proposed East Providence Charter changes have merit, while two don’t pass muster


East Providence residents will be asked to vote on four City Charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot. The Post believes two have merit and two do not.

The Budget Commission itself proposed putting a so-called “Rainy Day” Fund Charter addendum on the ballot and the Council also backed what is in essence is an overdraft savings account for the city.

The second amendment that holds credence is the move of the city’s fiscal year from November through October to July through June. It is a subject upon which the Commission, though not having endorsed, has strongly urged more study. The change would put East Providence in line with the state’s fiscal calendar and remove the need for the city to borrow Tax Anticipation Notes, commonly referred to as TANs, to cover its bills each year.

The Post strongly encourages voters to support both.

The third amendment passed and proposed by the Council would remove the residency requirement for some city administrators, including the City Manager. In theory, it would significantly open up the pool of potential candidates to fill important positions. However, what it does in practice is allow what in reality is the CEO of East Providence to live outside its borders. That person wouldn’t have any direct and immediate connection to city other than his or her official duties. Something about that just doesn’t seem quite right.

The Post encourages voters to defeat the measure.

The last of the four amendments passed by the Council is actually the least worthy and most troublesome. The measure would change the length of service terms for both Councilors and School Committee members to four years from two. The stated rationale for approving the proposal is to take politicians out of continuous campaign mode, as if any savvy pol isn’t always in it any way. None of the reasons give for its passage by the Council held much water, which leads one to believe this measure, on its face at least, appears to simply be power grab and a chance for some to gain job security, which from the majority of this Council at least, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Obviously, The Post suggests voting down this proposal and strongly implores all registered voters to turn out to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, to cast their ballots for all elected offices and referendums.


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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.