To the editor:
Sarah Smalley wrote a letter to the Post last week in which she spoke disparagingly about the unsuccessful effort by Councilpeople Mourato and Souza to place a bond resolution on …
To the editor:
Sarah Smalley wrote a letter to the Post last week in which she spoke disparagingly about the unsuccessful effort by Councilpeople Mourato and Souza to place a bond resolution on the November ballot to let the voters decide the fate of Metacomet.
Ms. Smalley contended that the resolution lacked specific information, such as the amount of money to be spent. She said that an updated appraisal of the property has not been conducted nor is there a plan for its potential use. She added that any candidates pledging to let the voters decide are merely “pandering to the KMG crowd,” with “empty promises and political theater.”
The reality, as I understand it, is that when Mr. Mourato submitted his draft bond resolution to the City Solicitor’s office he included an amount of $15M. However, according to Mr. Mourato, Solicitor Marcello for whatever reason recommended that the resolution not include a dollar amount. Relying on Mr. Marcello’s advice, Mr. Mourato and Ms. Souza submitted their resolution on May 17th with the dollar amount stripped out. At that point, the Council majority was free to argue that they couldn’t possibly agree to a resolution without a specific cost. If Mr. Marcello failed in his duty to inform Mr. Mourato of potential downfalls, that’s on him and is unfortunate.
Incidentally, the rush to introduce this resolution was as a result of learning at the joint City Council/School Committee meeting on May 2nd, regarding the school bond, that all bond referendum initiatives needed to be submitted to the General Assembly by May 19th.
Those in favor of letting the voters decide know that, in the five months between May and November, there would have been more than enough time to update the appraisal and to engage in vigorous discussion about the details. Based on that knowledge, the voters then would have made their decisions.
Ms. Smalley calls the proposed bond resolution a case of “pandering.” I think it is more accurate to call it responding to the outcry of numerous residents to let them decide where their tax dollars will be spent. Prior to the May 17th meeting, KMG gathered signatures of 1,045 East Providence residents on a petition that was presented to the Council. The Council majority dismissed it out of hand.
For two years, KMG has advocated that the City purchase Metacomet, build a new community center on the footprint of the demolished clubhouse, lease out the 9- or 18-hole golf course to a management company (such as with Triggs in Providence), and utilize the rest of the property as a municipal park. Between the potential of a $15M bond to be approved in a proposed special election in the Spring, the $3M already pledged for a community center, and numerous other revenue sources, Metacomet Community Center & Municipal Golf Course can become a reality. Keep Metacomet green.
Keep Metacomet Green