Editorial: Difficulty in governing lay ahead for East Providence's first mayor

Posted 3/31/19

It hasn't been the most auspicious start to his historic first term as duly elected mayor of East Providence for Bob DaSilva. His initial attempt at getting a considerable piece of legislation passed …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Editorial: Difficulty in governing lay ahead for East Providence's first mayor

Posted

It hasn't been the most auspicious start to his historic first term as duly elected mayor of East Providence for Bob DaSilva. His initial attempt at getting a considerable piece of legislation passed being knocked down in recent weeks by the City Council and then creating a mini-stir with the media over his policy of having all information cleared through his office.

That both of those things pertain to the police department doesn't help matters either.

Every new administration, ones made up of experienced players or those filled by novices, usually has a bump or two in the road at the beginning. But most also have a "honeymoon" period where they're allowed to make those missteps without losing any political capital.

Some six weeks into his administration, it's likely DaSilva will rebound and go about his duties without much distraction.

But make no mistake, these first few hiccups have hurt the mayor's credibility with East Providence Police Department, which is a bit surprising seeing he's a 25-year veteran of law enforcement.

It appears as though Mr. DaSilva and his team didn't perform their due diligence in attempting to alter the qualifications to apply to becoming an officer in the city. At least that's how it seemed when listening to members of the council discuss the matter two weeks ago during their February 5 meeting.

By changing the protocol for how the EPPD interacts with the media, especially the local television stations who are more in need of the immediate 30-second sound bite than other forms of journalism, he created, falsely or not, the perception information coming from the city will somehow be filtered. That's never a good way to go about things, especially in the current political/press climate.

And getting off to a rocky relationship with the police department doesn't seem like a good way of going about things either. Let's face it, the EPPD has a history of eating its own, but when confronted with an outside intervention, they close ranks and come together like few other organizations around.

Again, there's no reason to think the mayor isn't just feeling his oats, getting a feel for the position. He'll likely settle into the job and perform his duties admirably. At least that's the hope because the truly difficult parts of governing haven't even really started for him yet.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.