To the Editor:
I attended the proceedings at Warwick City Hall on 8/15/11 to show solidarity with other Warwick residents who are concerned with the irresponsible way the city's finances are being managed. I have attended several meetings and budget hearings in the past and can't help but feel that the legislation and budgets put forth by the city are not in the best interest of the taxpayer, but are purely political.
An impressively large crowd had gathered for the public hearing session, but the council members immediately excused themselves for a private executive session, completely disregarding the constituents that had waited for more than two hours for their arrival. Last night there were voices that were desperate to be heard, but they were silenced in a most condescending way by Councilman Bruce Place when he remarked something to the effect of: "If you don't know the rules maybe you shouldn't play the game." Why does he think this is a "game"? These are real lives that are affected by the decisions made by our elected officials.
The "rules" he is referring to are the same council rules and procedures that have been bent in the past to accommodate those present with something to say. In fact, I was at the June 2010 budget hearing when the rules were cast aside so that the Mayor could heroically "save" school sports. Apparently there were no heroes present last night (with the exception of Steve Merolla, Charles Donovan and Joseph Solomon who motioned to have the car tax issue be put on the docket for a future meeting) or the council would not have walked out very crassly, casting peace signs and smiles as John DelGiudice did. I did not stay held hostage for your return to our meeting. However I am steeled in my effort to support anybody who runs against you in the next election. I thought you might all have a chance to redeem yourselves and show some regard for your fellow citizens, instead you showed your true colors.