To the Editor:
In the Providence Journal editorial of Oct. 13, the writer illustrated how perilous our financial circumstances here in West Warwick truly are. Although the mathematical equation of our budget shortcomings was accurate, there is a sociological aspect to this impending disaster that was not presented.
In the 33 years I have operated a business in this town, the community has struggled with the stigma of being a lower socioeconomic ghost of a once thriving mill town. Our quest for viability as a municipality has been hard-fought. Many revitalization plans have been suggested over the years, and some have succeeded. Many of us in the business community have tried to make our town attractive to fellow entrepreneurs to join us in the town's resurrection. However, we have been thwarted by inefficient and bloated government, oppressive and costly regulation, and ever-escalating levies of taxes.
Now that we have reached critical mass and the state has threatened to step in, we will all have to sacrifice to avoid receivership. Town workers will undoubtedly and unfairly have their pension promises breached. Commercial and residential property owners will be pushed to the brink by even more taxation, and the efforts to bring our town back to the flourishing state it once was may be dashed forever.
These harsh realities could have been avoided if governments of the past had conducted themselves with a long-term paradigm and not a viewpoint that only reached to the next election cycle.
Now we are on the same stalled subway car together. To survive, we will all have to endure some pain to get rolling again. Chapter 9 bankruptcy is not the answer. On the contrary, receivership will seal our fate and we’ll be stigmatized forever!
Christopher M. Curran