An open letter to Mayor Scott Avedisian and the City Council:
I believe that the car tax is a symptom of a larger problem. The city habitually raises taxes to solve its financial issues. This puts a financial strain on the voters, many of whom are already hard pressed by the current economic situation.
The emphasis at this time should be on reducing spending. As a former city employee, I know that most areas within city government are over-staffed and under-worked. A modest across the board cut in spending would solve the current situation without burdening the citizens or threatening to close parks and skating rinks. It seems every time there's a need for a cut in spending the city's first response is to threaten to reduce services and to impact the most vulnerable of our residents.
We need a more realistic assessment of where cuts can be made. Virtually every company in America has been forced to reduce its work force while maintaining current levels of service. Once spending begins to be brought under control, it is then time to begin to address the unsustainability of the current benefit and pension structure. Addressing the pension and benefits issue needs to happen before we are eventually faced with a situation like Central Falls, where current pension beneficiaries are being negatively impacted.
It would be helpful if you, the elected representatives of the people would engage with the public on these issues. Currently, concerned citizens feel ignored and snubbed.
Lisa M. McDuff