December 17, 2014
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Taxpayers can't be expected to pay more and more

To the Editor:

The atmosphere at the recent budget hearings was the closest thing to a circus I have encountered in my 15 years living in the city. The chamber was packed with union members chanting and drowning out the people with a different point of view, refusing to allow the views of the taxpayers who pay for their lavish benefits to be heard.

The mayor and many members of the council were obviously on the side of the unions and completely disinterested in the views of the taxpayers. It seems apparent that the union members, union leaders and many politicians are unwilling or unable to understand that the current situation is unsustainable.

The taxpayers cannot simply be expected to pay more and more every year. You would think that the union and political leadership would recognize that it is better to begin making small steps toward fiscal sanity, rather than wait until the situation is completely out of hand as occurred in Central Falls. Hopefully, what happened last Tuesday in Wisconsin, San Diego and San Jose will serve as a wakeup call.

Lisa McDuff
Warwick


Comments
6 comments on this item

Ms. McDuff, you sound surprised by the behavior of the undergrads of Convict U, employed at DPW. So much for honorable service. I wonder how many were hired under Mr. Picozzi and how many he inherited? As for the Mayor and the stooges on the Council this is nothing new. This has gone on for decades and will not stop till the money is all gone, which should be about 5 years when Warwick will look like Cranston at the end of Mayor O'Leary's term. The first sign of the coming apocalypse is all the signs that are in plain view that say, FOR SALE. I have not found any indication that the voting public will not return to their stupid, uneducated and beholden ways, like any other year. As for changing the behavior it would appear around RI that people are doing it by voting with their feet.

Mrs. McDuff, are you yet another taxpayer who has not paid attention all these years and is just now speaking up because things are so bad?

You are part of the problem. Most taxpayers don't pay attention to who is elected, what is in contracts, etc. The most neglected part of city governement by the taxpayers is the school committee. They are responsible for spending 6 out of every 10 dollars of your property taxes but who pays attention to school committee elections? In a way, they are more responsible for spending than the mayor and city council. Before blaming unions and calling them thugs, crooks, etc., take a long look in the mirror at Mr/Mrs. don't vote, don't care, don't know the issues taxpayer.

Dave Barry, your also part of the problem becuase you don't know what you are talking about regarding city vs school spending. here are the facts:

Allocation of local tax dollars to city in millions of dollars,

2007 $63.9

2008 $67.1

2009 $76.1

2010 $78.5

2011 $79.6

2012 $94.1

2012 $97.7

Allocation of local tax dollars to schools in millions of dollars,

2007 $113.1

2008 $118.1

2009 $118.1

2010 $124.0

2011 $125.0

2012 $118.6

2013 $118.6

Notice that schoola are slightly above 2008 levels while city is at all time high.

Also the spending break down is 55% schools 45% city. If you comapre this to other towns the school allocation is lower than normal.

Conclusion city spending has accounted for 100% of the tax increase over the last 4 out of 6 years.

Dear Mr. Barry, You have made an awful lot of assumptions about me, which is remarkable considering that we have never met. You have called me part of the problem and assumed that I have not been paying attention until now, and that I don't understand the issues. I will have you know that I have been politically active at the state and local level for the last 15 years. You apparently base your assumptions on the fact that I have not spoken out in print before now. Furthermore, I encourage you to re-read my letter. I never referred to anyone as a thug or a crook. I simply described the atmosphere at the meeting accurately. I consider you incredibly naive if you don't think that unions are a big part of the spending problem. I also want to mention to "Mr./ Mrs. "Warwick Taxpayer's " previous comment on school vs municipal spending. Just because the municipal side needs to be put on a serious diet, doesn't mean that the school system couldn't stand to lose weight too. Sincerely, Lisa McDuff

It would be nice to hear how the negotiations are going between the mayor and the unions before the election.

Perhaps McDuff would like an ordinance passed which prohibits people who happen to be in a labor union from attending city council meetings so as to prevent the rampant and circus like CLAPPING which has been so inappropriate and disrupting of late... Folks, PLEASE come to a council meeting or two so you can see what Cote's thugs and McDuffs circus really are. Working joes and janes sitting quietly 95% of the time, clapping 4% of the time and letting out a benign boo or yeah 1% of the time. Really scary and circus like.... give me a break.

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