To the Editor:
I am writing today because of my frustration with the “leadership” in Warwick City Hall. My efforts to reach out to them and the acting mayor have been met with frustration and disillusionment.
I have been a resident of Governor Francis Farms for over 25 years and love living here. But the sewer project is going very badly. Phases one and two of the upgrade were done years ago at a cost to the homeowners of less than $10,000. Now in phase three they are looking to have us pay $22,000 – maybe more – depending on the cost of the final project. What happened to the funds that were allocated for the Farms? Why are we paying more than double what previous residents paid?
The worst part of this is the enormous rat problem the construction has caused. My yard is one of the identified "hot spots." There are disease-carrying, filthy rats under our sheds and porches and running through the yards and behind trash barrels. At a meeting July 24, the acting mayor said that City Hall would be reaching out to us to address the problem. A week goes by. No call. Finally, I called the sewer authority and was told that extermination was put out to bid and it would be weeks before anything could be done.
I had to hire A & D Pest control myself. I have had to remove all the tools and yard items I need from my shed, and pay for it myself. Later that week, the City posted on their website that they had set up a “Rodent Eradication” program. I followed the instructions on the website, submitting an application that same day (August 3rd), as well as calling and leaving a message on the recorded line. After a week with no response, I called and left another message. Still no response. My third call was answered by a live person who said that I needed to talk to someone else about the matter, but that he had just “stepped out.” When I asked when I could expect a return call and was told within the hour. Days later, still no call, so I called again and left a message on their answering machine. Is there really a Rodent Eradication program? If so, why have I still received no response over a month, and many calls later? I imagine that the response may have been different if I lived in Mr. Solomon’s neighborhood.
The inaction and lack of leadership is infuriating. Does Mr. Solomon think because we are Governor Francis Farms we can afford this? This is the working-class area of the Farms. None of us can afford this, nor should we be asked to pay more than everyone else in the city did. Nor should we have to pay for rat extermination ourselves. We are also being asked to pay for repaving our streets after the sewers have been installed, even though National Grid gave the City the funds to repave our streets after digging them up two years ago for gas lines. Where is that money going?
Mr. Solomon has made it very easy to cast my vote in November. I have had great respect over the years for the work that candidate Sue Stenhouse did as a councilwoman. She was effective, tenacious and caring – a true friend of the taxpayer. Perhaps it’s time for a woman to take over where the men have failed.