Overthinking sometimes worse than not thinking at all


The Warwick City Council, to their credit, are unquestionably dedicated public servants who put in hours of work, for very little pay, to try and make decisions that benefit their constituents and the city as a whole. It is a job that not many can do, and one that even fewer want to do.

They exercised great due diligence in going over every detail of the proposed $85 million bond put forward by the Warwick School Department to make crucial repairs to our public schools, and they were right to ask as many questions as possible pertaining to the city’s ability to bond and pay off the debt incurred by that bond.

However, when the time came to make a decision – to take a stand – on what steps will be taken to address the future of public education in Warwick, rather than push forward with a strong united plan, the council chose to chop the bond in half, waffle on the fence and express with legislative overtness their distrust in a school administration which has unquestionably performed its own due diligence.

The council made it a point on Jan. 22, the first of two special meetings to reach a consensus on whether or not to support the bond, to declare their inability to make a decision without conferring with the city’s bond counsel. They delayed the decision until Tuesday night, in part, because they wanted to be able to ask those questions.

Yet, when Ms. Karen Grande explicitly answered that splitting up the bond into two referendums – one to be voted on in November, and another one in 2020 – was a risky move that she specifically did not recommend, the council did it anyways.

The risks of the decision are clear. There is no guarantee that one bond referendum will pass, and it is even more uncertain that taxpayers will vote for another one just two years later.

This is made riskier since it involves improvements at each of the city’s schools, some of which may get all their most important repairs done from the first bond. Why would a taxpayer from a part of the city that gets all its necessary work done vote in favor of another bond – which effectively means voting for tax increases for the foreseeable future to pay off the debt service – just two years later?

Alleging that residents will simply vote selflessly for the benefit of their city as a whole – and put others before themselves even though they will gain nothing but a tax increase from that decision – might work as part of a hopeful statement in a political advertisement, but it is far removed from reality.

Outside the hypothetical scenario of whether or not the second bond fails, leaving a huge portion of the city’s children and teachers in schools that continue to degrade without any recourse to repair them, is a much more likely and costly scenario – what if the state reimbursement rate either goes down or vanishes entirely?

There is no guarantee that the $250 million state bond referendum will pass and give us a 50 percent reimbursement rate, however we are already guaranteed a 40 percent rate for school capital projects approved this year. There is no such guarantee two years from now – when our current governor and her cabinet spearheading these efforts might not even be in office anymore. Raimondo’s opponents all warn of the state’s growing deficit. It is unlikely at best, should she lose, they would be willing to continue financing at that level moving forward.

Therefore, locking in the full $85 million bond for at least a 40 percent reimbursement rate is actually the safer and fiscally responsible move. Splitting it up means you’re getting less in guaranteed return and opening yourself up to more uncertainty.

The council waxed poetical for hours over the past months about how they needed to be prudent and conservative. They took cheap shots completely unrelated to the bond simply as a means of antagonizing the school department, and some councilpersons openly expressed their distrust of the department due to past demons and transgressions from a completely separate administration.

Ironically, their final action – the result of so many hours of due diligence – may wind up proving to be more financially damaging to the city, and causing more drama for the city’s schools and its students, than if they had just gone ahead and rubber stamped the original $85 million request.


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I was there. Both meetings. (and many others prior)

The crucial information that the City Council needed in order to make an intelligent decision was in the hands of the School Committee (SC) almost a year ago but they showed it to the City Council just 24 hours before the vote was to be taken. That, to me, was clearly an act of bad faith.

Taxpayers absolutely NEED renovations to their aging schools, but they CAN'T afford a $40 million dollar credit card given to the SC with NO ACCOUNTABILITY. I have proposed an independent audit for years. Before we give them "another dime",I think this needs to happen.

If the SC is as honest as they claim, they should not be against it. So far, not one of them has said they will even consider it. How about it members of the SC? Would any of you care to respond? Submit to an impartial audit. What have you got to lose?

I don't expect a response.

Happy Valentines everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, February 1

The fake "mayor" will not get a response about an audit of the school department because audits are already conducted, every year, by the same firm that audits the city's books. That he still demands answers for a question that has already been answered is further proof of his complete unfitness for any office.

Whatever meetings he claims to have attended, it must have not been the open city council session on Jan. 25 where school officials presented and explained the entire $85 million request: http://warwickonline.com/stories/council-stays-85m-bond-until-jan-30,131215?#comments

Whatever "critical information" the fake "mayor" claims was provided to the city council "just 24 hours before the vote," it must not have been the detailed, itemized project list that those same school officials presented, reviewed, and discussed with the council on Jan. 25.

It is truly disgraceful that he should accuse the school committee of not being accountable when he has shown none himself; he refuses to change the many, many statements he has made that have been objectively proven false.

- "Before we give them 'another dime,' I think [an audit] needs to happen."

The fake "mayor's" party that holds a 9-0 majority on the city council obviously disagrees with his delusional attempts to punish the school committee; he has also never acknowledged that cutting off school funding would also stop paychecks to the teachers he so desperately wants to support his soon-to-be twice-failed candidacy.

Thursday, February 1

CrickeeRaven, da mayer is wating for the comic book version of the audit so he cans understand it. all those big words and lots and lots of numbers are so confusing.

Saturday, February 3


The mayer clearly tinks of hisself as Superman and the skool committee as Lex Luthor, so it seems yer correkt -- exept no one wants the mayer fighting for them and it don't take Kryptonite to beat him, jus facts.

Saturday, February 3