Symptom of a larger problem


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


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I must agree with Ms. McDuff, taxes are high in Warwick, but when compared with other communites Warwick is either on a par or below the average rate of taxation for a city with the same amount of services.Taxes have been the main source of income for communities for a thousands of years. They are the only two things guaranteed in this world " Death and Taxes." This of course is a small consolation for the hard working citizens of Warwick but we have to consider that we are in a terrible resession a the moment but that hopeflly it will end soon.Some Ms. McDuff's ideas are well founded. However,just try

holding the line on raising taxes by cutting services. Listen to the citizens cry out when their garbage is not collected during the hot Summer months or when they can't get to work bcause the snow hasn't been plowed, due to lay offs. Don't we all expect to have a police officer respond upon call when our home is being unlawfully entered or when our children are in danger ? Don't we expect to have fire apparatus arrive in time to save the loss our homes from fire, with competent firefighters manning the equiptment ? I have seen both of these dedicated professions in action and the citizen of Warwick are blessed

with the finest first line of defense in the state.Should we than lay off some of these people or cut the pensions of those who have served us so well over the years and are now living a dignifed life. The pension funds of both the poilce department and the fire department are nearly fully funded

because they contributed their fair share to their retirement fund.However, it was the city that was negligent and didn't contribute a like amount to the fund as was promised years ago. Where did those monies go?

Perhaps, Ms.McDuff is correct in her assertion that there are many areas where staff members could be reduced. Maybe she should be more specific and point out the under-worked city employees.So that the appropriate action could be taken to remove them from the city payroll thus gaining tax revenue. It might have been wise if Ms. McDuff had reported these dead wood employees to her superiors when she was in their employ.

Sunday, November 20, 2011