A license to brag a bit

Posted 2/1/24

Well, I’m going to date myself.

Do you recall the back and forth between Mayors Allan Fung and Scott Avedisian, to be followed by Joe Solomon, over who should get the “20000” …

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A license to brag a bit


Well, I’m going to date myself.

Do you recall the back and forth between Mayors Allan Fang and Scott Avedisian, to be followed by Joe Solomon, over who should get the “20000” license plate? The premise was that the plate should go to the mayor of the state’s second largest city.

For a long time Warwick had a greater population than Cranston. The plate belonged here. Then, based on Census data, Cranston took the lead. Would Fung and later his successor, Ken Hopkins, get to stick it to Warwick? In good fun, the mayors would bring up the plate when taking the stage at public events. Mayor Solomon even reasoned the city should keep the plate, not that he gave it up, since the Census includes inmates at the ACI and not all of them were from Cranston, or were they? If that was the case, Cranston had a serious crime problem. On the other hand, Cranston could have raved over the diligence of their police department because all the bad guys were behind bars, which could have started a series of rival boosts over which city has the best police, fire and public works departments. It didn’t get that silly.

Well, the gauntlet has been thrown down again. This time it’s over which is the most livable city. Hopkins issued a press release last week extolling the news Cranston is ranked third in the northeast and 24th out of 100 cities nationwide by Liveability.com.

“For all of us who proudly call Cranston our home this news is not surprising,” Hopkins was quoted in the release. “Now, as others around the country search for great places to live or visit, Cranston will emerge as a must-see destination on their wish list.”

Looks like Cranston has Warwick beat for population and for livability.

We decided to dig a bit and see if Cranston really has the goods.

It was only a matter of clicking on the link provided in Hopkins’ release to find the rankings, and to find that Warwick is ranked second by Liveability.com.

The rating reads in part, “Warwick, RI is one of the best places to live in the Northeast. Locals have access to nearly 40 miles of glorious coastline with everything coastal dreams are made of, from clam chowder stops to picturesque lighthouses and sandy beaches to stroll.”

It goes on to read, “The town is a historically significant spot, too. Warwick is the site of the Gaspee Affair, one of America’s first acts of rebellion against the British government during the lead-up to the Revolution. Good schools, safe neighborhoods and easy access to big cities along the eastern seaboard all contribute to the quality of life in Warwick.”

Mayor Frank Picozzi wasn’t up for some friendly bragging when he learned of the news, saying the cities complement each other. That seemed to go along with the picture accompanying the rankings, which was taken from the Pawtuxet Bridge looking at the cove.

Then came the surprise. For all this time I thought Warwick was the third largest city. It’s not. It’s the second largest, though not by much.

I found browsing the internet that according to the 2018 Census, Cranston had Warwick beat by 367 with a population of 81,274. Year by year the difference kept diminishing and Warwick had a slim lead of 21 for a total of 82,845 residents in 2020. The Census gives Warwick a 925 lead now.

This will all be relevant the next time the state is reapportioned determining the number of House and Senate districts in communities across the state. Other than that, it should settle any dispute as to who gets the license plate. Indeed, this is a Rhode Island story. License plates carry a lot of juice here.

For me, it’s about livability. For neighboring cities to be ranked 2 and 3 in the Northeast says a lot about Little Rhody.

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  • MikkeyDee

    I'm not sure what exposure this comment might receive...however, I spoke by phone with John regarding the value to the public discourse through allowing commentary on various articles etc in the Beacon. It seemed to me the option had disappeared...eventually through difficulty to manage truly offensive comments.

    I am very plreased to see comments allowed again in the Beacon. In my view we all should congratulate Mr. Howell on a very courageous decision to allow commentary.

    In my view he has shwn his appreciation for Freedom in the USA.

    Sincere thanks from me.

    Mike Droitcour

    Wednesday, February 7 Report this