To the Editor,
I am a registered Democrat who has lived in Warwick most of my life. Normally, I would vote for the Democratic candidate for Mayor. But I can’t, and I’d like to …
To the Editor,
I am a registered Democrat who has lived in Warwick most of my life. Normally, I would vote for the Democratic candidate for Mayor. But I can’t, and I’d like to tell you why. It started when Mayor Solomon first took office and gave his “hurricane” speech. Do you remember that? About how we all needed to be afraid of the terrible financial “storm” that Mayor Avedisian secretly created and dropped on Mayor Solomon’s lap? Then do you remember how quickly the alarming deficit miraculously resolved itself? How the rainy day fund was mysteriously replenished, with Mayor Solomon taking the credit? I thought to myself, “Wow, that is right out of the playbook, a politician creating a false sense of fear to gain popularity as a savior.”
Yet that wasn’t the end. Since Mayor Solomon became Mayor, he’s continued to send a message of fear to keep a tight grip on the City. The Warwick Center for the Arts, a 40-year community institution? His refusal to memorialize WFCA’s location with a proper lease cast aside the opportunity for a six-figure grant from the Champlin Foundation to fix the front steps of the City-owned property. Why? So the WCFA would live in fear of shutting its doors, and so Mayor Solomon could control WCFA’s existence. The Bayside Sewer Project that Mayor Solomon is stalling after 28 years of promises to residents? He has suggested that the project cost might cause people to be kicked out of their homes, even though no sewer project in the City of Warwick has ever had that result. Remember the Conimicut Lighthouse restoration project developed by the prior administration, using private funds to fix this City landmark? Mayor Solomon shot that idea down years ago, invoking fear that the operator did not have the requisite experience and that the deal was not good enough for the City. And then Mayor Solomon left the lighthouse to rot.
Even in this election, Mayor Solomon’s theme is that now is not the time to elect an inexperienced candidate as Mayor. He’s trying to make us fear someone who would be “learning on the job.” I’ll tell you what—this Democrat is not afraid of inexperience. What I am afraid of is more of the fearmongering that’s been the hallmark of the Solomon administration, along with an indecisiveness that has ground to a halt nearly every good idea that has come before the City.
The beach fees that Councilman Solomon joined the rest of the Council in approving? Soon after taking office, Mayor Solomon refused to implement the beach fees. Now, the City beaches are overused by non-residents and neglected. He said—years ago—that he needed to “study” the fees that he had already greenlighted. Where are the results of the study? And how about Mayor Solomon’s new plan for the Mickey Stevens complex? I won’t be the first to tell you that the plan is nothing more than an election-year bauble to be dangled before voters’ eyes. Right after election day, that plan too will go into the “study” pile, along with the plans for former schools like Aldrich that Mayor Solomon is still “studying,” while that building sits vacant and boarded up.
How about the million-dollar landscaping project in Apponaug that Mayor Solomon has left to wither and die, only to be called out for it on The Hummel Report? Or the City Hall Annex, closed for years while Mayor Solomon “studies” the best use for the property. Mayor Solomon’s excuse is that the City needs to wait for insurance proceeds to fix the car damage at the Apponaug rotary or to demolish or rebuild the City Hall Annex. That makes no sense – we all know that you don’t need to wait for the insurance check to come in to fix your roof when a tree damages it in a storm. Talk about “inexperience” in dealing with municipal “storms.” What Mayor Solomon is really doing is collecting all of the cards in his own hand, so only Mayor Solomon can win the game.
Create fear. Table it for further study. Hold on to the power that makes you feel strong. Well, Mayor Solomon, I for one have had enough of all that. It’s time for a change. For a new breath. For optimism. For decisiveness. That’s why this Democrat is voting for Frank Picozzi, and that’s why I think many others will join me.