Providence Closes A Chapter
Let’s take this opportunity to stride boldly into the 21st century, finally shaking off our nation-wide reputation as a hopeless sink of graft and patronage. Our notorious pay-to-play business climate has kept us behind the eight ball for years. And for those who wouldn’t pay, Cianci was neither a “character” nor a lovable rogue. In real life the people we find so amusing on television just read as extortionists and goons.
We must be vigilant. To keep heading in the right direction we must resist the temptation in upcoming weeks to rename streets, parks, buildings, bridges — or god forbid, schools — after this twice-convicted felon. (Mayor Elorza, Brett Smiley, Mr. Aponte, City Councilors — Just say NO! And inform the department heads that no permits are to be issued.)
Besides, Cianci already has a gigantic hole with his name on it — the crushing unfunded pension liability resulting from years of quid pro quo contracts with the public service unions. (Not surprisingly, but to the disgust of taxpayers living in the private sector, the fire and police unions supported his candidacy in 2014.)
Lately local business owners and residents have been howling about the newly extended hours on the parking meters proliferating around the city. We are literally being nickel-and-dimed to death, but people are blaming the wrong mayor. This is still Cianci’s toxic legacy and it has a long half-life. Moody’s recently revised its outlook for the city to ‘negative’ citing,
. . . the continued challenges the city faces achieving structural balance and improving its very weak reserve position. Rising pension and healthcare costs will continue to pressure the city’s finances.
So let’s not get caught up in any public gestures — plaques, busts, rivers, etc. In fact, there is an extra portrait hanging in City Hall that I think would make a very nice gift to somebody somewhere.