Special Referendum For Providence

(6.7) On Tuesday, June 7, voters in Providence will be asked to vote on one local question: Funding of City’s Pension Liability to Employees. It reads:

Shall the City of Providence finance a contribution towards the unfunded pension liability of the Employee Retirement System of the City of Providence by issuance of general obligation bonds in a principal amount not to exceed $515,000,000.

The Mayor wants you to vote Approve.

Three of the city’s major labor unions want you to vote Approve.

Not surprisingly, GoLocalProv urges a ‘no’ vote.

Check your polling place: You may not be voting where you regularly vote. Go to the Board of Canvassers to find your polling location.

Who to blame?

WPRI reminds us:

The pension account has an unfunded liability of more than $1 billion as a result of past administrations not putting enough money into the fund to support the future pension benefits promised in union contracts.

We are still suffering from the corruption of the Cianci administration. We wrote about this during the campaign of 2014 in “Cianci Lies About Pension Mismanagement.” The ProJo editors wrote at the time:

By the time Cianci had shifted his residence to the federal penitentiary, the city was groaning under massive pension debt, with only $335 million of the $899 million required in fiscal 2003.

Cianci’s successors were left with the excruciating and thankless task of moving those annual funding percentages back up in a tough economy.

Polls are open 7am to 8pm, Tuesday, June 7.

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