To the Editor:
I’ve been writing commentaries for over 20 years and this coming election will indeed be the most critical one yet for voters to wise up to the antics of the Democratic leadership that has been in control of our state for over 70 years. Every monetary concern that Rhode Islanders have can only be blamed on them, but also on the naiveté of the voters for being irresponsible in their stewardship.
Recently there were three issues, two of which involved our town, which need to be examined for honesty. First, our town spent $156,000 for a fuel tank that “may” save our town $35,000 a year in which the mayor stated, “It all adds up. We’re reinvesting back into the town.” “This should have happened 15 years ago” and “This is another item I can check off my list.” Next, the Mill St. Bridge was reopened with a cost of $115,000 after being closed for two years. At the time, Democratic Senators Reed and Whitehouse and Congressman Langevin had their pictures taken and pledged a swift rebuilding of the project. The mayor noted if our town had initiated the work, our town would have had to bear the entire cost. Also, Woonsocket’s school system is $10 million in the hole and the city may have to file for bankruptcy, having the state take over the city. The governor, who won via union support, said the real problem is the state needs to give more money back to the cities and towns and that Woonsocket may now have to lay off teachers. Higher taxes are on the way indeed.
From a conservative Republican perspective, the combined cost of the fuel tank and bridge was the equivalent of nickels and dimes. Saving money is very critical for every municipality and is the key to fiscal prosperity, but to make an issue of the savings that will come from the fuel tank is deceptive. It’s deceptive because when you consider reforms that would save our town millions annually, residents need to open their eyes. Is it a coincidence that the bridge was finally repaired during an election year? As for claiming the need to lay off teachers, Woonsocket officials should have emphasized the need to provide their services cost effectively instead of using scare tactics. When you realize the provisions in the contracts and the contempt for taxpayers, it’s sinful and not one Democrat makes any mention of this fact. Reed, Whitehouse and Langevin did nothing but sit idly by, while supporting the president’s energy policies that have deliberately inflated our energy costs, as Obama dumped $2.7 billion down a rat hole on green energy then had the gall to say, “We can’t always pick winners from losers.” Our mayor should be outraged with our Democratic Congressional delegation, but it’s all election year politics; patting one another on the back while deliberately ignoring vital reforms that would rescue our state and local economies. Make no mistake about it; the new fuel tank is a Trojan horse of deception. In preparing this commentary, I called Senator Whitehouse to see how he voted on the Canadian Oil Pipe Line this week and was told they would send me that info in about three weeks. Yeah, right.
Taxpayers need to realize the urgency for privatization, including reinventing how we provide for our services. Our government is supposed to reflect the needs of the people for the good of the people, not the other way around. School vouchers alone would save every city and town millions annually. Over the coming weeks, I will be highlighting cost saving reforms that would cut our local taxation in half; you read that right. Residents who wish to vent their frustration can do so by passing these commentaries around and talking to our local elected officials, whatever good that may do because they know this already. In fact, it’s a moral obligation to do so, for not to would be the equivalent of deliberately leaving our children and grandchildren destitute.
In closing, add this up, Joe – we need to reinvest in taxpayers via considering cost-saving options that are based on affordability, because taxpayers should come before the endless and unsustainable provisions that are bankrupting our town and should have been on the top of your “checklist” long ago. If residents had been more dutiful over the years, none of these conditions would exist today, but it’s never too late to have a change of heart. Instead of taxes going up via future supplemental taxation across the board in spades, they could be steadily going down substantially. What’s on your checklist? Thank you.
Peter A. Filippi III
Founder of the Johnston Taxpayers Association