To the Editor:
In the recent Johnston Sun Rise article “Polisena Looking Ahead,” it started with the mayor reading a card from a child who was glad for the new playground that came about via an $8 million lawsuit that came from the landfill and Broadrock Renewables, which the mayor claimed was his biggest accomplishment; a lawsuit that any sitting mayor would have won that fell in his lap.
In addition, he credited “Team Polisena” for the new Price Rite and bank in Stuart’s Plaza and credited “Team Polisena” for the deal that was reached with Hobbs Brook Management that will invest to renovate the old FM Global building; did the new businesses and deals come about via highway locations or tax treaties?
Next, the mayor said, regarding this next election, that he will deal with the town’s unfunded pension liabilities in which he compared it to “taking in $500 a week while spending $1,500.” Does that mean over the last five years under his leadership our town has continued putting $500 per week in the pension fund for every $1,500 going out? Is that real leadership? He also stated, “The key is reform, not taxes,” yet didn’t give one iota of any reforms whatsoever. The truth is the endless cost effective reforms that could solve all our financial concerns will never be addressed by “Team Polisena.”
In addition, he stated the police and fire unions recognize the problem but added, “It will take more than a few years to resolve them.” Does that mean we shouldn’t expect much? As for the unions recognizing the problem, they never gave a damn about taxpayers via “decades” of endless incredibly expensive provisions, benefits, hefty pensions and insane entitlements that have led us to this present crisis. The truth is our children will be nothing more than slaves in which present day taxpayers are nothing more than cash cows …
When Polisena first ran for mayor, after serving 12 years in the Democrat dominated legislature, he said, “I will do a forensic audit of every department,” “Heads would roll if budgets went over” and “The unions must negotiate in good faith.” However, last winter and after four years on the job, he stated, “We don’t have enough money to plow our roads,” and here we are today getting deeper in debt. The time for straight talk, honest debate and change in direction is long overdue.
Over the last 20 years as I ran for local office, always advocating cost effective government, town workers have told me such things as, “These things have been promised to us, and you can’t take them away,” and, “Don’t blame us, blame the politicians for being so stupid.” The same Democrat politicians that they worked hard getting elected, including our “say as little as possible” mayor. In fact, over those years I’ve had my share of intimidation because if you advocate open honest and cost effective government, you will be harassed.
The reality of the above is politicians that do not shed light on the endless provisions in the contracts that must be substantially reduced are phonies to say the least. Again, I say the endless reforms and cost effective alternatives will never be addressed by “Team Polisena.” All anyone has to do is analyze his endless statements and ask themselves what do they really mean.
As for the $8 million, it’s only pennies. Just annual longevity bonuses, in which some are over $9,000, are in the hundreds of thousands annually. The overtime to provide for the 20 sick days, three personal days and up to eight weeks’ vacations are also additional hundreds of thousands annually. Twelve percent pension contributions, $75,000 life insurance policies, $1,800 yearly clothing allowances, 15 holidays, built-in overtime provisions, maintaining certificates at a $1,000 per firefighter that shouldn’t be, gun allowances for police, Cadillac healthcare packages, 20 year retirements, I could go on forever …
Addressing these real issues would reduce our taxation by millions annually and create needed employment. “Team Polisena” should be advocating legislation such as “right to work legislation,” “tort reform” and demanding total control for our cities and towns to deal with their finances regarding how they provide for their services that would empower local taxpayers across our state in which privatization is key. The cost per Johnston pupil is approximately $16,500, religious education is half that when you combine the cost from kindergarten through grade 12 and they receive a better education. At this time in the world our country is ranked 25th in math, reading, and science thanks to government labor unions. School vouchers are the answer and would save additional millions annually.
In closing, it would appear the $8 million lawsuit was the best “Team Polisena” could do, or should I say wiling to do. I hope the readers will pass this commentary around and if so just tell folks, “Here’s a little food for thought”. Thank you.
Peter A. Filippi