We need to change our priorities fast
To the Editor:
Back in April there was an article in the Johnston Sun Rise titled, “Council OKs $4M bond for capital items.” The money came from a lawsuit in which the town will receive $6 million over the next 14 years via Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corp. and Broadrock Gas Services.
Mayor Polisena and the Town Council want to apply $4 million of that to finance an athletic complex, a new fire vehicle and school improvements, while the other $2 million will go toward the interest on the bond.
Consider our state’s “chronic” unemployment at 8.7 percent, now the highest in the country. According to Democratic candidate Ed Doyle, who will run against Deborah Fellella in the September primary, there are 3,000 Johnston residents out of work in our town. In addition, this past winter 1,326 Johnston residents applied for heating assistance. We need to change our priorities fast.
Polisena stated, “This money will go a long way for much needed capital improvement projects.” If improvements are so “much needed,” shouldn’t we consider cost effective measures regarding the endless provisions that I highlighted in my April commentary, “Where’s the money going?” Polisena noted that he is “very, very cautious” regarding expenses and that this action was “a no-brainer.”
A “no-brainer” would be to combine the 20 sick days and three and four personal days to one week when you consider the abuse and overtime regarding minimum staffing requirements. Just this single measure alone would save millions annually. If the readers were to log onto Johnstonsunrise.net and “click on opinions” and “letters to the editor,” you can see that commentary and realize the unnecessary millions we dish out annually.
Just last year the mayor and Democratic Town Council approved another bond to resurface some streets around town. Again, all we need to do is get realistic with the endless provisions in the contracts.
If we were to only pay prevailing wages and benefits that reflect the private sector, which is approximately 89 percent of the workforce, we could pave every street in town, lay down sidewalks where needed and reduce our taxation by millions annually. In addition, this approach would bring in new businesses in which there would be no need for any tax incentives including bringing up our home values, etc. We need legislation that would give broad “arbitration authority” to our municipalities regarding every aspect of our finances and how we provide for our services.
I also want to make note of the various fundraising activities of the unions. The next time some politician “generalizes” with you and gives you a “wink and a nod” and some “union hack” standing by their side tells you about all their fundraising efforts e.g. collecting money with their boots at street corners, donating gift baskets to the elderly or raffling off a Harley Davison, I hope the readers will realize it’s all about maintaining a status quo that we can no longer afford. It takes a lot of audacity to suggest to peopling who they should vote for based on charitable deeds.
In addition, the next time some politician hands out checks valued at $1,000 from the State Appropriation Committee for various frivolous items to garner votes, I hope the reader’s witnessing that will take those phonies to task realizing the above difficulties countless Rhode Islanders are having. As a conservative I appreciate the good old fashion logic Ed Doyle has been espousing.
In closing, the politics in this town and across our state is pitiful. I, like many others, am sickened with the fact that our representation is indeed a reflection of the voters. If there was ever a phobia to fear it is waking up one morning and no longer giving a damn about our country in which the liberal, communistic, socialistic and unions that make up the nowadays Democratic Party would embrace indeed.
Peter A. Filippi III