Domestic Parking Problems and Nap’s Tax Letter

Mark Lucas has written a summary of last night’s special ordinance committee meeting, which considered and ultimately rejected a proposed ordinance. I am not exactly sure what this ordinance said, so have asked to get a copy and will post it.

Also, Jesse from Cranston has suggested we discuss the tax letter recently sent out by Mayor Napolitano, the one coming from an address other than city hall and explaining that it was basically Laffey’s fault and the fault of the Democratic city council that he had to raise taxes this year. I’ve called City Hall and requested a copy of this letter, which I will also post online. Feel free to start the discussion ahead of time but please provide actual quotes from the letter or accurate summaries to make the discussion optimally fruitful.

Also, there are rumors that an agreement has been reached between the city and the concrete plant, and that the agreement involves a payout to the concrete plant in order to stop the plant from being further built or operated.

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11 thoughts on “Domestic Parking Problems and Nap’s Tax Letter

  1. Kiersten,
    If the concrete plant rumor you mentioned is true it would a major boost to the psyche of the bloodied, but unbowed citizens of Cranston. The Stop the Concrete Plant group has been relentless in their opposition to
    the quality of life soiling beast that is/would have been
    the batching plant. I’m sure that the pay out to the concrete plant will be quite large, but I ask “What price
    quality of life?” While last night’s politics as usual decision trumped the efforts of the citizens of Richland Ave, the spirits of all concerned citizens city-wide certainly has to be buoyed by this settlement, if indeed there is one. Thanks for the breaking news.

  2. Kiersten,
    I just got my copy of the letter in the mail today, I think they were sent out in waves because I know someone in another part of the city received it earlier this week. Perhaps yours will be arriving shortly.

  3. I just reread the part about sending it from his home rather than City Hall, I hadn’t noticed that when I opened my copy earlier today. Apparently the Mayor paid for the letter himself because he also includes a disclaimer at the bottom about not using tax dollars.

    I’m new to all of this, but I’m a little curious about one thing. Why would it not be sent from the City? Is there someone (other than the Mayor’s office) that has to approve literature before it is sent out as official correspondence from City Hall?

  4. Rachel,

    There was a big hoopla last year when Mayor Laffey piggybacked mayoral communication with the tax bills. Aram Garabedian and many other council Democrats criticized it to death, even though Mayor O’Leary sent out communications on the taxpayer dime (not piggybacked, but separate, I think.) This is probably an effort to avoid controversy.

    No matter who paid for it, it is clear to me that Mayor Napolitano is “softening the beach” in anticipation of sticking it to the taxpayers, but good.

  5. I have not received a copy of this letter. I will tell you I have been keep track of some of Laffey’s bumbling of our money over the last several months, and I am up to a couple of million. Now compound that with attorneys fees for the City working on the concrete plant litigation…and again compound this over the next several year’s and surely a settlement would be the most logical sense. Arrogant Laffey made himself look good with a $20K surplus – that surplus is at the expense of not paying City Dept. over the years like the Highway Dept. that requested $1K for equipment….ironically nothing was approved until the point that he was running for Senator. Another $1K or so is the repeated denial of Risk Claims for the Water Damaged Victims. I could go on an on about other areas of unacceptable practices – - but he no doubt would have justification for such morals. Napolitano really had no idea of what he was getting into. But the recent strategy to talk to all over the City about a possible “working on something….lining my ducks up in a row” and I have heard others say he said “it’s a big secret”. Now, I have to wonder what kind of leverage this would give him with Cullion. I truly believe it will come out as we keep hammering away at the Laffey deal with Cullion. Cullion is obviously not anticipating the abilities of the group….and Laffey, well, he thinks he’s perfect. Peronally, I have a problem with a guy who marries his nanny and slams his siblings saying how they all have problems but he’s the only normal genious. And that television ad with his altzheimer’s parents was sickening ~ no scruples. Our message is simple….Anderson, Laffey and Cullion cut a deal…a bad deal for the residents and we will be relentless until the truth comes out.

    RI leads the nation as the seventh top payer in taxes. Cranston is known as one of the highest (or is) in RI. We need to keep the momentum on these officials and hold them accountable.

  6. Suzanne, get angry over the astro turf that will cost us what?. If we float a twenty year bond, we will be paying for it 10 years after it’s expected life expectancy. Think about it, we financed a Kia for 10 years. This place makes Boston look like Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. All that and we get to fund the deficit with more taxes on declining residential real estate values caused by commercial development and encroachment. I like to get kissed when I get boinked.Caveat emptor

  7. Mark,
    Thanks for filling me in on the mayoral communication/tax dollars information.

    Suzanne,
    Most likely you’ll be getting your letter soon, it seems to slowly be making its way across the city.

  8. From the comments posted so far, it seems that Ward 3 was among the first areas to get the letter — Paula McFarland’s district. Coincidence?

    Suzanne, you make the point beautifully that it’s Laffey’s disatrous and arrogant “management” that put us in this hole. Nap’s been Mayor for 7 months.

    I also get the sense that this was a decision driven by polling (at least informally); Nap hears that he’s getting pummelled for the expected tax increase and convinces himself that a “strong statement” is the way to respond.

    And let’s not forget that Cranston has had two years of relatively flat taxes (after Laffey’s $20+ million tax hikes in 2 years). 5.25% — even though it’s the state max — is probably better than it could have been. I only hope we don’t see a supplemental tax bill next spring.

    Plus, it protects the surplus, keeps the bond ratings intact, and avoids costly legal fighting that only drives up the city’s budget.

    My only other point is that Laffey’s letter last year was a blatantly political piece, right down to blasting Providence for its “smoke-and-mirrors budget.” There were a number of statements in that letter that he had spoken out on the Senate campaign trail. O’Leary never did anything like that.

    And Nap’s previous letter — which I received with my sewer bill — was a kind of status report, much different from this recent piece that was pointedly political.

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