Parking Ordinance and Emilio Navarro’s Response

Council member Emilio Navarro was good enough to send a copy of the ordinance which was defeated on Thursday night. You can read the full ordinance here. Council Member Navarro provided this accompanying email:

Here is a copy of the amended ordinance that died in committee.

The argument against the ordinance was it was “anti business� and businesses are going to be driven out of Cranston and that the ordinance should not be city wide.

My biggest fear is the residents of this city are the ones that are going to be driven out because city government is letting them down and not protecting their quality of life. Their problems are falling on deaf ears and that is not good government. It is irresponsible government.

I tried putting forth a vehicle or process in which residents can voice their concerns and, if in extreme cases like the one facing the residents of Domestic Bank there would be solution, if merited, by designating resident parking areas with stickers if approved by the city council.

I’d also like to raise a question that comes from an exchange on Kmareka between Tom Cloonen and the elusive “Jesse from Cranston.” Tom Cloonen praised Emilio Navarro, calling him “one of the more honorable men I have had the pleasure to meet.” Jesse responded that “Mr. Cloonen seems to like Emilio because he’s doing his job as a first-term City Councilor: listening to vocal residents about their issues. Once this lot thing is over, I expect Emilio will find more important things to spend his time addressing.” I wonder if Jesse can further explain what he meant by this comment. In my understanding of being a legislator, listening to constituents is the main part of your job. If Emilio continues in politics, what are these “more important” things that you expect he will be doing?

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23 thoughts on “Parking Ordinance and Emilio Navarro’s Response

  1. I think that the time has come that people stop hiding behind pseudonyms.

    I you have something of substance to say, say it with your own name.

    This is America and no one should ever fear using their freedom of speech.

  2. My apologies, Andre. This may be America, but the sad fact of the matter is that employees have no civil rights. Corporate America does not believe in freedom of speech. One can be fired for any number of reasons, including trumped-up charges that have nothing to do with the real reason. I’ve seen it happen. As a result, I will continue to hide behind my pseudonym.

    As I stated before, my expressed opinion should carry no more nor less weight because there is no real name attached. For example, I don’t need to know who “Jesse from Cranston” is to realize that he has an incredibly slanted view of this, that he’s somehow connected to the people at Domestic Bank, albeit perhaps indirectly and behind several layers of screening. He simply has too many very specific details not to be an insider. As such, weigh his credibility accordingly.

    Now, I’ve read the ordinance. Calling this “anti-business” is really a stretch, if not deliberate mis-information. There are plenty of hoops and hurdles to jump through and over that getting residential stickers would require a fairly high level of outrage among the neighbors impacted. Without 55% of affected owners, nothing happens. As we all know getting sustained, concerted public action is a lot like herding cats; if the level of outrage is high enough to get that kind of concerted action, then it would imply that there is a serious problem.

    So, “Jesse,” I will defend your right to anonymity. But I disagree with much that you say.

    PS: What’s with the crack about Navarro? By “more important things” do you mean selling out to commercial interests, and selling out your constituents? Gotta say, with that crack, and the anti-business comment, you’ve removed any doubt about which side is buttering your bread.

    Pseudonymously yours,

    “klaus”

  3. Okay, the guest appearances from Abe Lincoln and FD Roosevelt were cute. The third time and it’s getting a little played. Perhaps try incorporating the quote into comment about why the quote seems important to this discussion.

  4. Here”s a quote. It”s from my 12th grade history professor,

    “There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action”.

  5. I certainly agree with Kiersten about the cameos from world leaders of the past.

    I would hope that the concerns of an elected official’s residents, whether it be Councilman Navarro or anyone else who is elected to represent their community, are always the most important thing to him and when they are not than that person should no longer be in office.

  6. In hindsight, my comments may have been a bit more… blunt than I would otherwise have intended them. But to explain my premise: the Domestic situation has taken up lots of time and effort, only to have this resident parking proposal fail. It also seems that the Domestic issue was pushed by a very small and vocal group; I think that when you earn 3,000+ votes as Emilio did but spend so much time answering to a small group, you risk neglecting the other voters.

    Not to mention, there are big citywide issues that will need Emilio’s time and study; Cranston as a whole needs some serious attention, not just the immediate area near one bank.

    I hope this explains my POV.

  7. Jesse,

    Tell that to the 100 plus residents that signed a petition and submitted it to the council. And tell me, no comments about Garabedian becoming unglued at the last council meeting and failing to recall reality. Do you suppose it was convenient memory loss? The issue of commercial encroachment is a citywide issue. And the residents of Forest Hills are at the forefront of that battle. Yes Jesse a BATTLE. Rather than pulling on Garabedian’s skirt, why don’t you commend us for standing up for what we know is right. And lest I remind you, 40% of the respondents to the Herald poll voted they would move from the city as soon as they could. One hell of an endorsement for King Garabedian, wouldn’t you say?

    http://cranstononline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4150&Itemid=33

  8. Sorry, Tom, but a parking lot doesn’t seem to be as big an issue as a concrete plant or the paving over or a rec area like Mulligan’s. So I wouldn’t consider Forest Hills to be “at the forefront.”

    But yes, to be fair, I think it’s important for residents to voice their concerns and appeal to their elected officials about issues important to them. As I’ve suggested previously, though, I don’t think that gives them license to be vigilantes and stalk people with cameras or issue angry invective against people who disagree.

    I also don’t think it justifies demanding special treatment for one neighborhood or creating veto power for small groups of residents.

    In the end, people are going to have to compromise one way or the other. The city got some of the cars off the street when it (I would hope) wants to find a place for all of them. This was an interim step, not perfect by any means, but they did something. I really think it’s unfortunate when people can’t bring themselves to respect a compromise.

    And as for the Herald poll, I doubt the number would have been much different two years ago at the height of Laffey’s taxing spree. I don’t put much stock in it, in other words.

  9. Laffey this Laffey that. What will you say after Nap turns out to be a one hit wonder? And just to set the record straight, again. Commercial encroachment at the Concrete Plant, at Mulligan’s , in Forst Hills, in the neighborhood surrounding Northeast tree, and in Santamaria’s ward around Jimmy D’s. You spew rhetoric from the shadows, Jesse. Nothing orginal to say. Get over Laffey, he’s gone. And don’t trivialize the issues in Forest Hills or those in the neighborhoods.

  10. I continue to wait for city hall to email me a copy of the letter. I spoke with “Karen” in Nap’s office both Friday and today. On Friday, she forwarded me on to Joe Morris in the tax department, who responded with a voice message saying he had nothing to do with the letter. Karen is hopefully going to be able to get the letter to me sometime in the near future. I tried to explain more expansively in the second phone call on why I wanted it.

  11. Yeah, I thought of that, but I’m kind of enjoying seeing what happens when making a simple request to the Mayor’s office, seeing how long it takes to get a response, if I ever get one. I have sent email to the Mayor’s office before alerting them to postings on the blog that relate to local affairs, in case they wanted to respond. Which they haven’t. And I did give them my URL over the phone today so they could check out the blog. I pointed out that the Mayor mailed a hard copy of the letter to everyone in the city, so obviously he wants to get his message out, and that I would be helping him do that by publishing it online.

  12. I had asked on three occasions for the budget in excel format. I was promised it twice. Two weeks ago, I was at a wake for the mother of one of my employees. Nap walked in to convey his condolences. He actually walked up to me and stated ” sorry for your loss”. When I told him who I was and explaiined I wasn’t a family member, he quickly remembered my address, Then went to apologize for not getting me the budget data. He said he didn’t have it in the format I requested. In excel.Hard to believe. It was a nice touch attending the wake.

  13. Rachel,

    The issue is, the budget as presented is nearly impossible for the taxpayer to underdstand total costs at a consolidated level, never mind understanding trends. All I asked for was the budget in excel format so I could consolidate dollars by general ledger to see what we look like at the city level. I was told they don’t have that format.BS!!!! More misinformation.

  14. Tom:

    Go on the city’s website and open the Acrobat file. If you don’t have the program it’s free to download from almost anywhere. Then you can print it (it’s about 90 pages) and see it for yourself.

  15. Thanks Jesse, but 90 pages of paper is difficult to get one’s arms around. And to analize it at a consolidated level would require one to enter all that data. That’s why I asked for the budget in excel format. I could consolidate the GL’s and have a consolidated roll up in about 15 minutes. That’s really the only way to get a picture of what the city expenses actually look like and what is really being proposed. It’s scary to me that I was told by the Mayor that he did not have it in that format. I imagine it would suprise anyone else out there that prepares or analizes budgets or that has P and L responsibilty.

  16. Tom,I agree that Emilio Navarro is a honorable man. I had the pleasure of meeting him when my son started playing in the major’s with CNBLL. Councilman Navarro was the President of CNBLL for at least three or four years. He is seen in that league as a great husband, father and community leader. Even now that he is busy as councilman you can still find him down at that field helping out in anyway he can.

    I also feel there is no issue to small, when it is affecting the quality of life of our neighbors and there families in such a big way.

  17. Tom:

    I can’t say I understand what you mean when you talk about “consolidated format” for the budget. The city budget is formatted according to state-mandated standards; it includes the mayor’s proposal and the council approved numbers. You can also get past years to make comparisons.

    I also feel it is quite unfair to demand such a specific format, then criticize the city for not having it.

    At some point, Tom, I think you’re just going to have to do some work for yourself, instead of making demands and inventing controversies.

  18. No Jesse, I’ll just keep paying more and more taxes and be happy the city’s budget is as mandated by the state. I sleep better at night, Jesse, knowing that you’re looking out for the best interest of all of us. And please, keep pointing out all the controversies and conspiracy theories I put forth.Thank you for helping me discern fact from fiction. I know I’m a better man for it..

  19. Jesse, I know exactly what Tom means. In pdf, all you can do is read the numbers and grow numb. In Excel, you can actually work the numbers, do comparisons, etc.

    It’s obviously nonsense that it doesn’t exist in Excel. It wasn’t created as a pdf.

    Now, the danger of giving it out in Excel form is that changes can be made. Then, should a few minor errors creep in–which can easily happen in a file that size–it can cause some problems.

    But Jesse, it’s when you defend stuff like this that makes me suspicious of your motives. I mean, why is it so hard to understand what Tom is talking about? Are yo pretending not to understand? Or do you not work with numbers yourself?

    I don’t necessarily mean that as a criticism; a lot of people don’t. But your reflex reaction is to act as if Tom had asked for something truly bizarre.

  20. klaus:

    I’m not defending the city so much as (in my view) I’m insisting on using a little reason. I’m all for vigilance, i.e., getting public information and reviewing it to gain insight into a government’s operations — as opposed to vigilantism, like Tom’s stalking of bank employees and his pestering City Hall for an Excel budget, then making it seem like a vendetta against him when he can’t get it.

    My point with bringing up the state budget mandates is to explain that the city is legally bound to prepare its budget the way it does — it does not have to do it Tom’s way.

    As for my motives, I will say that I simply can’t let Tom go unanswered. I’ll confess to a real weakness in my resolve toward bloggers like him. See, to read the way he tears down the city and bashes elected officials (not to mention slamming me for posting with a pseudonym), while at the same time knowing that he was responsible for the anonymous flyer in the Herald a couple of weeks back (only to submit it as a letter to the editor and finally put his name on it later) — well, I hope you can understand my problem with it.

    In the end, all I’m trying to do is offer an alternate view (which is what I think blogs are for — not enforcing conformity), and to point out the facts that support that view. That my POV is generally in line with people like Aram Garabedian should be no reason to consider my statements any less credible than anyone else’s.

    It’s the facts that matter. If I’m factually incorrect, point it out. You’ll notice that every time I catch Tom with facts, he reverts to calling me names (you’ve also stood up to him on that, which I appreciate).

    So, to review: the city has the budget, Tom wants the budget his way, he’s not going to get it and he’s not going to compromise and do a little work. Instead he’s going to complain and continue to post sarcastic replies.

    (And I’M the one being questioned about motives?!)

  21. I don’t think the request to get data in a workable format is outlandish. The reports are in that format for the accountants already. Giving a copy to the public is not going to change the data. It allows the public to manipulate the date in a manner they can read.

    A few years back when I tried to save Horton, the school budget was in PDF format, and 150 pages long. I manually entered half of it into excel to help figure things out. What I realized is that the school half of the school budget is for the schools, the rest is for transportation and other parties.

    If they really wanted the public to understand where the money is going- they would provide the budget in a usable format. They don’t really want people to know where the monies are going.

    As for your comment about bashing elected officials- I have received first hand a public bashing from a very un-professional Garabedian. I was at the podium, and it turned into a Q&A session between me and him. Except his microphone is turned louder than all the others in council, and he could not control his demeanor. He can give it, but people jump to his defense when they give it back. If you can’t take it, don’t give it out. Once I again- lack of professionalism- Feb Cranston Herald. It took Councilman Fung to get Aram under control.
    Yet people wonder why more don’t attend- maybe the fact that the elected officials take that opportunity to abuse them has something to do with it. They are supposed to listen to our opinions. Something that everyone is entitled to have (whether or not you agree is a different story).

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