And I thought we got a little hot under the collar here in Cranston. We got nothin’ on Coventry. Last night, Rep. Nicholas Gorham had to be escorted out by the police. From the Projo:
COVENTRY â€” A meeting last night of the Town Council, the School Committee and the communityâ€™s legislative delegation, to discuss the townâ€™s prospects for state aid, degenerated into a shouting match between the council president and Rep. Nicholas Gorham, who ultimately was escorted from Town Hall by two local police officers.
When the session began, the topic shifted to the $19.8-million bond-issue package that local voters rejected soundly in a referendum last Wednesday.
That package â€” which was on the ballot as an all-or-nothing proposition â€” included $9 million for the schools, including major structural repairs and upgrades to comply with the toughened state fire code. Without those code improvements, four schools might have to remain closed this September.
Council Vice President Bruce Thompson asked the legislators â€” who included, besides Gorham, Representatives Raymond Sullivan and Victor Moffitt and Sen. Leonidas Raptakis â€” whether the General Assembly might approve another special referendum, this one proposing only $10 million for the schools.
At that point, Gorham demanded to know why the bond package had been presented as an all-or-nothing proposition in the first place. Constituents, he said, had told him they did not want to see such a big borrowing package.
Countered acting Town Manager Paul K. Sprague, â€œWhy didnâ€™t you say something? Why didnâ€™t we hear from you before?â€?
Council President Justin Pomfret then declared: â€œThank you Mr. Gorham, you just lost us $5 million.â€? (He was alluding to a state guarantee of 50 percent reimbursement for improvements to the schools.) [full text]
I hear they’re thinking of applying for state aid in Coventry to install ejector seats at city hall. That way it can all happen much faster.
Seriously, though, politics is tough business. Lots of money is at stake, not to mention the welfare of the community. For the sake of my friends who live in Coventry, I hope things get worked out for the betterment of all.