Coventry Legislator Ejected

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 — A meeting last night of the Town Council, the School Committee and the community’s legislative delegation, to discuss the town’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 — which was on the ballot as an all-or-nothing proposition — 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 — who included, besides Gorham, Representatives Raymond Sullivan and Victor Moffitt and Sen. Leonidas Raptakis — 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, “Why didn’t you say something? Why didn’t we hear from you before?�

Council President Justin Pomfret then declared: “Thank you Mr. Gorham, you just lost us $5 million.� (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.

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2 thoughts on “Coventry Legislator Ejected

  1. This reminds me of a story I once heard about a gentleman who became so enraged at the Coventry superintendent during the town’s financial meeting in 1996 that he was arrested by the cops — then sued the town for police brutality, after he’d elbowed an officer in the face and wrestled with a couple of other cops. Ultimately, the resident’s case was thrown out.

    It’s not so quiet in those “little quiet towns,” I guess.

  2. Maybe you don’t know, Kiersten. But the Council president surely does – the town STILL gets the 50% reimburesement if the work is done through the budget. This is another of a long line of lies so the people will vote for more bonds because the town (and particularly school) doesn’t have the guts to take on the unions and cut costs. they just want to pass on the costs to my kids who will pay for it when the bill comes due. We in coventry (and probably other areas) are sick of being lied to and our finances controlled by the unions.

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