And you, the taxpayer, should weigh in. This is more important than calling in your vote for American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. This is about whether we are going to fight over money and pay lawyers or whether we are going to hand needed funds over to the schools. And this is about determining how the school’s books will be kept, to ensure that they do not run up a $4.9 million dollar deficit or anything of the likes ever again. From the Projo:
[...] Council members declined to discuss specific provisions of the agreement in recent days, noting that it was supposed to be confidential.
But several said, in general terms, that the provisions designed to impose fiscal discipline on the schools in the long run did not have enough teeth.
There was talk in political circles yesterday of making last-minute adjustments to the agreement to address those concerns.
Let us adjust. Let us amend. Let us get this thing settled without having to go through a lengthy court battle. To that end, I encourage all Cranstonites to call/email their city council representatives, particularly those who voted against the settlement, and ask them to reach consensus through mediation, not litigation.
Phone: (401) 785-2955
Fax: (401) 274-5433
Mayoral candidate Cindy Fogarty is also encouraging open dialogue and more public involvement to get this Caruolo action settled. She sent this letter to the City Council and School Committee, urging them to keep communications open and continue working toward resolution:
July 6, 2008
Cranston City Councilmembers and
Cranston School Committee Members
Via Electronic Mail
RE: Caruolo Action and Settlement Vote
Please consider this request to you and your respective committees to reconvene and reconsider settlement talks over the FYE 2008 and FYE 2009 school department budget allocation. If there are portions acceptable to both parties, those should be stipulated to and entered with the court. The unresolved issues then might be easier to negotiate.
While I do not have the benefit of a copy of the proposed settlement, in talking with members of each committee, it appears that the language might not sufficiently require certain actions on both sides. Perhaps a public meeting that provides the details would help the citizens better understand each sides position.
As an attorney myself, I have found that there are very few times when the door should be closed on negotiation. Again, I ask you to keep the communications open for the benefit of our City.