Mayoral Debate on Dan Yorke

Download the entire Cindy Fogarty and Allan Fung debate from earlier today by going here. Then come back and leave us your fascinating and astute comments.

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6 responses

  1. A couple of astute comments about this “debate”. First, if Dan Yorke wanted to participate in the debate, he should have run for mayor. Relative to his take on the pension issue (i.e. demanding workers to take a 401(k) or get out of Dodge), he doesn’t want a mayor – he wants a dictator. It must be really nice sitting in the cheap seats telling others in the arena what they should do.

    That said, I thought that there was an interesting dynamic in the debate. Most interesting, Cindy went first – save for once or twice at the end (that vision thing Yorke wanted but didn’t specifically ask for at first). I thought from a technical point of view, that gave her an advantage. Allan was, too often, placed in the position of sounding like he was saying “me too.”

    On issues, I thought that the discussion of education was interesting. Fung talked about the performance audit ordered by the court, which is an appropriate start for looking for ways to save money. He also referenced a prior audit from around 2003 that indicated areas where savings could be found. And – that the school department/committee took no action.

    On the other hand, Fogarty has it right when she talks about systemic change. This isn’t a Cranston issue, it’s a state issue. If real change is to come in the ways the “city side” and “school side” cooperate and interact, then there’s going to have to be drastic changes in state law. The same for the funding formula, which according to Fogarty would yield millions of dollars more to Cranston had it passed the legislature last session.

    Neither wanted to jump into the deep end of the pool and talk about re-districting of school districts. They both stuck their metaphoric toes in the water but didn’t jump in. Joint purchasing agreements, collaborative ventures with neighboring towns is a nice start, but probably not the solution. Forty years ago, there was a legislative report about reducing school districts to five. Someone probably should dust that off and give it a fresh read.

    As for city operating expenses, both wanted to consolidate. Duplicative services do waste money. However, much to the chagrin of Mr. Yorke, there’s no magic wand that will force a good consolidation scheme. Rather, it’s got to be well thought out and – probably – incrementally executed. That takes time, effort and good will on all sides.

    One thing I thought when I heard this discussion was that there was no mention of a proposal to the effect that if a department, through proper cost-saving management while still maintaining the required levels of service, didn’t spend its complete funding appropriation during a fiscal year, they could retain that in a fund to be available for special projects/emergencies/etc. Currently, because we use current funding/spending as a basis for future funding requests and allocations, agencies are pressured to spend money when, perhaps, they don’t have to. In short, we disincentivize government agencies to save money through through the adoption of prudent management routines. If we let agencies carry over money from year to year, we might provide incentives for savings and strong, creative management. It’s worked in other municipalities in the country, so it might work here.

  2. Jesse from Cranston

    As of 10:55 pm Tuesday, here are the results as posted on the state Board of Elections website:

    – Dems sweep Cranston General Assembly delegation
    – Dems take 9-0 City Council
    – Fogarty loses in Mayor’s race (with 97% reporting, Fung ahead 63-37%)

    Admittedly self-serving editorial comment follows:

    Maybe, instead of pushing false accusations and attempting to identify me as someone else, Mrs. Fogarty should have considered my words of April 11: “She has no money, no plan, and no concept of how to run a citywide campaign” — and put together a competitive campaign.

    Remember this thread? http://kmareka.com/?p=1781#comments
    I do.

    I feel badly for Kiersten, who probably did exemplary work in trying to make Fogarty’s campaign viable — only to watch the whole thing crumble on Election Night. Kiersten was dealt a tough hand to begin with — and wasn’t helped by the complete lack of serious fundraising and an anemic online presence that included a Facebook page littered with LaSalle Academy students who a.) don’t live in Cranston and/or b.) were too young to vote.

    Not to mention, her website was tragically slow in uploading photos from her “community forum” at the library and her later fundraiser at Twin Oaks.

    Now, lest anyone think I’m being too harsh, I actually predicted a 53-47 win for Fung – meaning I gave Fogarty more of a benefit of the doubt.

  3. I’m sure Kiersten did put in a lot of work that was appreciated by all involved.

    Kiersten, hopefully you’ll be rejoining the blog world again soon because with no more West Bay section, Cranston news doesn’t get any coverage.

    Great news, both Cranston’s and the State’s Open Space Bonds passed!

  4. Postmortems on the day after…

    Fogarty’s loss is Kmareka nation’s gain. Welcome back, Kiersten. Anyone who’s been in this game long enough have been on both sides of an election. As Mo Udall said after losing a number of primaries before winning his first primary in 1976 – “I’ve won and I’ve lost and winning is a whole lot better.” Too true. But, you no doubt worked hard and did what you could to deliver for your candidate. In the end, that’s really all you could do. So, go catch your breath and get back at it.

    As for the Cranston results, maybe it’s better that it’s a romp. It could be Coleman/Franken in Minnesota – about 700 votes separate them. Recount until December? Yuck.

    I don’t take a lot of solace from the 9-0 council line-up. There are at least three elected councilpersons who are less than impressive – one of whom doesn’t know what or where the Pastore Center is. True.

    This just in – the Dow opens at 150 down. Same Story/Different Day.

    As for the campaign in general, I was stunned by the lack of actual campaigning this year. There was little from either of the mayoral candidate – and one had money! The candidates from both parties running for council were nearly all invisible. As for the legislative candidates, I can only say that save for one that I know of, they were mostly MIA. Rather than celebrating their impressive victories, perhaps we should be focused on the total lack of regard and respect shown to voters by their lack of campaigning and presenting themselves for scrutiny and vetting. And with our city and state in the dumper, that’s not only disrespectful, it’s down right despicable.

  5. Carville,
    I have to add that as a candidate, I walked close to the entire ward and I know that there were several others out there doing the same throughout Cranston.

    It’s a pity that not everyone feels it is important to meet the people that they hope to represent. All elected officials need to remember that its the people they are working for.

  6. Rachel,

    I’m very happy to read that you walked your ward and met with voters. That’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s the exchange that’s valuable – the learning that occurs on both sides of the exchange of views.

    If I were a cynic, I’d think that the invisibility of most campaigns is by design an attempt to suppress voter turnout in order to benefit the incumbent/established candidates/parties. A contested race would only bring out more voters and introduce uncertainty to the process. Then who knows? Maybe real democracy would break out resulting in who knows what outcome? So sometimes a candidate might think it better not to campaign in order to suppress turnout and keep voters home. Of course I’d think that only if I were a cynic.

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