UPDATE: Sorry about the technical issues. Cindy’s speech is now available below and requires no downloading. Just click on the arrow.
It was a mercifully short event yesterday, standing out in the blazing sun in front of city hall, especially for the Democratic candidates who were all dutifully suited up. Democratic City Chair Mike Sepe reminded us that some of the most powerful and successful women in Rhode Island government have come from Cranston. Cindy Fogarty spoke about growing up on the South Side of Providence, going to Classical High School, and her climb into the middle class here in Cranston. She gave some background on her accomplishments as Chair of the Finance Committee in Cranston and spoke to the fundamental purpose of local government to collect taxes and use them responsibly to provide services.
Also, here’s her speech as prepared for delivery:
Fogarty for Mayor â€“ Press Conference July 1, 2008
Until the linguists come up with a better word or phrase, I am going to sound a bit clichÃ© and say that I am humbled and honored to be the Democratic choice for Mayor of Cranston.
When my husband, who grew up in Cranston, and I chose a place to buy our home and live over 20 years ago, the only place that we looked was in Cranston. For a person who grew â€œfinancially challengedâ€?, born in a poor neighborhood of South Providence, the thought of owning the home that you live in, was a thrill and admittedly a mark of success. I cannot be more proud of the warm community that we found in Cranston.
Most of you know, I have been practicing law just down the street at Calart Tower since 2000 and have served two terms on the Cranston City Council, the second as Finance Chair. My undergraduate educational background in business and accounting, my experience maintaining my own business for 8 years, and my governmental experience as a councilmember with responsibility for passage of Cranston budgets, put me in the unique position of being able to manage the city from day one.
During my two year term as Finance Chair, we balanced the budget, funded the schools and did not raise taxes.
The first thing that I proposed when I became Finance Chair based on an analysis of the cityâ€™s finances at the beginning of 2005, was a resolution to the Republican Administration stating that there should be no tax increase in his proposed budget to the Council that year. This resolution was overwhelmingly supported by the Democrat members of the Council, and the proposed budget came to us with no tax increase that year.
Next we tried to open contract negotiations by passing an ordinance that permitted the Finance Chair to sit it on negotiation sessions â€“ not negotiate, but to be able to better understand each sides positions. The Republican Administration was so opposed to the valid passage of an ordinance, that when I attempted to enforce the ordinance by attending sessions, the Administration had called in a police officer to keep me from attending.
In addition, when my committee was presented with the Republican Administrationâ€™s financing plan for the new police station, as Finance Chair, even though a new complex was critical for the safety of our employees, I objected to a plan that would have forced the taxpayers to lease the building for 25 years and then to have to buy the building at fair market value. I formed a subcommittee to review the proposal and a proposal was developed that now includes ownership at the end of 25 years.
I have a proven record of fiscal responsibility and I will continue to practice fiscal restraint, while providing the necessary services wanted by the citizens of Cranston as the Mayor of Cranston.
Over the next week, our campaign will be formalized by
– the opening of headquarters;
– appointment of a campaign manager;
– identifying ward teams and;
– a kickoff breakfast
Hopefully, you will agree that we have been corralling a wide range of experience, skills, and talents on the team that can only make us better as a whole. The team includes business people, parents, seniors, students and yes, lawyers.
Again, thank you for the honor, and thank you for taking the time to come out today to meet the candidates.