The City of Woonsocket is struggling with significant fiscal challenges and its over-burdened taxpayers face maximum tax increases well into the foreseeable future.
The City’s fiscal issues will likely be exacerbated by the recent proposed Pension Reform settlement (which reportedly will cost the City close to $600,000 per year that is not currently included in the Budget Commission’s Five Year Plan), as well as the reduction in state gaming revenue that will likely occur due to the pending expansion of gaming in neighboring Massachusetts.
It is therefore of the utmost importance that the City have elected officials capable of leading and navigating us through these most difficult times. We need leaders that do their homework, embrace and demonstrate critical thinking, ask questions, offer substantive solutions to the issues before us, listen to their constituents and don’t simply go along to get along.
With the above in mind, on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, pursuant to Chapter XVI, Article 2, Section 8 of the City charter, a Petitioners’ Committee filed an affidavit with the Board of Canvassers to recall Councilman Garrett Mancieri and Councilwoman Melissa Murray.
The recent discussion around Full Day K made clear to us that Councilman Mancieri and Councilwoman Murray are not listening to the taxpayers. Their blind support of the Full Day K proposal was indicative of the go-along-to-get-along rubber stamp approach that is simply unacceptable given the issues we face. They put their names on and supported Council resolutions for which they clearly had no understanding and which, if passed, would have put further stress on our overburdened taxpayers.
Their cavalier performance seems to reflect the fact that Councilwoman Murray pays no taxes to the City, while Councilman Mancieri pays less than $350 in taxes (on his automobile). Very simply, it appears they are not directly impacted by their poor performance and decision making.
The Petitioners’ Committee will be collecting signatures in support of the recall petition. By obtaining ten percent of the registered voters’ signatures, the voters will have a chance to decide if they would like to recall the two aforementioned in a special recall vote. If recalled, the voters will then have an opportunity to elect two new councilors who will listen to the taxpayers, who will make informed decisions and votes concerning the city’s $130+ million budget and who will have an understanding of the important responsibilities that come with being on the council of a city on the verge of bankruptcy.