Fecteau: An Open Letter to Speaker Mattiello on the PawSox
Sunday, April 01, 2018
First, let me thank you for your continued concerns about fiscal responsibility and making sure any resolution to the PawSox issue works for taxpayers. I am writing you as a taxpayer, a resident of Pawtucket, and a Rhode Islander out of concern. I believe the PawSox legislation should be brought to the floor, allowing each state House member to vote their respective conscious.
I do have a slight bias. The PawSox means a lot to residents of Pawtucket and especially my family. Growing up, my mom, Marion, and dad, Ray, couldn’t afford to go to Boston and pay major league prices, so instead, they took our family to the PawSox. The baseball may have been AAA, but the memories were indeed major league. Ever since then, the PawSox have been something that I see as Rhode Island’s cultural icon and heritage, a symbol of family values.
You always fought for what you thought was Rhode Island’s best interest in the past, and while sometimes we disagreed, I commend you for that. I want to also applaud you for supporting shifting more of the financial commitment from city and state taxpayers to the PawSox franchise. This deal involves a lot of money, and Rhode Island cannot afford to waste precious financial resources, especially after 38 Studios.
However, this legislation deserves to be brought to the floor for a vote. It is long past due to letting every House member vote their conscience, even if they respectfully disagree with you on the issue. I hope the members of our elected members of the General Assembly will continue to fight for a deal that works for all Rhode Islanders, and if necessary amend the legislation to further protect the taxpayer, but there should be a debate and vote on the House floor.
A much larger concern is that the PawSox may leave if the issue goes on indefinitely without a resolution. If we lose the PawSox, the state will lose nearly two million dollars in revenue a year. From this shortfall, the state will have to make up that spending gap by cutting critical programs such as Medicaid, education funding, and RIPTA bus passes for seniors.
This is simply not a tenable solution, and also something all people in Rhode Island – no matter their political affiliation – should be concerned about. I remain very skeptical about the amount of public money being used with this deal, but the time for action is now.
Let’s build a better Rhode Island together, and have a vigorous debate on the House floor about whether we should go ahead to build an iconic ballpark and keep the PawSox in Pawtucket. I am not asking you to endorse the specific PawSox legislation being discussed but simply asking you not to impede the democratic processes. This is not just about a ballpark, but the future of our state.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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