EXCLUSIVE: Cicilline Responds to Taveras Swipe

Monday, February 28, 2011


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Congressman David Cicilline today responded to a not-so-subtle swipe from Mayor Angel Taveras, who has accused his predecessors of not making tough decisions on the budget.

In a message to Providence residents on Sunday defending his decision to fire all of the public school teachers, Taveras said the following:

“For too long, politicians have avoided making the tough decisions,” Taveras wrote. “When I took the oath of office on January 3, I made a commitment to be honest with you about the problems we face. I also promised that I would not shy away from making tough decisions to put our City back on firm financial footing. Our actions this week reflect this commitment.”

Cicilline responds

Earlier today Cicilline insisted that he had made the tough decisions during his tenure as mayor.

“The responsibility that we’ve had every year that I was mayor was to make tough decisions about cuts in the budget, about reducing personnel, about winning concessions from our unions, about generating new revenues to balance the budgets. We did that for eight years. We made progress on pension reform. We made progress on balancing the budget every year and, in the context of this very difficult economy, still maintained A ratings from our ratings agencies.”

“So I’m very confident that we made the right decisions,” Cicilline added. “There is no question there are some tough decisions that lie ahead. More progress has to be made on pension reform. More cuts have to be made to balance the budget.”

Hopes for resolution to controversy over teacher firings

In his interview, Cicilline—who was in Cranston to discuss his recent trip to the Middle East—called for a responsible resolution to the controversy over the teacher firings. “I think the importance of education is obvious and it is my hope that this issue will be resolved by the new mayor and the teachers union president in a way which is responsible—in a way that meets the obligations to our young people of this city,” Cicilline said.

Cicilline added that had “confidence” that Taveras would make the right decisions about the school budget. “I’m certainly not going to second guess any decision that the new mayor has made and have every confidence that he’s going to make decisions that are responsible and that are in the best interest of our city and of the young people of Providence,” Cicilline said.


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