What will voters think of PawSox departure?

What will voters think of PawSox departure?

Picture this…a beautiful new bustling baseball stadium in the gateway to the valley district of a city on the verge of rebirth. That’s not Pawtucket, though it should be. It’s Worcester, Mass. And the two people that worked hard to make that happen: Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Gov. Gina Raimondo. Though Raimondo does deserve praise for her employment initiatives and bringing new businesses to Rhode Island, she also has let the soul and vibe of Rhode Island slip away. First and foremost, the PawSox, which without her bully pulpit, and lackluster support, allowed Speaker Mattiello to single-handedly offer Worcester a gift on their doorstep. A community is more than jobs, though creating jobs is the number one priority of any elected official.

But a community is also a place to live vibrantly, enjoy recreation and entertainment, and mostly, create an identity. Certainly the PawSox were the identity of Pawtucket and Rhode Island. The mayor of Pawtucket understood this, and he has dedicated his time and talent to creating a vibrant and identity-oriented community of “Live, Work, Play.” But doing that in a vacuum without the support of the governor, or the legislature, as many other communities in Rhode Island have enjoyed, including grants from Speaker Mattiello to his community, is something of a bane for Pawtucket residents to endure.

Kudos to Senate President Ruggerio for understanding this and supporting the PawSox in their endeavors to stay in Rhode Island. As for the executive leadership of Rhode Island today, the ballot may be the city of Pawtucket’s bully pulpit and Cranston should follow Pawtucket’s lead.

Gary Convertino

Pawtucket