NORTH SMITHFIELD – Town voters could now have a three-part decision to make when heading to the special election polls this fall to also help decide the 1st Congressional District seat.

Presenting options to the Town Council on Monday as requested, bond counsel Ellen Corneau said a bond referendum for a new police station, instead of just having yes or no answers on borrowing to build a new one or rejecting it, could have another option tucked in the middle: renovation of an existing building.

(6) comments

Mike Clifford

Tom Devito do you think chances for approval would be greater if a major real estate development company, and campaign contributor, was requesting favorable action on the towns request would be effective? If it was a contributor who supports candidates from both parties making the request?

Tom Devito

Mike I agree it is possible but I do not think a $20 million project is enough money to call in a political favor. Also there are only a couple of companies in RI that would have made a significant political contribution.

Tom Devito

How can the town council not carry out a voters approved project? Seems a bit strange. Also no grant money will be coming from the federal government because 1st the debt ceiling issue will come with some cuts to spending, 2nd Jack Reed is not on the committee that issues these grants, 3rd Jack Reed has little to no influence in congress, and 4th the republicans control the house and will never approve money for a democratic state. Let’s face it Paul Z and John B the taxpayers are not going to approve your Taj Mahal police station and no magic money will be coming from the federal government.

Mike Clifford

If someone makes a statement which isn’t true or is very misleading, I typically attempt to get recognized immediately to challenge the false claim and set the record straight. Mr. Vadenais should follow the same practice rather than making his claim after the fact, without even naming the individual or stating exactly what statement was allegedly false. I have accused some of our leaders of lying and making misleading statements and this article about the bond question offers a great example. For months I suggested offering voters options on the ballot question but was told it wasn’t possible for one silly reason or another. When the claim was made that Bond Counsel Corneau would not approve of it, I challenged the claim and asked for a copy of the letter sent by Ms. Corneau. Her letter did not say it could not be used; she actually requested a draft of the proposed ballot question to review in order to make a determination. Didn’t those responses from our “leaders” represent a classic example of what Mr. Vadenais refers to as “disinformation at worst and grossly misleading information at best”? Mike Clifford


Too bad nobody on the Council asked Ms. Corneau her legal opinion about ignoring the will of the people on the vote of a previous bond issue. Also, any alleged expert that states that the existing building can't be rehabbed is really not an expert. It is also likely that construction costs will decline over the next few years as recession sets in and the congressional pork money dries up a bit.

Thomas Ficca

They can add all the questions to the ballot they want ! They will DO as THEY please regardless of the taxpayers wishes. They have already proven that while IGNORING the vote of years ago to RENOVATE the current police building !

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