In 2016 when I served on the City Council, I drafted and passed unanimously to require City Council appointments are to be publicly advertised. This was done to ensure that the government that is paid for by its citizens are allowed an equal and fair opportunity to serve their community by receiving proper notice and an opportunity to apply. That procedure was understood and complied with until the last City Council meeting.
I commend anyone who wants to bring good ideas to our community and help improve Woonsocket. Al Beauparlant has suggested this new city project and canal district for several years. I have reached out several times to hear more details as well as city officials but to no avail. If anyone has ideas or ways to grow our downtown, it seems obvious to most people that the first entity to reach out to is the city. After you gain their support, you would move on to the local Main Street organization. But yet, both of those entities were left out completely from this new committee.
The point of establishing a committee is to review what it is being proposed but also to offer new ideas. By hand selecting your own committee behind the scenes with no public input or solicitation, you lose all credibility. You ignore and insult the same people that are on the ground everyday working diligently to make our community a better place. We have much to be proud of over the past few years with our downtown area. We have more businesses than in decades, a higher education center coming, an expanded bike path, fun and exciting events for residents and visitors, more public art and mural projects and an overall better reputation. That is a result of hard working and dedicated public employees, elected officials, volunteers, non-profit organizations and our property/business owners. They all deserve to be a part of this process with representation on this advisory board.
Every City Council member promised openness, fairness, and transparency. Most even included those promises on their mailings to voters. Without all the stakeholders included, no project will be successful and all the work done already for this plan will not be implemented. I am calling on the City Council members to properly follow the law and advertise these positions. The city solicitor’s opinion that advertising is only required for previous boards is not accurate and was proven wrong by the advertising done for the racist review policy board. We all knew the intent was that ordinance was passed unanimously including two current City Council members. They could vote to rescind the ordinance but again would just be more broken campaign promises that would go back to the shady and corrupt way of politicians picking their family, friends and allies to serve on city boards. Let’s do the right thing and properly advertise all city council appointments to have a government for the people, by the people.
Garrett S. Mancieri