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Urbaner

Metropolitan Regionalization

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This will take ten years to iron out all of the issues and chiefs involved. But if it is agreed to then West Warwick, Coventry, EG and NK should be added to the list.

Already there is regionalization for water, electricity, cable, mail delivery, trash/recycling, school busing, etc.

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Now take the idea one step further: why do the people of Providence, Pawtucket, Cranston, CF, NP, and EP need to pay the salaries, benefits, and perks of keeping 5 different mayors and 1 city manager?

If it goes anywhere at all, this idea can only lead one place. And I like where it goes. :)

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Now take the idea one step further: why do the people of Providence, Pawtucket, Cranston, CF, NP, and EP need to pay the salaries, benefits, and perks of keeping 5 different mayors and 1 city manager?

If it goes anywhere at all, this idea can only lead one place. And I like where it goes. :)

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I suspect the fear, aside from hundreds of people losing jobs, would be that the more well-heeled suburbs would actually have a lot more say than Providence, which I am pretty sure has a much higher minority population than the surrounding suburbs. I will also go out on a limb here and say that those same suburbs will not want Providence kids going to their schools.

Now that I am fully involved in a county system in Virginia (FX County being roughly the size of all of RI but with more people and about a kajillion more tax dollars) I can see pros and cons with both systems. To make things even more complicated, the Virginia DOT is in charge of ALL roads in FX county. All of them. Not just state roads, but even little cul-de-sacs.

The Parks Authority, and the School Department are kind of separate but equal branches of county government, with their own budgets. Trash and recycling is contracted on a per-household basis, not by the county. The County, however, manages the trash to energy (!) plant and the landfill. Recycling goes to private recycling facilities around the Northern Virginia Area.

Anyway, it is an interesting idea, but i do not see it happening until more than one RI city is facing bankruptcy and the issue is forced via a referendum by the voters who are sick of paying high taxes for all the services they are barely getting, while another community is duplicating those services (maybe better) just a mile away. I don't see the 15 councilpeople in Providence and the mayor giving up most of their seats to be part of some kind of city/state consortium.

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I suspect the fear, aside from hundreds of people losing jobs, would be that the more well-heeled suburbs would actually have a lot more say than Providence, which I am pretty sure has a much higher minority population than the surrounding suburbs. I will also go out on a limb here and say that those same suburbs will not want Providence kids going to their schools. . . .

. . . Anyway, it is an interesting idea, but i do not see it happening until more than one RI city is facing bankruptcy and the issue is forced via a referendum by the voters who are sick of paying high taxes for all the services they are barely getting, while another community is duplicating those services (maybe better) just a mile away. I don't see the 15 councilpeople in Providence and the mayor giving up most of their seats to be part of some kind of city/state consortium.

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I suspect the fear, aside from hundreds of people losing jobs, would be that the more well-heeled suburbs would actually have a lot more say than Providence, which I am pretty sure has a much higher minority population than the surrounding suburbs. I will also go out on a limb here and say that those same suburbs will not want Providence kids going to their schools.

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The suburbs probably would have more political say. That would be the sacrifice Providence made into the bargain. On the other hand, city officials have been griping for years about the current high percentage of untaxable land owned by non-profits in Providence -- I've heard estimates as high as 25%. A merger or consolidation would solve that problem instantly.

Which is fair. After all, as you point out, Jen, there needs to be motivation on all sides for anything like this to be considered. Very strong motivation. You're probably right, a bankruptcy might be the only impetus strong enough to force communities to act so drastically ...

Hate to say it, because it's not the prettiest side of humanity, but I'm sure you're right about schools being the biggest obstacle to the creation of a single, larger municipality -- and I doubt the deal could ever get done as long as a fully merged school system was an option. Maybe the solution would be to maintain the separate cities as boroughs and not allow inter-borough school attendance.

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I'm not sure that these suburbs get to play the we're-to-good-for-you card. Johnston? NP? EP?

Western Cranston, maybe, but bollox Cranston West. There are people of color in the mix. Deal with it.

Also, Warwick, EG, Barry, Lincoln, Smithfield, are _not_ invited. (Warren. Give us a call.)

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I'm not sure that these suburbs get to play the we're-to-good-for-you card. Johnston? NP? EP?

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