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Sepe: Checks and Balances Needed

Cranston Democratic City Committee Michael Sepe writes: "with a veto-proof City Council the mayor can call for a property tax increase and the veto-proof City Council will rubber stamp it. "

Sometimes wonders never cease.  I never, imagined that I’d see the day when my thinking would be on the same page as Edward Achorn, Deputy editorial page editor at the Providence Journal.  But there it was – staring me right in the eye – Mr. Achorn’s word affirming my decades long belief in the doctrine of “Checks and Balance” in our government.  (See Op-ED August 14, 2012).

As authority for his position, Mr. Achorn cites our 4th President James Madison, quoting from federalist 47:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary

In the same hands. . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny”.

Mr. Achorn goes on further to state that “our system of government was designed to require persuasive leadership, vigorous debate, consideration of a range of ideas and a balancing of competing interest which all ultimately create a better society than unrestrained executive power”.

Our City of Cranston is on the threshold of a city-wide election in which the incumbent Mayor is running unopposed.  The Mayor in his remarks at the opening of his campaign headquarters asked Cranston’s voters to elect a veto-proof Republican City Council.  Just imagine the result of that outcome.  Clearly Mr. Achorn would be opposed to that, and you should too.

First, with a veto-proof City Council the mayor can call for a property tax increase and the veto-proof City Council will rubber stamp it.  Oh sure, they’ll probably go through the motions but will there be an opportunity for alternatives?  Will there be debate?  Who will speak for the homeowners?  Second, with a veto-proof city council, Mayor Fung will no doubt re-introduce his charter school proposal and with the full weight of his Republican Council members charter schools will become the law in Cranston.  Say goodbye to the great public education as we now know it in our City.  Third, land use development changes in our city will be railroaded into law.  Public debate will be stifled.  The concerns of long-time homeowners will fall at the feet of developers whose interest is only measured in profit.

A future with a Republican Mayor and a Republican veto-proof city council in Cranston presents an ominous forecast for Democracy in our city government.  One needs only pause for a moment to recall some of the major scandals and embarrassments of the past which enveloped our City and the circumstances under which they were created, in each case the common thread of a mayor with a veto-proof council.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6th Cranston’s voters can avoid the loss of democracy and due process in our city government.  A vote for a Democrat City Council will preserve vigorous debate in the important decisions of our city government which affect our daily lives.  A vote for a Democrat City Council will assure that a strong system of checks and balances exist to keep property taxes as low as possible, to maintain good public services like police protection, fire protection, rescue, public schools and sound land use and zoning decisions to preserve our neighborhoods.

Michael J. Sepe

Cranston Democratic City Chair

Rob Pelletier October 11, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I didnt hear you complaining when it was 8-1 Veto proof Democratic Council with a Democratic Mayor in 2006. Besides there is always another choice. INDEPENDENT
Joe The Plumber October 11, 2012 at 05:07 AM
The only checks Sepe ever cared about were the ones made out to him.
Joe Richer October 11, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I think I will simply continue for the candidates who best represent my views. As usual, none of them are Democrats.
Bob October 11, 2012 at 02:00 PM
As much as I despise this fraud hack has been Sepe...he does have a point....albeit a small one..in any case I personally do not think you can trust Fung to do what's right for us.....he has a bigger agenda statewide or even Nationally...he is a new breed of Politician ala Tavares, Cicilline...etc etc.....while not quite as bad as the latter.....I don't trust the guy therefore we need to vote for the Candidate and forget about the party......we do need balance.....
Bob T October 11, 2012 at 03:35 PM
there two sides to every story, it is up to the reader to decide which side he wants to believe. but you do need to hear all of the facts of a situation, even the ones you don't necessarily like!
Mike Farina October 11, 2012 at 06:49 PM
I am running for City Council on the ideas of fiscal responsibility, protecting your tax dollars, working to move forward with true reforms to reduce the burden and ensuring your money is spent effectively and efficiently. As a finance professional with expertise in budgeting and forecasting I will work hard to achieve those goals and earn your trust. I do agree we need checks and balances in all aspects of government, one person should never be allowed to hold the purse strings.
Joe The Plumber October 13, 2012 at 05:15 AM
We have had a democratic council and a republican mayor for some time now.... Checks and balances according to genius Sepe. ...... So, how is that working out ???
Jim Carr October 25, 2012 at 12:35 PM
One sided party politics and its rhetoric, WITHOUT results, will soon be a thing of the past ! Change is hopefully headed Cranston's way on November 6th ! Cranston must move Foward with Fung ! JIM CARR CANDIDATE CRANSTON CITY COUNCIL CITYWIDE

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