Dave Richards for June 26th…………
--Wow, have you ever seen so much construction in the city? I know some are aggravated by the delays, but I remember a time when it was rare to see our city’s infrastructure undergoing improvement at this pace. Where I live in the Park Avenue area, small projects are popping up with regularity. They’ve just about completed Mendon Road at Diamond Hill Road. Then there’s the huge Winter Street project. And now, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt as announced that Cumberland Hill Road starts it’s much needed re-do this Sunday.
It’s true, road work has all the appeal of having your teeth cleaned, but it’s just as important. And I must comment that in a time where workmanship seems to be declining, our city paving crews are doing a really fine and careful job laying down the new asphalt. Smooth like glass.
--I had lunch this week with former Woonsocket Mayor Charley Baldelli. Charley is doing better than great and having a blast in his continuing and now-lengthy retirement. He boasts good health and the same figure he had when he was in office decades ago.
One of the reasons Charley is so happy today, he says, is that he’s no longer in politics. He told me he has no favorite candidate he’s supporting in the upcoming special election and, even though he is still sometimes asked by someone to speak to his niece when he’s here in Woonsocket, he doesn’t get involved in the present mayor’s issues or problems. The answer to those who ask is always, “You know where the Mayor’s office is. YOU ask her.” In fact, down in Florida where Charley and his wife Jeannette spend the cold weather months, “they don’t even know I was in politics. It’s great!”
I suppose it’s like military service. You do your duty. You’re proud of doing your best. You don’t want to do it again. Time to do something else.
--I was disappointed to hear that the Republican City Committee lost control of their planned debate among the four city council candidates this week. I couldn’t attend, but the way I heard it, what is usually expected to be a calm and well organized exchange of ideas started off as an ‘ambush’ of certain candidates by one or more supporters of another candidate. I don’t need to name names to make my point, so I won’t.
While this kind of behavior is considered by some to be “entertainment”, electing members of our community to serve in our government is sober and serious work and is not supposed to be “entertaining”. I certainly hope the remainder of the campaign proceeds more productively. Supporters of all candidates are reminded that misbehavior by supporters could actually serve to work against the candidate you support.
That said, the election “nobody wanted” to have two days before the 4th of July is coming up this Tuesday. All polling places will be open. Yes, it’s more expensive that way, but it avoids the confusion of not knowing where you will vote if your regular polling place is closed. It also avoids a very expensive mailing campaign to inform voters where they will vote. The people at the Board of Canvassers are doing their best with a bad situation. Nobody expects to need to replace a city councilor just a few months into their term, but you need to do what you need to do.
I have to say that among the four candidates we have to choose from there are clear and easily understood differences between them all. Voters are reminded that of the four, only two will survive next Tuesday’s preliminary, and those two will vie for the council seat in August.
This leads me into my usual comments encouraging voters to do their duty and take the time and inconvenience to cast their vote. Look at it as an unpleasant task if you must, but take a deep breath and ‘get it done”.
Consider this. The lines won’t be long. You may break your own record of how little time it takes for you to vote and be on your way. Probably faster than getting a coffee at the drive-through. But what you’ll get from voting this Tuesday is the satisfaction that the one candidate you want to vote for in August will be one of the two on the ballot in August. But ONLY if they get your vote this coming Tuesday.
Do it. Vote, Woonsocket. You’ll be proud of yourself the next morning.
--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: email@example.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.