LETTER

Who's zoomin' who? Part two

Posted 5/6/21

To the Editor: Last week, City Councilman Foley held an in-person fundraiser at the Warwick Firefighters Hall. I have two problems with that. First of all, how can we continue to have City Council meetings via Zoom but fundraise in person? This is not a

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LETTER

Who's zoomin' who? Part two

Posted

To the Editor:

Last week, City Councilman Foley held an in-person fundraiser at the Warwick Firefighters Hall. I have two problems with that.

First of all, how can we continue to have City Council meetings via Zoom but fundraise in person? This is not a safety issue, it’s a way for the council to slip things past us.

Also, isn’t it a conflict of interest for Councilman Foley to hold his event at a hall owned by the Warwick firefighters? The Warwick City Council votes on numerous things that have to do with the fireman. They vote on the contracts that cover pay, sick days, overtime and holidays and more. They vote on approving the purchase of new equipment.

I was at the fundraiser and there were a lot of firefighters that attended. I watched as many carried in checks to support Foley’s campaign. If you’ve ever been to a City Council meeting that involves the matters that affect Warwick firefighters, you know that they are heavily attended by them. Are we to believe that the same councilman that held his fundraiser at their venue and accepted donations from them would then vote against something that affected them? This shouldn’t be allowed.

I stopped Councilman Gebhart as he was walking in and asked him about these two issues. He backpedaled. He wasn’t the only councilperson that attended. I saw Steve McCallister, our council president, walk in. I witnessed Councilwoman Donna Travis leaving. My guess is most of them were there. So again, I ask the question, could these people vote unbiased after hanging out with firefighters and accepting their money for donations?

In case you missed it … the City Council spent forty-five minutes on the subject of runaway shopping carts at the last Zoom meeting. Yes, Warwick evidently has a real problem with this. So much so that this ordinance, initiated by Councilman Sinapi, would require all shopping carts to be labeled by the owners. If a cart is found, the owner will be contacted by either the Warwick Police Department or the DPW. They would have 24 hours to retrieve it or face a fine of $100.

Last time I checked, shopping carts are not trying to make it on their own. They are usually taken by someone. The ordinance passed the first phase, 8-1. Only Councilman Ladouceur questioned the ridiculousness of this. He also wondered why we were penalizing the store for property that was stolen. He questioned whether the Police Department or DPW needed an extra job.

I asked Councilman Gebhart how many complaints he received about runaway carts and he said none. So why are we making rules that make business even more difficult for stores? We all need to voice our opinion to all the councilpeople and demand that they have in person meetings and stop wasting time on stupid issues. Warwick has a lot of problems, but runaway shopping carts isn’t one of them.

Please take the time and weigh in on this to your councilperson. Just go on www.warwickri.gov to see their numbers as well as the meeting’s agenda. Together we can make a difference!

Cindy Fera

Warwick

zooming, council

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