Friday, May 28, 2010

Fall River Thoughts

It's in the numbers

So according to the Herald News exactly ONE person showed up for the Mayor's budget forum. I know I predicted low turnout but geesh! They should have just shut down the projector and had the guy come and join them at the table. And before somebody asks, no I didn't go. I had to work. It seems to me that Flanagan's budget is much like his predecessor's, based on a lot of assumptions. For this to all work everybody has got to agree to keeping their 8% pay cuts. It's based on the city council approving a tax increase. I love this. It's based on projected revenues from parking tickets. Basically we're betting that we can make $440,000 on new traffic meters around the court house. NOW I understand why Fiola hasn't solved the parking problem! We NEED the revenue! OK, so what if the revenue falls short, what if the unions and workers don't agree to the pay cuts, what if the council rejects the tax increase? Something tells me we have the makings of another budget fiasco on our hands, to be fair I think Flanagan is doing the best he can in very difficult circumstances.

The Great Cadime

So the budget process would seem to be a chance to see our new city administrator at work. I have to be honest I was not thrilled by the Mayor's choice here. This is something that I wanted to blog about but never got around to. Too many casino posts I guess. My problem with Cadime is simply that he has no experience in the role he has been hired to fill. The city is facing tough times, maybe the toughest and if I were doing the hiring I would want the most experienced, competent person I could find. Instead we take someone with no experience in the position, praise the qualities he brings to the table, give him a nice bump in pay over the last guy and say that the inside Fall River knowledge was the deciding factor. What? How many experienced city administrators are stocks piled in Fall River? Now 2 weeks after starting, Cadime has overseen the budget process. Really? I mean really? It takes most folks a full week just to figure out where they keep the pencils. Did he really oversee this? I'm not saying it's an outright lie, I'm saying I find it hard to believe.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink

It's disappointing that the City Council voted down funding to further replace antiquated city water mains. I certainly understand the concern about borrowing money when we don't have it, but water distribution is rather a crucial city service. The city has replaced about 50 miles of water pipes already but it's clear more work needs to be done. Hopefully this is only a temporary setback.

Ya basta?

The Doran school is working on a plan that would restructure it from a k-5 school to a k-8 school. This is something that has been kicked around for a few years now. The school will also do more to reach out to and work with parents. It is also looking to become a bilingual school that would serve English speaking and Portuguese speaking students. This all sounds interesting and was even praised in a Herald News editorial. However School Committeeman Joe Martins has a question. Mr. Martins wants to know what will happen to the school's Spanish speaking students, which currently equate to 30% of the total enrollment? It's a good question! Joe further feels that it is unfair not to be considering a similar school that would combine Spanish and English. Considering all the talk about the increase in Spanish speaking people in the U.S. that seems a very good point as well. Martins was told he should hold his comments until a finished plan could be presented to full school committee. Martins pointed out that could be counterproductive. I don't get it. Why should he wait? Doesn't it make sense that after the initial proposal some questions should be asked? More importantly such input should be welcomed! Why would you wait for a finished plan and then find fault with it? Why not try to correct as many faults and answer as many questions right from the start?


Anonymous said...

Wampanaog Thoughts :

Thursday, May 27, 2010
Non Refundable Deposit or Meet the Latrine Tribe

The Fall River Fiasco keeps getting worse and worse.
1. Cedric put a $200,000 non refundable deposit on the bio tech land in Fall River, not $21 million.
2. Fall River took the money, cause they are flat a-- broke and need it....with a "post script" that says" hey, we'll find you 300 acres somewhere else cause we can't build a casino on the bio tech land." Check the Boston Globe May 27, 2010. Whoever heard of putting a deposit on something you can't put your hands on? Who would do that? You know who.
3. Meanwhile, at the statehouse, the legislative leadership says.... yah, we'll put the Mashpee in the commercial casino bill. They have to build on their " sovereign land. " Oh boy....what sovereign land? We ain't got none. The only sovereign land we can build a casino on is Middleboro if the land is in trust. Like they don't know that? That's already in the bill.
4. Harry Reid, the US Senate Majority Leader ( who runs the place) says he's not going fix the land into trust that we need to have a reservation. And guess what....neither is our own Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts ( and 25 other states). Frank has said it publicaly repeatedly. Call his office and see for yourself. Cedric had something to do with that.
5. Reid says they're in no rush to fix that law. Not good people......
6. Cedric's May 17 letter to tribal members about Fall River, talks about severing with Middleboro. But it doesn't talk about who the new investors are. It doesn"t say so in any of the news articles either. Have you noticed that? That's because their are no investors. There is no new agreement with investors. Cedric just keeps runnin' around like something's going to happen for us.
7. The Malaysians have been paying the Council with about $6 mill worth of loans over about 7 months to keep them occupied, and out of the way ( and us in debt).
8.Cedric's putting deposits on land that they don't have, to make the tribe think they're going to get a casino.
9. It's called stall to keep getting a paycheck.
10. That's a sure bet. The only thing you can count on is that Middleboro is suing the tribe. That's 100-1. If Cedric is still in office a year from now he'll be talking about " Shovel ready."

Keep shoveling sh-t Cedric.

Anonymous said...

ROFL, LMAO @ the previous post! Just GREAT!!!...

Cadime, a budget person? Only an idiot would believe that this collection of best case screnario reveneues and expenses will all fall the City's way, and that does not happen anywhere, even in a place like Brookoine, with a budget the same size as FR's, ultra uber professional managemnet in their finance and Administrator's offices, and TONS of money, something like 95% their own, if not more.

This will be a disaster, a worse budget than the previous guy. Flanagan and his crew is buying time, for what I'm not sure, hoping maybe that somehow the legislature will ok Gambling in the next 60 days (which I believe they will - the state needs the money to balance it's own budget)and th4e up front payments from the tribe will help balance the FY11 budget. It's unprofessional budgeting, to say the least. Cadime will NEVER get it right...he doesn't have the time to learn what it takes real municipal budget professionals at least 5 years to learn reasonably well, he this clown is no genius. Besides, if the City losses one , or both, of the "Casino/Bio-park" projects, Cadime will be washed out to sea with flanagan and torres and assorted campaign hacks and suppossed girlfriends....when will the citizens of this City ever learn.

I think no one showed up for the budget meeting because they have no faith in Flanagan, and know that his track record, established early on, not to take citizen input seriously but to make it appear that he does, marks him as just another scum sucking Pol looking out for himself. And please, don't go there about the "Police Chief" selections process - Flanagan and Flanagan alone made that decision...he'd be a total fool not to do so!

Anonymous said...

I've checked the above cited website and it'a certainly an eye should check it out.

Something about the Mayor's and Fiola's "rush to judgement" just doesn't feel right...and in Fall River, that usually means someone is going to walk away with a boatload of cash, or a new car leased by someone else, or a lifetime 2 week free timeshare in Hawaii. If an elected official is involved, merely fronting for such a project means a lifetime supply of $500 campaign con tributions from memebers of the labor unions they are courting as well as well heeled memebers of the Indian nation who will make a handsome yearly living derived form the tribes share of the profits shared with the memebers.

As with all things political in Fall River, it is a closed and secretive system, never mentioned, always obscured by OTHER facts ("we need the jobs for the stupid people in the City"), and with slim if NO chance of actually happening.

Just keep floating those trial balloons boys, I'm sure if it wasn't this, you'd find something else to jive us all about. Afterall, we've all been so gullable in the past, why not, right? We bought your crap once Will, why not go to the well for your own self interest again?

Gotta love it....another Fall River leader whose own enlightened
self interest ends only at the end of his own nose.

I think if ewver a real leader was found in Fall River, one whose primary vision was the betterment of the City first, and their own political career a distant second, this city would make him or her emporer for life!

Anonymous said...

John Kostrzewa: Banking on casinos is a threat to innovative, knowledge-based jobs of the future

01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, May 30, 2010

Massachusetts state workers are clearing trees on 300 acres in Fall River that were targeted for a biotechnology manufacturing plant and high-tech employers.

It was part of a plan put together by city and state officials, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts, to lead the area out of its chronic economic woes by developing well-paying, white-collar jobs to replace the factory work that is long gone.

But during the last two weeks, city officials have changed course.

With dollar signs dancing in their heads, city leaders have decided the site is better suited for a casino, and they have cut a deal to sell the land to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

Does all this look familiar?

Rather than doing the hard work, piece by piece, to attract the knowledge-based jobs of the future, the politicians chase the quick fix of easy money and a short-term promise of jobs that will get them through the next election.

Taxpayers have seen it again and again during the last 10 years.

In fact, it’s in danger of playing out again just 20 miles down Route 195 at the State House in Rhode Island.

During this legislative session — three years after the state fell into a deep recession because of its reliance on an old industrial and construction economy — Governor Carcieri and lawmakers are trying to begin the long process of rebuilding Rhode Island. Last week, they debated proposals to make the tax code more competitive, help entrepreneurs raise capital and cut red tape for small businesses.

Much more hard work needs to be done to change Rhode Island’s economy.

Since 2004, the number of high-tech jobs in Rhode Island has hovered around 22,000, or less than 5 percent of all jobs, according to the latest report of the New England Economic Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group. NEEP forecasts high-tech could be among the fastest-growing sectors, and the core of a new economy, if the right climate is created.

But while that discussion continues, there is yet another debate underway in Rhode Island about putting a referendum on the November ballot to allow full-scale casinos at Twin River in Lincoln and Newport Grand in Newport.

With the state expected to take in $292 million from the two sites this year, some legislators worry that plans taking shape in Massachusetts to license two casinos and perhaps slot parlors at dog tracks will siphon off gambling dollars, creating new holes in the state budget. The announcement of the Mashpee Wampanoags’ plans in Fall River has raised the stakes, they say, because the tribe’s casino would be just across the border and attract gambling dollars once headed for Rhode Island.

The danger is that the gambling debate, fueled by lobbyists for big-name companies, will grab the legislators’ attention, change their focus and overwhelm all other issues at the State House. Real economic development will be pushed to the back burner.

Anonymous said...


The latest push for a full-scale casino in Rhode Island accelerated after Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan announced two weeks ago that he supported the Mashpee Wampanoags’ plan to build a $500-million casino with three hotels, a water park and a shopping center on the site.

“As the mayor of Fall River, I have a responsibility to the people who elected me to put them back to work,” Flanagan said.

Last week, the Fall River Redevelopment Authority voted tentatively to sell the land to the tribe for $21 million.

But it’s far from a done deal. The tribe, which once planned a similar casino in Middleboro, Mass., has many hurdles to clear.

For example, the land was once part of Freetown State Forest. The transfer of the property from the state to the city includes a restriction that the site could not be used for a casino. That provision would have to be repealed by the legislature.

Also, casino gambling is illegal in Massachusetts. The governor and legislature would first have to legalize gambling. Then, the Mashpee Wampanoags would have to beat out many other competitors to win one of the licenses awarded by the state.

In addition to all that, Fall River residents would have to approve the casino.

If this effort fails, the tribe could still try to go the federal route to build a casino outside of the control of state regulators. That would require placing the land in a special trust, with the approval of federal regulators.

But land trust requests for some tribes were essentially frozen by a recent Supreme Court ruling. The Mashpee Wampanoags were one of them.

That’s because the tribe was not formally recognized until 2007, and currently only tribes recognized before 1934 could use the land-into-trust process. Congress would have to give permission to tribes recognized after 1934 for them to place land in trust, which would allow them to build a casino.

Still, the tribe, which says it has financial backing from Arkana Ltd., the firm that invested in Foxwoods Resort Casino, in Connecticut, thinks it took a big step by acquiring the option for the land in Fall River.

“This proposal will bring economic opportunity for the tribe and its people, while also directly and indirectly creating thousands of jobs in Fall River during construction and subsequent operation,” said Cedric Cromwell, chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoags.

One thing’s clear. The proposal attracted plenty of attention, and not all positive.

In making the deal for the land, city officials reversed course on plans, years in the making, to create a SouthCoast BioPark on the 300 acres. Massachusetts previously earmarked $17 million for the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth to build a biomanufacturing plant and access road on the site.

The state also committed $35 million, partially funded with federal stimulus money, to build a connector to the biotechnology park from Route 24.

Now, University of Massachusetts officials say they are considering other sites. And administrators for Massachusetts Governor Patrick say the state will demand repayment for any money used for access roads if the site is designated for a casino.

After some public backlash arose over the casino project, Mayor Flanagan came up with an alternative.

He said he wants to acquire 150 privately owned acres in Freetown, near the casino site, for the technology development.

He said both a casino and a biopark can be created side by side.


Which one do you think will get the most attention?

Anonymous said...


There is no question that gambling, and the money it generates for states, is here to stay. It’s built into state budgets already under stress, and there’s no easy way to replace it.

But gambling and casinos are not true economic development.

They do not create the base for solid, long-term jobs on which a thriving economy is built.

Real economic development takes years of hard work. It takes energy and commitment.

And it has to be led by public officials.

When they lose focus, and gamble only on flashy, short-term returns,

nobody ends up a winner.

Lazurusisus said...








Anonymous said...

Are both the biotech park and casino going to new bedford now????