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(Yahoo)   When your city falls on hard financial times you have to cut back on a few luxuries like extra police, library operating hours, democracy--you know, little stuff like that   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 107
    More: Scary, Rhode Island, Central Falls, democratic principles, Gettysburg Address, business license, direct response, Flanders, Jefferson County  
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13922 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jan 2012 at 8:56 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-01-16 09:01:39 AM
Today's government comes in, democracy takes a back seat. If only a real Democrat ran the country...
 
2012-01-16 09:02:01 AM
I'm sure this is just an isolated event
 
2012-01-16 09:02:07 AM
Of course RI loves its little fiefdoms and it would be a sin for this piece of shiat "city" to be absorbed into any of the neighboring cities. The plans for this city are remarkably similar to the plans that got it into this position.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-01-16 09:02:47 AM
I would be sympathetic if I were convinced the voters of the city had nothing to do with the state it is in.
 
2012-01-16 09:03:36 AM
Oh, Central Falls RI. You don't even want to be caught passing through that city. For a small state Rhode Island has a number of crappy cities, although Providence does have nice stipclubs.
 
2012-01-16 09:05:06 AM
The same thing is happening in Michigan, except there it's a Republican governor putting his "emergency managers" into place, otherwise known as his CEO friends, paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and letting them do whatever they want without oversight.
 
2012-01-16 09:05:07 AM
"They're raising taxes without asking anybody," he said. "If it's for the good of the city, let's raise it. If not, let's put an end to it. He chopped everybody's head in the city; he eliminated a lot of people. What extra services are we getting? We're getting less, and we're paying more."

And this is the future for the entire system. You cannot pile on debt like there is no tomorrow.
 
2012-01-16 09:05:13 AM
City didn't fall on hard financial times by itself, subby.
 
2012-01-16 09:05:19 AM
rlv.zcache.com
 
2012-01-16 09:05:53 AM
img.photobucket.com
 
2012-01-16 09:06:56 AM
Stupid Flanders...
 
2012-01-16 09:09:46 AM
So when a democratically elected legislature passes a law in accordance with the state's Constitution, and that law is followed, that isn't democracy...why?
 
2012-01-16 09:11:51 AM
Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.
 
2012-01-16 09:12:06 AM
If more than six people woulda shown up to any given City Council meeting over the past four decades, perhaps the city wouldn't have had such a run of egregious corruption and incompetence. At least now the Receiver's putting the city back on sound fiscal footing for the next five years so the next mayor won't be able to screw things up so badly.
 
2012-01-16 09:13:51 AM

JBangworthy: Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.


So local democratic government is a privilege, not a right?
 
2012-01-16 09:14:29 AM

GAT_00: The same thing is happening in Michigan, except there it's a Republican governor putting his "emergency managers" into place, otherwise known as his CEO friends, paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and letting them do whatever they want without oversight.



Sigh.

You know, there are valid criticisms of the emergency manager nonsense, but this f--king hyperbole is getting damn old damn fast. I do think the powers are too far overreaching, but at the same time feel free to lay some blame at, oh, I don't know, the effing Detroit City Council who can't get a damn thing done.

I have two coworkers going to the protest today. One lays out the arguments against in a very erudite fashion and I agree with most of his points. The other told my Snyder is the worst governor we've ever had and the worst in the nation, which is so ludicrous it took me a second to point it out.

The Republican legislature in this state can and does deserve damn near any criticism you throw at them (and use the bridge debate as a starting point). But it seems like Synder can be worked with to some degree (see the bridge debate) and painting him with a broad brush sure does make for a good rallying cry but much like the Detroit City Council, not a damn thing gets done.
 
2012-01-16 09:15:10 AM

Logomancer: If more than six people woulda shown up to any given City Council meeting over the past four decades, perhaps the city wouldn't have had such a run of egregious corruption and incompetence. At least now the Receiver's putting the city back on sound fiscal footing for the next five years so the next mayor won't be able to screw things up so badly.


But how will the state maintain control, without the bureaucracy?
The local Receivers now have direct control over their territories.
 
2012-01-16 09:15:23 AM

GAT_00: The same thing is happening in Michigan, except there it's a Republican governor putting his "emergency managers" into place, otherwise known as his CEO friends, paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and letting them do whatever they want without oversight.



This again. There are currently five EFMs in Michigan municipalities in the entire state. Three were installed by the previous Democrat governor, and the position's pay was cut under the new administration. But yeah... corporate... CEO... Republican governor... whaaaa.
 
2012-01-16 09:17:06 AM
Also, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Democracy simply doesn't work.
 
2012-01-16 09:17:09 AM
Also, Rhode Island isn't actually an island.
 
2012-01-16 09:17:29 AM

Kar98: Also, Rhode Island isn't actually an island.


THE HELL YOU SAY??
 
2012-01-16 09:21:20 AM

qorkfiend: JBangworthy: Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.

So local democratic government is a privilege, not a right?


It's not enumerated specifically in the Federal constitution, beyond the state level.
If this State's Supreme Court finds the action constitutional, then I would imagine the answer to your question is yes.
 
2012-01-16 09:21:36 AM

JBangworthy: GAT_00: The same thing is happening in Michigan, except there it's a Republican governor putting his "emergency managers" into place, otherwise known as his CEO friends, paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and letting them do whatever they want without oversight.


This again. There are currently five EFMs in Michigan municipalities in the entire state. Three were installed by the previous Democrat governor, and the position's pay was cut under the new administration. But yeah... corporate... CEO... Republican governor... whaaaa.


Yeah and the powers of the emergency managers have been expanded since Granholm. We do have a legislature running around like a damn kid in the candy store (thankfully they occasionally push even too hard for Snyder, see his veto of the environmental rollback, because we totally want to f--k up Michigan's water and land, we totally don't have plenty of areas heavily reliant on tourism).

Whaaaa makes you sound really damn mature.

Christ.
 
2012-01-16 09:31:34 AM
You morons "democracied" yourselves right into bankruptcy. Like children, someone has to step in and take care of you. Put a toy in your mouth to shut you the f up and let the federal government do what you were too stupid or lazy to do.
 
2012-01-16 09:31:47 AM

EnochEmery: qorkfiend: JBangworthy: Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.

So local democratic government is a privilege, not a right?

It's not enumerated specifically in the Federal constitution, beyond the state level.
If this State's Supreme Court finds the action constitutional, then I would imagine the answer to your question is yes.


I understand the legal basis for it; my question is "Why is this acceptable?"
 
2012-01-16 09:31:53 AM

JBangworthy: GAT_00: The same thing is happening in Michigan, except there it's a Republican governor putting his "emergency managers" into place, otherwise known as his CEO friends, paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and letting them do whatever they want without oversight.


This again. There are currently five EFMs in Michigan municipalities in the entire state. Three were installed by the previous Democrat governor, and the position's pay was cut under the new administration. But yeah... corporate... CEO... Republican governor... whaaaa.


Flint
Pontiac
Benton Harbor
Detroit

What's the 5th?

The first four are all modern hellholes which were either factory towns (Flint, Pontiac, Benton Harbor {Whirlpool} or industry towns (Detroit) whose tax base dried up and blew away.

How Benton Harbor crashed is beyond me. It's got a port, it's got beachfront and a pier on the pretty part of Lake Michigan, and is close enough to Chicago to absorb its tourists. Yet Saint Joseph and South Haven, both in a similar industry position (Bosch has pulled out of St. Joe as well) and immediately adjacent to Benton Harbor remain well-to-do.

BH needed to be taken over by someone competent, regardless of who it was.
 
2012-01-16 09:32:11 AM
"That's the law that the General Assembly passed and I have to say, it's working, from my view, remarkably well."

Original quote: A. Hitler, 1934
 
2012-01-16 09:32:16 AM
This is worse than being run by the Mafia how, again?
 
2012-01-16 09:33:57 AM

EnochEmery: qorkfiend: JBangworthy: Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.

So local democratic government is a privilege, not a right?

It's not enumerated specifically in the Federal constitution, beyond the state level.
If this State's Supreme Court finds the action constitutional, then I would imagine the answer to your question is yes.


I'm curious if there are any remnants of the Northwest Territories Act that come into play, vis-a-vis the township political structure.
 
2012-01-16 09:35:05 AM
Trouble in RI city?

jaymckinnon.com


/ok, maybe it's a stretch
 
2012-01-16 09:36:28 AM
FREEDOM ISN'T FREE.
 
2012-01-16 09:37:24 AM
I alway believed RI was Family Guy territory but TFA says otherwise.

i32.photobucket.com
 
2012-01-16 09:38:27 AM
This happens all the time. The city didn't lose their right to elect representatives, they gave it up willingly in exchange for an emergency financial "package" that the state provides, temporarily, to fix things.

And OF COURSE taxes go up and services go down, that's how you pay for things your elected buddies neglected to pay for in the last 6 years.
 
2012-01-16 09:38:34 AM
You can't have a universal democracy without responsibility. In a government of the people, the people need to act like adults. If they act juvenile then they will lose their freedom. Mind you, I'm not saying this is how things should be. I'm saying this is how they are.
 
2012-01-16 09:39:22 AM

Logomancer: If more than six people woulda shown up to any given City Council meeting over the past four decades, perhaps the city wouldn't have had such a run of egregious corruption and incompetence. At least now the Receiver's putting the city back on sound fiscal footing for the next five years so the next mayor won't be able to screw things up so badly.


by issuing ceremonial proclamations to the local Lions Club and banning on street parking? By making his own salary jump by more than 50% over the statutory limit?

explain how these things help "put the city back on sound fiscal footing"
 
2012-01-16 09:40:31 AM
Democracy can be taken away. More of this will continue to happen and most people are happy for the "help". If you want freedom to rule yourself, you have to stand up and defend it. Tell the judge and the state to go fark themselves. Be prepared for a fight when the State Police show up to lock down all the public buildings.
 
2012-01-16 09:40:51 AM

TeddyBallGame: Of course RI loves its little fiefdoms and it would be a sin for this piece of shiat "city" to be absorbed into any of the neighboring cities. The plans for this city are remarkably similar to the plans that got it into this position.


Central Falls is a shiathole, a welfare sucking, tax-draining shiathole filled with mostly illegal immigrants. Burn the whole thing down and give the land to some other town.
 
2012-01-16 09:42:48 AM

sevenpointsixtwo: You morons "democracied" yourselves right into bankruptcy. Like children, someone has to step in and take care of you. Put a toy in your mouth to shut you the f up and let the federal government do what you were too stupid or lazy to do.


Another supporter of the Lex Gabinia heard from. (hint: believing that emergencies required the suspension of democracy is precisely how and why Rome ceased to be a republic.)
 
2012-01-16 09:44:09 AM
And so we reach one of the fundamental limitations of democracy, an otherwise incredibly desirable system of government which is far better than anything else that has been tried. That limitation is of course the people whom we elect.

If the populace had chosen honest and competent people, who managed the city's finances within its means and who made sure that every penny was wisely and honestly spent, then this would not be an issue.

Unfortunately, in this case the city's finances were running dry, either due to gross mismanagement, insufficient revenue to meet expansive expenditures, corruption, or some combination thereof. The state thus appointed an outsider, precisely because he was an outsider, to set the city on the path of financial security. To have the very City Council which got the city into this mess cry foul is unimpressive to me - if they wanted to govern, they should have done so responsibly.

Hopefully, the legislature itself can review the actions of their receiver periodically, to ensure that he is doing his job properly, and can then expeditiously return control to the city's denizens (albeit with some probationary period of financial restrictions) once their finances are sound again.
 
2012-01-16 09:48:27 AM

Magorn: sevenpointsixtwo: You morons "democracied" yourselves right into bankruptcy. Like children, someone has to step in and take care of you. Put a toy in your mouth to shut you the f up and let the federal government do what you were too stupid or lazy to do.

Another supporter of the Lex Gabinia heard from. (hint: believing that emergencies required the suspension of democracy is precisely how and why Rome ceased to be a republic.)


Actually the root cause was not that. That was a result of the larger issue of societal decline. When you've a wound, clean and dress it or it'll get infected. The infection is a result of the wound.

To save democracy, address the wound.
 
2012-01-16 09:49:11 AM
Cities are chartered by the state. They are not fundamental units of government. Their powers are granted by the state.

If a city screws itself up badly enough, the state ought to do exactly what Michigan and Rhode Island are doing; appoint someone to get the place cleaned up. If even that doesn't work, then dissolve the city and revert the land back to the county or township.

Repeatedly electing morans to the city council is prima facia evidence that the residents of the city can't be trusted to run their own affairs, and that they should be folded into a larger governmental body where they can't do so much damage to themselves and to others.
 
2012-01-16 09:51:02 AM

Magorn: sevenpointsixtwo: You morons "democracied" yourselves right into bankruptcy. Like children, someone has to step in and take care of you. Put a toy in your mouth to shut you the f up and let the federal government do what you were too stupid or lazy to do.

Another supporter of the Lex Gabinia heard from. (hint: believing that emergencies required the suspension of democracy is precisely how and why Rome ceased to be a republic.)


No, there were plenty of temporary dictators who performed their duty during an emergency and then quickly returned power. Rome ceased to be a republic for many reasons, but chief among them are ambition, corruption, and greed. To say that temporary dictatorships when Rome was militarily threatened were the major reason for the shift to Empire is a misreading of the historical record.
 
2012-01-16 09:54:51 AM

qorkfiend: EnochEmery: qorkfiend: JBangworthy: Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.

So local democratic government is a privilege, not a right?

It's not enumerated specifically in the Federal constitution, beyond the state level.
If this State's Supreme Court finds the action constitutional, then I would imagine the answer to your question is yes.

I understand the legal basis for it; my question is "Why is this acceptable?"


If a local government catastrophically fails, is it not appropriate for the next rung up the power ladder to step in and fix things? They were elected too. As the federal supercedes the state authority, the state authority should supercede the city.

I'm honestly of two minds on the idea. The idealist in me says to leave them, they democratically dug their hole, they can stew in it democratically. The practicalist side recognizes that having the city collapse isn't going to be good for anyone, and since it's clear the city can't be relied upon to make sound decisions, they shouldn't be allowed to make decisions at all.

Either way, I'm not sure the council should be complaining about it--if they want the help, than they need to not complain about it, and if they don't want the help, they shouldn't complain about their gigantic debt and lack of services.
 
2012-01-16 09:57:03 AM

This text is now purple: EnochEmery: qorkfiend: JBangworthy: Municipalities derive their revenue-generating authority from the state. If they don't perform properly, the state has the power to take back the authority. Yawn.

So local democratic government is a privilege, not a right?

It's not enumerated specifically in the Federal constitution, beyond the state level.
If this State's Supreme Court finds the action constitutional, then I would imagine the answer to your question is yes.

I'm curious if there are any remnants of the Northwest Territories Act that come into play, vis-a-vis the township political structure.


The Land Ordinance of 1785 still comes into play vis-a-vis how areas in SE Michigan were set up (nice square blocks one mile long, generally with one school per square mile as the population grew).

/so I've been told
 
2012-01-16 09:57:58 AM

ExcaliburPrime111: Magorn: sevenpointsixtwo: You morons "democracied" yourselves right into bankruptcy. Like children, someone has to step in and take care of you. Put a toy in your mouth to shut you the f up and let the federal government do what you were too stupid or lazy to do.

Another supporter of the Lex Gabinia heard from. (hint: believing that emergencies required the suspension of democracy is precisely how and why Rome ceased to be a republic.)

No, there were plenty of temporary dictators who performed their duty during an emergency and then quickly returned power. Rome ceased to be a republic for many reasons, but chief among them are ambition, corruption, and greed. To say that temporary dictatorships when Rome was militarily threatened were the major reason for the shift to Empire is a misreading of the historical record.


To my knowledge, Rome had precisely one dictator who went out, did his job (smacking the barbarians around) and then laid down his power and went back to his life, without abusing his power in any way. For his trouble, he got a mediocre city in Ohio named after him.

Rome had all kinds of problems, but the reason that dictators and then emperors came to rule what had once been a thriving democracy had mostly to do, in my opinion, with the Senate's habit of reacting with pants-wetting fear to every minor military setback. That and creating a military that owed no loyalty to the state and everything to its current general.
 
2012-01-16 09:59:18 AM
I find it funny that they're claiming that they're being taxed without representation.

I guess they had nothing to do with the election of the state legislature (who put them into receivership), then.

The saying goes "No taxation without representation," not "No taxation without representation at all levels of government," assholes.
 
2012-01-16 10:01:58 AM

MemeSlave: TeddyBallGame: Of course RI loves its little fiefdoms and it would be a sin for this piece of shiat "city" to be absorbed into any of the neighboring cities. The plans for this city are remarkably similar to the plans that got it into this position.

Central Falls is a shiathole, a welfare sucking, tax-draining shiathole filled with mostly illegal immigrants. Burn the whole thing down and give the land to some other town.


That was kind of my suggestion. A little more tactfully expressed is all.
 
2012-01-16 10:03:45 AM

palelizard: If a local government catastrophically fails, is it not appropriate for the next rung up the power ladder to step in and fix things?


I'm not debating that; I'm pondering the moral legitimacy of this particular course of action. Voting is a right that Americans have fought and died for in other countries, while here at home it's a privilege to be revoked if you don't behave.

It also reminds me a little too strongly of the old days where the local lord divides up his land and gives it to his followers, who are accountable only to him and not the people who live there.
 
2012-01-16 10:05:54 AM

ExcaliburPrime111:
If the populace had chosen honest and competent people, who managed the city's finances within its means and who made sure that every penny was wisely and honestly spent, then this would not be an issue.


Why not blame the voters? This works out so well on a state and national level, after all.
 
2012-01-16 10:05:56 AM

Magorn: Rome had all kinds of problems, but the reason that dictators and then emperors came to rule what had once been a thriving democracy had mostly to do, in my opinion, with the Senate's habit of reacting with pants-wetting fear to every minor military setback. That and creating a military that owed no loyalty to the state and everything to its current general.


I think we can safely discount RI's military supporting a dictatorial coup. ;p

Even allowing the comparison to granting emergency powers, which I'll acknowledge is the kind of thinking that leads to less democracy, what's an alternative solution? The city has demonstrated its inability to act accountably and/or elect decent leaders. The state has a legitimate concern that allowing things to continue would not only adversely affect the 19K residents, but likely cause further reaching consequences outside the city's environs. What do they do?
 
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