Town Councilor Sean Todd talks with residents after the council’s vote to return Corrigan as town manager Monday, 11/20/17.

The Town Council meeting last night was filled with opposition. Most attending seemed less disturbed by the revelations underpinning the Town’s runaway spending than by the unseemly disruption to the Town’s facade of comity. Case in point: Councilman Schwager took umbrage at Council President Cienki’s prerogative to post very specific financial facts on the Town’s website, suggesting these findings were the Councilwoman’s opinion. Dr. Schwager did not, however, offer any facts to refute Mrs. Cienki, but instead he opined on the need step back and take time to smooth things over.

 As reasonable as this sounds, the instinct to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy seems like part of the problem. “You can’t please all of the people all of the time,” and “the time to strike is when the iron is hot.” Old bromides, for sure, but lose the initiative, and these problems – building up over time – are as likely as not to slip back into obscurity, and it won’t be until more people start moving out of town than into town that these facts hit home again. By then it could be too late. Many people who have lived here for decades can no longer afford the rapidly escalating tax levy. For them, living in East Greenwich is not just about property values; these people have deep roots, and to be forced out by taxes, cutting those ties, is a very unhappy thing.
EG is top heavy. The nature of top-heavy vessels is they tend to flip suddenly. What the Town Council is doing is one of the bravest things tackled by local politicians in many years. They have reasserted a bold but necessary agenda. It behooves dissenters to wear the Town Council’s shoes and pursue realistic and timely compromise. In my prayers this Thanksgiving will be the entreaty, “Lord, help East Greenwich act wisely.”
                                                                                                                          – Dean Fachon