Editorial: Giving credit to E.P. voters where credit is due once more

Posted 11/10/22

As they did four years ago when asked to support a $189.5 bond for the construction of a new high school, the residents and voters of East Providence once again stepped up to the polls and …

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Editorial: Giving credit to E.P. voters where credit is due once more

Posted

As they did four years ago when asked to support a $189.5 million bond for the construction of a new high school, the residents and voters of East Providence once again stepped up to the polls and overwhelmingly supported a similar measure on the 2022 ballot seeking additional monies to fix both Martin Middle School and Waddington Elementary School.

To the nearly three in four Townies who voted, like in 2018, to back the bonds we can only say, congratulations. You once again did your civic duty, and you should be applauded for doing so.

In concert with the statewide referendum on this year's ballot, just as happened in 2018, East Providence should be reimbursed a considerable sum for the remedies needed at the two schools. It made absolute sense, like it did then, to support the question at that level.

Make no mistake, we, as a city and a school district, were going to pay one way or another for the massive repairs needed at both buildings. They are among the most distressed schools of their types in the state.

How they got into the condition they're in and why they were allowed to get there are questions that should have rightfully been asked, ones that deserve answers.

However, the time to act is or was long past. Recriminations do no one any good on this matter, which was also true about the high school four years previous.

These buildings — EPHS, MMS and Waddington — were once vibrant, viable places of education. Those who work and learn there could each still be described that way, but unfortunately the structures no longer warrant such praise.

So often in the past our politicians, not our residents, have been faced with difficult financial decisions of this kind — on matters of key infrastructure — and have more often than not kicked the proverbial can down the road.

On the contrary, when the people of the city have been asked to express their opinion — the ill-fated Rec Center comes to mind — they've often had the foresight to support substantive things.

Civic pride means leaving our community in a better place than how we found it, and Townie pride means actually doing so. East Providence certainly showed it had both again this time around.

2022 by East Bay Media Group

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.