Capitol Building

Inside Politics -- Your guide to National and State Politics

Darrell West

Darrell West


Heard on
College Hill

Funding Our
Public Officials

Brown Policy Reports

Brown Polls

Financial Disclosure


RI Factbook


Contact Us

Site Search

Help Support this Site

Mayor Laffey Promises Tough Action on Budget (posted September 7, 2003)

Mayor Steven Laffey is continuing his tough talk on the need to protect Cranston, Rhode Island taxpayers. Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference" with Jim Taricani and Bill Rappleye, Laffey warned that "taxpayers are going to be thrown under the bus" unless the Cranston School Board reined in spending. Despite a 12 percent budget increase, he said the school board still has not balanced its budget and needed to reduce its expenditures. "If I have to, I'll lay in front of the bulldozer," he said.

Laffey garnered considerable attention recently with his hiring of a private detective to follow and videotape public employees who were not doing their job. He said he decided to do this in March, 2003 after receiving many complaints that school crossing guards and other city workers were not performing their duties. "I wanted to have incontrovertible evidence," he explained of his decision to tape them. "I inherited a city with the lowest bond rating in America." Despite some controversy over the taping, Laffey said the reaction in coffee shops has been positive. "People overwhelmingly supported this....We need to change behavior."

The Cranston mayor said his office had spent $300,000 in legal fees surrounding his effort to terminate school crossing guards. Most of the legal fees have gone to the Tillinghast law firm in Providence.

When asked about his longer-term political goals, Laffey said his immediate objective was to clean up Cranston. However, "if something follows after that, great," he indicated. "There may be something else for me to do." Laffey said he would stay in Cranston as long as it took to accomplish his mission. In dealing with the budget situation, he compared himself to someone laying on the edge of a cliff. "It is only the public support that keeps me up," he said.
Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services