Hey, in Rhode Island, lovers of freedom and the rule of law have to take what victories they can, and I’d count this as one:
State officials effectively threw up their hands Friday in trying to prop up the Central Coventry Fire District, saying they wanted to pull the plug on their bankruptcy reorganization plan after uncooperative town officials threatened to sue the plan’s chief architect and the district’s board proved to be perpetual obstructionists.
“It isn’t in Rhode Island taxpayers’ best interest to continue spending thousands of dollars on a plan that will not be successful because it lacks the support from the leadership of the town and from the CCFD board,” said David Sullivan, acting director of the state Department of Revenue.
Of course, that’s from the Providence Journal, so it has to be rephrased in a way that isn’t heavily slanted toward government officials. You have to look into the direct quotes of the “obstructionists” to understand what’s really happening. Here’s the Town Council’s lawyer, Nicholas Gorham:
“It was clear the people wanted profound change, and with all due respect to Judge Pfeifer, his plan did not do that. Consideration of private services, more volunteers; those are the things that have been repeated over and over again. And there is really no evidence they were even ever considered.”
So to revisit the first paragraph, above, the receiver came in not with the intention of figuring out how to satisfy the voters and taxpayers who have a right to determine how their fire district will run while balancing safety concerns and employee rights, but with the view that the status quo should be preserved as much as possible. Calling the people who’ll have to live with any arrangement long after the receiver (i.e., state-appointed dictator) has collected his paycheck and gone home “obstructionist” for insisting that any deal must meet their interests is a pretty aggressive attack.
That said, if “obstructionist” is what the establishment and its newspaper want to call free citizens asserting their rights, then we need more obstructionists across the state and in state government.