In the latest example of Governor Lincoln D. Chafee's continued and sustained efforts to address Rhode Island's municipal challenges and to provide property tax relief to Rhode Islanders, the Governor will host leaders and representatives of state and municipal employee groups for a two-hour meeting at the State House on Thursday, January 12, 2012.
"The leaders who will be participating Thursday represent the municipal employees who work day in and day out to provide the services on which Rhode Islanders depend. These employees are not responsible for the drastic reductions in state aid that have put a tremendous strain on our cities and towns. But if we are going to develop a plan for our cities and towns to achieve fiscal health, we all must work collaboratively to address these critical issues and listen to the voices of all affected parties," Governor Chafee said.
"I truly believe that this is also an economic development issue. If we are going to attract outside companies to bring new jobs and economic growth here, Rhode Island must be viewed as a state that is being proactive and not simply allowing its cities and towns to collapse. With this in mind, it is in all of our interest to address these municipal challenges and ensure fiscal health for our communities. We all want economic revitalization for our state, and as a former Mayor, I am keenly aware that the success of the state is dependent on the wellbeing of its cities and towns," Governor Chafee continued.
"This will be the year of the cities and towns. Under my leadership, these important issues will finally get the attention they deserve at the State House. We need to empower local officials and property taxpayers to reclaim their municipalities," Governor Chafee concluded.
Governor Chafee talked about the need to confront the municipal pension crisis throughout his gubernatorial campaign, and since taking office has consistently stressed the need to help the state's cities and towns better serve Rhode Islanders.
In addition to the Governor's Municipal Strategy Sessions for municipal executives and employee groups, he will host in the coming weeks a business roundtable to further discuss ways for the Chafee Administration to work with cities and towns to better serve Rhode Islanders achieve fiscal stability.
Governor Chafee and meeting participants will host a press conference following the Municipal Strategy Session.