Bob Flanders, the receiver for Central Falls, and Elizabeth Crowley, a state senator from Central Falls, are both offering Woonsocket advice on whether or not to pursue bankruptcy. Whose advice should Woonsocket put more stock in? Let’s compare…
Crowley has to live with the effects of bankruptcy. Flanders doesn’t even show up for public meetings in Central Falls, and will get paid more than a third of a million dollars because of bankruptcy.
Crowley went to Central Falls High School, and worked for 40 years there as a city clerk. Flanders went to Harvard Law School, lives in East Greenwich and I’ll bet had never been to Central Falls before becoming its receiver.
Crowley has said bankruptcy has been bad for Central Falls’ morale. Flanders told the Projo “it’s not a mark of shame.” But he also made some pretty pointed jokes about it at the Follies, for which he was roundly criticized.
Crowley said Central Falls lost its public libraries and community center because of bankruptcy. In East Greenwich, where Flanders raised his family, the school committee recently decided to spend $1 million renovating its school library. Oh yeah, about a third of that project will be paid for by the state. In 2010, East Greenwich renovated a historic gym into a community center for $3 million.
Woonsocket may indeed decide that bankruptcy is the best option for it to right its fiscal issues. But it would be wise to consider Crowley’s perspective on it more than Flanders. Doing otherwise would be like asking the fox, rather than the farmer, for advice on protecting the hen house.