West Warwick — This post-industrial exurb on the Pawtuxet River may no longer be a manufacturing or retail mecca, and it’s tax base could certainly use a few extra dollars, but West Warwick still seems flush with at least one resource necessary for municipal success: a very strong sense of community and people who love the town.
On Sunday, the RIF podcast team (Mark Gray and I) went to Boneheads on Washington Street in the heart of Arctic to talk about the town with three local political leaders – Senator Adam Satchell, Town Councilor David Kenahan and Town Manager Fred Presley. (Disclosure: Gray is Satchell’s campaign manager)
We touched upon how West Warwick went from being one of the biggest manufacturing locales in the world and one of Rhode Island’s premiere shopping districts to being on the verge of bankruptcy, and whether it was exorbitant pensions or steep state cuts that put it there. We also dive deep into the tremendous sense of community that exists among the locals, and some ideas for West Warwick to move forward into the 21st century economy.