Outgoing Senator John Tassoni, always quick to pick on bullies, has set his sights on RIPTA director Charles Odimgbe, saying recent staff cuts have left Kennedy Plaza in shambles and that Odimgbe should be replaced. Full press release after the photo.
Kennedy Plaza in Providence is a mess, said Sen. John J. Tassoni Jr., and it’s RIPTA’s fault. Armed with pictures showing piles of debris scattered around the RIPTA bus waiting area on Kennedy Plaza, Senator Tassoni (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Smithfield) said the situation is further indication that “the person that was hired to fix the problems at RIPTA is not doing a very good job of handling day-to-day operations, and that makes me wonder how qualified he is to address much bigger problems at the bus company.”
The upkeep of the bus waiting and transfer area at Kennedy Plaza is the responsibility of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, said Senator Tassoni. “Apparently, in a rush to appear as if he was getting a grip on RIPTA’s budget problems, CEO Charles Odimgbe eliminated a number of employees, including those responsible for maintenance of the authority’s facilities, including Kennedy Plaza.”
“The result of that decision may have saved a few dollars, but it has left no one to do the job of cleaning up Kennedy Plaza,” said Senator Tassoni. “That is certainly not doing anything to improve the reputation of RIPTA and I’m sure that the Providence mayor can’t be too pleased that Kennedy Plaza is starting to look like a dump because RIPTA is not doing its job of cleaning up after itself.”
Senator Tassoni said it’s become obvious to him that the RIPTA CEO “is not making the hard decisions necessary to address the serious and ongoing budget problems. Rather than making cuts by trimming the ranks of the well-paid middle- and upper-management personnel, he eliminates a lowly position and Kennedy Plaza is left to become a mess. Rather than implementing serious efficiencies, he testifies before the finance committee that his only options are to raise rates or cut bus routes.”
“I think it is clear Mr. Odimgbe is not up to doing the job for which he was hired and that it is time for the governor to replace him with someone who can,” said Senator Tassoni.