Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline also stopped by the Newsmakers' set for a taping of this week's broadcast. The show is broadcast Sunday, at 5:30 am on Channel 12 and at 10 am on Fox Providence.
He denied that his budget revenue projections are overly rosy, asserting that Worcester has enjoyed success in tapping a multi-million dollar cash stream related to trash and recycling. He defended Police Chief Dean Esserman's out-of-town travel for conferences and such, citing it as an indication of the quality of his work, although he was unable to answer Arlene's question of just how much time Esserman spends out of town.
I asked about Mary Sylvia Harrison's observation that Providence's schools are controlled by a culture that is "potent, formidable, and toxic." Is is true, and if so, what will the mayor and incoming superintendent Tom Brady do to overcome it?
Cicilline danced around the question a bit, but his response suggested a measure of agreement.
Some of our more interesting dialogue came on the set after the show ran out of time.
I asked what criteria Cicilline will use in deciding whether to make a gubernatorial run. He said it comes down to balancing whether he feels his job is done in Providence and whether being in the governor's office would make it possible to get more done. No doubt there are other considerations, such as the field of candidates and how that would affect the mayor's prospects.
Cicilline said he will put "some" political capital behind the notion of adding at-large seats to the Providence City Council -- a measure that the council needs to act on by August 6 for it to be placed on the November ballot. He expressed disappointment that Common Cause of RI seems reluctant to lend its imprimatur to the concept, but talked up efforts by citizens to build momentum.