Mayor Defends Decision to Stop Providence Rescues
Mayor Bruce Rogers is blasting City Council candidate Helder Cunha for what the Mayor is calling “reckless and irresponsible comments” regarding his effort to make sure East Providence residents are not paying for emergency calls in Providence.
Rogers accused Cunha of trying to politicize the issue and putting his own ambitions in front of the best interests of the City of East Providence. “With his comments, Helder Cunha has made it clear he puts his political career ahead of what’s best for the taxpayers of East Providence,” said Rogers. “Instead of standing up and joining me in the effort to end a mutual aid pact with Providence that is costing our city tens of thousands of dollars, Mr. Cunha wants to grandstand and take cheap shots”
The Mayor added, “Contrary to Mr. Cunha’s ill-advised comments, I did this with the full support of the City Manager and the Fire Chief. These are serious times for the City of East Providence and we need serious people in office who understand the issues and aren’t simply trying to get their names in the paper for a little glory.”
Rogers said that Cunha apparently either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that while East Providence residents paid for 562 rescue calls to Providence last year, Providence emergency response officials only responded to 44 such calls in East Providence. Either way, Rogers said it’s unfortunate that a candidate for City Council doesn’t seem to know the issue and clearly doesn’t understand the responsibility of the Mayor and the City Council to play an active role in the matter.
“Mr. Cunha argues that I’ve over-reached on this matter and that the majority of the City Council is responsible for meddling in city government,” said Rogers. “I guess he is running for City Council so he can have a ceremonial role and do nothing for the City of East Providence.”
Rogers concluded, “I have a very different approach to the job of serving on the City Council and being Mayor. I believe it is important for the Mayor to work with the Mayors of other communities, as I have done in this case, to alert Providence officials to this problem and let them know East Providence, North Providence, and Johnston can no longer afford to provide extensive emergency response services to Providence at the expense of our taxpayers.”