Reason should prevail in city hall debate
Once again the self-proclaimed members of the no-city-hall group
have proven that they rely on rhetoric, exaggeration and inflammatory
remarks rather than facts in expressing opposition to proposed
actions of our City Council ("Newport council should scale back plans
for city hall," Sept. 1). The response in the Daily Pilot to Mayor
Heffernan's quite factual article is full of inaccuracies and ignores
reality in the name of persuading folks to believe his point of view.
While perhaps well meaning, this brand of commentary needs to be
The massive indebtedness mentioned to build a Taj Mahal is an
exaggeration. There are not excessively large rooms or extra
facilities, just enough room to house our city staff and adequately
serve the public. Adequate space is provided for the staff and
residents to park. A proper fire station is included, which most of
us would support. These are all in one project, at one time, which is
why the cost is what it is.
The higher rate of interest and cost for the financing method is
minuscule compared with bonds. Bonds would also raise the cost to
residents because it would be added to their tax bills. If we wait to
replace City Hall it will just cost more at a later date, and it can
easily be afforded now because the cost fits into our city budget.
And we would avoid the costs of keeping the old building maintained.
This financing method also has less risk to the city in case of a
future calamity which might damage the building.
Opponents want to control excessive government expenditures. What
are these excessive expenditures? Opponents refer to oversized
bureaucracy in our city government. This is another unfounded and
unsubstantiated remark. We don't believe that our city government is
overly large, and it is doubtful that opponents could find waste or
inappropriate activities that currently exist. They just want to
criticize everyone and suggest that all is not well. Our city
government is certainly not out of control. No one really believes
Perhaps the reason for the continued criticism without facts is
that opponents are just unhappy that their candidates did not get