It makes perfect sense for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras to be unhappy with the actuarial analysis provided by Buck Consultants LLC to the city, and that Providence sue Buck to make whole the gap the work created in future city budgets.
After all, according to The Providence Journal, the city says that Buck admitted to the mistakes, which the mayor subsequently used to negotiate new pension obligations with city employees and retirees. Further, the city calculates those mistakes created a shortfall with a current value of $10.8 million.
What does not make sense is the request by the city to delay the deposing of Mayor Taveras until after the gubernatorial primary on Sept. 9, as well as the granting of that request by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. Among the reasons the city gave for delaying the deposition was the undue burden the questioning would put on the mayor in his quest to “secure the Democratic nomination for the upcoming gubernatorial election.”
This is rich. One of the lasting sound bites of Mayor Taveras’ administration was his assertion that he came into office to discover “a Category Five fiscal hurricane.”
The “discovery” came in no small measure because outgoing mayor (and now U.S. Rep.) David N. Cicilline had done his best to obscure the fiscal calamity awaiting his successor. It seems the height of hypocrisy for the current mayor to try to sidestep a clear accounting of one of the signature accomplishments of his administration as he runs for even higher office. Shouldn’t doing his current job take precedence over looking for a new one?
We don’t know what the deposition will reveal. But it’s information that voters deserve to have. •
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