Pilgrim Political Club quiz Fung on school safety, state issues

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The Pilgrim Political Involvement Club (Pil-PI) welcomed Cranston Mayor and 2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung to the school on Tuesday to talk about his bid for governor and how he hopes to be able to impact the state in a positive way.

Fung weaved through a number of topics including his personal background working in his parent’s Chinese restaurant in Cranston from the time he was nine years old, to his accomplishments in Cranston and how he hopes to bring those successes into the state’s highest office.

It was clear that the students were particularly interested in asking questions related to school safety, and Fung tackled the questions by relating how school resource officers work in conjunction with community police officers in Cranston to create a steady presence within the city’s 24 schools.

Fung was then asked specifically about whether or not students are having an impact on politics regarding firearms legislation.

“I think so. It’s forcing many leaders in office to listen,” he said. “No matter where you might stand on the issue of firearms, it is forcing a conscious discussion with many leaders about the existing laws out there.”

However, he did not go so far as to claim any one argument has won the debate yet, or that there is any one clear “winner” for such a complex issue.

“Sometimes there’s no easy answers either,” he said. “I keep hearing discussions about banning everything. Sometimes when you go to extremes it isn’t the right answer either. Something I’ve learned, and I can’t believe I’ve been in office almost a decade now, is that there are no easy answers. The best solutions sometimes have all sides at a table with a compromise where all of us walk away not happy – sometimes that’s the best answer.”

He also focused first on how the current economic conditions have made it more difficult for young people today to be successful than when he was in school.

“I understand the hard work it takes to survive and run a business, how hard it is not only to earn a dollar but keep that dollar,” he said. “It is tougher today for people to start a business, keep that business and run a business. And it’s tougher for you guys as the next generation coming out of school to have that choice to stay in Rhode Island if that’s where you want to be.”

First and foremost, Fung said to the gathering of students, the state needs to figure out its financial problems, which has resulted in a $9 billion budget and a $200 million looming deficit. He said his experience leading Cranston from its own deficit when he first took over as mayor is evidence he can do just that.

“We fixed Cranston and taken it to one of the highest bond ratings the city has seen in about 25 years, we have one of the largest surpluses in any community in Rhode Island, and we’re investing in businesses the right way without throwing millions at them,” said, later touting Alex and Ani being headquartered in Cranston and the development of Chapel View and Garden City Center as being three marquee success stories seen in the city within his tenure as mayor.

Fung said that the state has lost the taxpayers’ trust in how their dollars are spent, pointing to the recent 911 call center scandal and the State House lighting apparatus that cost $675,000. He said he would reel in that spending while still achieving positive results for the people.

“That’s the stuff that I’ll fight and the stuff I’ve been fighting since day one in Cranston. I still drive my own car,” he said. “People in Cranston can see what I’ve done, how I’ve acted and how I’ve been responsible with their tax dollars and I can show that’s an example of what I’ll take to the State House.”

One student asked if Rhode Island could ever see economical boon like it saw at the beginning of the 20th century during the Industrial Revolution. While Fung didn’t go that far, he did say there were many opportunities for the state to make itself stand out among its neighbors on the East Coast.

“I think first and foremost we have to find our identity as a state and how we want to sell ourselves, and which opportunities will be the next opportunities,” he said. “If we can find that one area that can make us an outlier from the rest of New England or the rest of the northeast region that we can be known for, I think that’s one of the keys that the governor’s position really can focus on.”

Fung said that the state should focus efforts on its fishing industry, since it is already one of the world’s leading exporters of calamari, and that each community in the state should be able to contribute something differently to the state’s overall economic condition.

“I would expand a lot on what we’re already doing,” he said, adding that it wasn’t savvy to try to force the state to become something it’s not (like a new Silicon Valley). “But if you can create the right dynamic from that governor’s office, you can have an identity.”

On politics, Fung said that he was trying to keep positive and learn from the lessons of his prior run for governor, when he lost by a small margin to incumbent Democrat Gina Raimondo. He said he wasn’t going to fall victim to mudslinging fights between primary opponents.

“I know what I’m about. I’m talking about my story and the success we’ve had in Cranston from education, from cleaning up messes we inherited, to finances and taking the city to where it is,” he said. “That’s a recipe that can work for the state of Rhode Island. I’m staying on message and not going down some of these rabbit holes that some of my opponents want.”

At the same time, he took plenty of issues with the way things are currently running, not only from a fiscal standpoint – pointing out that currently the state employs two meteorologists at a salary of $150,000 a year, plus benefits – but also culturally on Smith Hill.

“That’s something that really has to change, that same “You have to know a guy” attitude,” he said. “All of you should have a fair shot at a job based on your resume, your merit, what you’ve done in the classroom and your work experience, not because you know Allan Fung.”

When asked if being a Republican in a Democratically-dominated state was a challenge, Fung joked that it could be “very lonely,” but said the only thing that ultimately mattered to him was doing right by his constituents, regardless of affiliation.

“Once you get into office, it’s not a Republican way versus a Democratic way,” he said. “You’re not just serving Republicans in office, you’re serving everyone. I care about everyone regardless of party affiliation.”

Fung is the most recent major Rhode Island politician to accept an invitation from the Pil-PI club, which began in December of 2017. They have also pulled in Mayor Scott Avedisian, Superintendent Phil Thornton, Lt. Governor Daniel McKee, Rep. Aaron Regunberg (who is running for Lt. Governor), as well as Warwick city councilmen and school committee members.

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richardcorrente

Allan Fung is an intelligent man.

He became Mayor and lowered taxes. As a result, more people moved into his city of Cranston. Total tax revenue increased due to this increase in the number of people paying taxes which reduced the tax requirement on each taxpayer. The city's underfunded pension system went from 15% funded to 24%, still in bad shape but considerably better thanks to his administration.

Fung proved that if you "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" you increase the number of taxpayers which will also increase the total tax revenue. At the same time Mayor Avedisian raised taxes (17 years in a row!) and 5,800 taxpayers left in the last ten years alone. (according to the U.S. Census).

Mayor Fung is a smart man. Warwick can learn a lot from his good example.

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, May 10
Scal1024

Isn't it convenient after Rick Corrente accused Joe Solomon of showing up at the Doughboy Dash only "to get his picture taken", and today having to admit that was all a lie, Corrente quickly moves on to another article. Rick, why did you lie about Joe Solomon not donating money when today admitally you saw him purchasing raffle tickets? What an absolutely rotten thing to say about another person all in the name of politics. You continue to reveal much about yourself. You are a liar, a tax delinquent, a self important, pandering, illegal sign hanging fraud who will do and say anything to try and get elected. Those are the most dangerous politicians. The ones who tell a lie so many times they start to believe they are telling the truth.

You never answered my question. You have often stated you were late 1 time on your car taxes, only owing 1 penny. Why is it that links provided by the Captain show you paying late a total of $176.87 on March 24th 2017? That is alot more than 1 penny. Once again it appears Mr Corrente isn't even good at lying.

Thursday, May 10
Thecaptain

What is truly funny is some people that comment on this site like Warwick Man (Bill Lloyd wfd) and Warwickcitizen (Scott Small dpw) comment that i post lies. Corrente makes the same comments. Fortunately, everything that I post is substantiated by an official city document. For example, look at the box of official city documents that I obtained when making this allegation:

http://www.wpri.com/news/video/contract-negotiation-document-leaked-to-fire-department-critic-with-sharp-message/1082188112

More to come soon.

Thursday, May 10
richardcorrente

Dear Scal,

What I said about the Doughboy Dash was 100% true. All three statements.

As far as my car taxes, the $176.87 was paid BEFORE THE DEADLINE. There was no late fee. I have NOT had any illegal signs. None. The ACLU represented me against the City of Warwick, proved that their zoning ordinance was UNCONSTITUTIONAL and reminded the political insiders that there was a court order from about 8 years ago requiring Warwick to remove their illegal zoning ordinance from the books but Warwick didn't. Dirty tricks politics.

As far as you Scal, I get a kick out of you. You try so hard to bully me but when you do it from a fake name it's like an imaginary insult. It's hard to take it seriously. And it's impossible to take you seriously.

Fake news. Fake sources. Fake people. Fake names.

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, May 11
CrickeeRaven

Scal, as I've mentioned, the only thing that the make-believe mayor seems to be good at is humiliating himself through his false statements -- like these:

- "He became Mayor and lowered taxes."

This is false.

Here are the tax rates for Cranston since Allan Fung was elected mayor in 2008, found in under two minutes at the following links:

FY2010: $19.11 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2009.pdf

FY2011: $19.56 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2010.pdf

FY2012: $20.26 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2011.pdf

FY2013: $22.84 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2012.pdf

FY2014: $22.84 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2013.pdf

FY2015: $22.84 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2014-Tax-Rates-12-31-13-FINAL.pdf

FY2016: $22.45 [due to revaluation] http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2015-Tax-Rates-12-31-14-FINAL.pdf

FY2017: $22.45 hhttp://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2016-Tax-Rates-12-31-15-FINAL.pdf

FY2018: $22.94 http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/data/taxrates/2017-Tax-Rates-12-31-16-FINAL.pdf

And before the make-believe mayor tries to claim that the 2016 tax rate reduction was a "tax cut," Mayor Fung said at the time that the revaluation would result in 2.1% higher tax revenue, meaning the new tax rate was effectively an increase: http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150401/NEWS/150409863

Mayor Fung did not "lower taxes," as the make-believe mayor claims. Level tax rates are not "lowered taxes."

- His claim of "5,800 taxpayers" leaving is also false.

The following link shows U.S. Census data for 2010 through 2017, and shows a reduction from 82,670 to 81,579, or 1,091 -- not 5,800.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/warwickcityrhodeisland/PST045216

By comparison, Cranston's population has increased from 80,387 in 2010 to 81,034 in 2016 -- a change of 647, according to the Census: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/cranstoncityrhodeisland/PST045217

---

So, the make-believe mayor is claiming that Cranston lowered taxes [when it didn't], that Warwick's population crashed [when it didn't], that Cranston's population increased significantly by comparison [when it didn't], and that the additional population in Cranston increased tax revenue [when it didn't].

You're right, Scal, the make-believe mayor even fails at lying.

Friday, May 11
Justanidiot

"Fake news. Fake sources. Fake people. Fake names."

fakir mayer

Friday, May 11
Kammy

Richard, this was your quote in the article They dashed for the dough from 5/8/18:

"Several politicians were there for the photo op. Joe Solomon Sr. was one of them. Insiders have said he will be a candidate for Mayor of Warwick. Rumor is that he will announce shortly."

"Solomon has confirmed he will be running for a full term as mayor once that election occurs, but he does not seem to have big plans for campaigning at this time – instead focusing on the tasks at hand." May 3, 2018. (http://warwickonline.com/stories/solomon-prepares-for-bumpy-road-ahead,133636?)

You even commented on that article???? Did you read it?

“I was there too. I already am a Democratic candidate for Mayor of Warwick and I announced several months ago. “

So what? Are you waiting for a gold star or something? Not even relevant to the issue.

“Sunday, I donated personal money to A-T and I also participated in the race. I even surprised myself when I was able to finish. I came in 208th. There is a big difference between Joe and me. He will show up just for the pictures. I will show up to participate. The voters will decide what kind of Mayor they prefer."

The big difference is you ran in the race and Mr. Solomon bought raffle tickets. Are you saying your participation is better than the other? So everyone that bought tickets but didn’t run didn’t participate? I wouldn’t be able to run in the race due to health issues. Would that mean my purchase of raffle tickets wasn’t considered as important as your donation and race? Interesting.

I don’t think I prefer the Mayor to make comments like you did in this article. That would be my preference.

Friday, May 11
Thecaptain

Again, what's remarkable is that the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness still thinks his signs are legal. What he still refuses to reconcile is that the ACLU case pertained to signs on ones personal property, not on city or state property. So the law is upheld that anyone can remove any campaign sign that is placed on city or state property such as traffic signal control boxes or any other city property.

And they will continue to be removed. Count on it.

Friday, May 11
CrickeeRaven

Hello again Thecaptain:

If there's one area where the make-believe mayor has always been consistent, it's been his outright refusal to acknowledge facts, and more specifically the details that prove his statements false.

As you rightly point out, the ACLU case against the city dealt with signs on private property -- not public property like traffic control boxes. But the make-believe mayor ignores this critical detail and thinks that somehow, this makes him more credible.

It's the same way he makes statements like Allan Fung "became mayor and lowered taxes," or that "5,800 taxpayers left" Warwick while ignoring the details that prove these claims false.

For all his other false claims about "serving taxpayers," you and Scal and Kammy [and others] are providing far more of a service to the honest, taxpaying voters of Warwick by continuing to expose the make-believe mayor's false claims.

Friday, May 11