NORTH SMITHFIELD – Town administrator candidate Douglas Osier says that today’s political races seem built on false promises and candidates set on pandering to issues to please all.
“While this may secure a vote, it is a recipe for disaster and will inevitably cause failure,” Osier said. “I believe that elected officials need to be accountable to their constituents. They need to be open, honest and transparent. Candidates should never promise more than they can provide, and in a small town, they cannot provide everything.”
Osier notes that it would, in fact, be fiscally irresponsible to provide everything to everyone.
“We need a person who has engaged in the tough conversations, has a vision for the town, is ethical and will act,” Osier said. “I am that candidate; I am invested in the town and my record speaks for itself.”
Osier notes that the idea of increasing exemptions, building multiple pieces of new infrastructure such as police and community centers, increasing staffing, and many other candidates’ promises, will ultimately result in an increase in taxes.
“We need responsible development and preservation while spending taxpayer dollars both efficiently and effectively,” Osier said. “The town, despite battling budget issues related to COVID-19, will also face a full revaluation next year.”
Osier noted that the revaluation will result in more changes to home values and taxes.
“Given COVID-19, and our past few budget conversations, I don’t see a situation where we can build new buildings without bonding them,” Osier said. “This is not the way to go.”
The candidate pointed out that in the current budget cycle, aid from the state will likely be reduced.
“This, coupled with a reduction in tax revenue through exemption increases, will create a deficit,” Osier said. “Our debt payments will increase, resulting in higher taxes, as the base is further reduced. Debt and borrowing through bonding are serious topics. We should only borrow if we have exhausted all other options and only if we have a plan.”
Osier also called for more transparency from leadership.
“Residents should have easy access to accurate information. Community feedback, from both residents and businesses, is essential,” he said. “It can be used to help determine priorities, craft strategies and provide insight into both short- and long-term goals.”
Osier noted that he supports the town’s police, fire, education/schools and municipal employees.
“I think they do a great job, and I personally wouldn’t change any of these hardworking department heads or staff members. Stability is important, especially in transition.”
Osier said that now is the time to reign in expenditures and strategically move North Smithfield forward.
“Over the next several years, it is prudent that the town does not price out younger families, seniors or those who have lived in NS their whole lives,” Osier said. “We need to be realistic in how we spend, and this is not the time for false promises. I will provide the balance we need with innovative, honest, and transparent leadership.”