tv Book TV CSPAN May 15, 2011 12:00am-1:30am EDT
>> up next on booktv, vincent "buddy" si yancy jr. he was removed from office in 2002 and spent five years in a federal prison on racketeering/conspiracy charges. he presents his thoughts on politics from campaigning to holding office at books on the square in providence, rhode island. this is about an hour and a half. ..
rebuilt a dying city, dined with sinatra, spent five years in a federally funded gated community, and lived to tell the tale. ladies and gentlemen, it's me great pleasure to present mayor vincent buddy cianci, jr. mr. mayor. >> thank you, an dry ia, thank you very much. thank you. thank you all very much for coming. andrea, you ask an awful lot from that introduction. i have been introduced many different ways. i remember being introduced one
time -- i used to be mayor and then stopped being mayor and then became mayor again, and in 1990 i was re-elected and before the inauguration i was invited to go to a dinner, and i remember walking in, and the person at the podium was excited to see me there, and he got on the microphone and said, ladies and gentlemen, i want everyone to welcome the two-timing mayor of the city of providence. [laughter] >> i remember that one. then i remember another time when -- another time when i was mayor, i got a call from the white house. it was 1981. right after president reagan had won, and the call was about mr. william casey, bill casey, the head of the cia, and they said he was coming to brown university and wanted to know if i could pick him up at the
airport with a dean from brown, and if i could escort him through the city and take him to do his speaking and drive him back to the airport. so i said, yeah, i would do that. i never met him before. so, i dutifully got in the car -- we used to have those big long undertaker cars, looked like they were from a funeral home. so i picked up the dean from brown. put the car on the tarmac, and we did that, and ten minutes later the plane came in it was a white plane with no numbers, typical cia. the plane landed, and speaking about introductions, the gate came down, the steps came down, and the guy just had a skiing accident and it was bill casey, ask he was on a crutch and came down the stairs slowly and got on the tarmac and looked at me and said, who are you? and i said, you're supposed to be the head of the cia.
[laughter] >> so, another time, in 1980, i was running for governor. the only election i ever lost. i had a party, a birthday party at my house, fundraiser, and henry kissinger was in town, and we made arrangements for him to come to the birthday party, and i was honored to have the secretary of state in my home. and he came in, and we had a couple hundred people, a tent in the backyard, and i said i'm honored to introduce a great peacemaker, unless you're a north vietnamese peasant, and i want to introduce you to a peacemaker, and i kept going on and on with these tremendous accolades, and then he said in this own voice, he said, mayor, i don't know why you stopped. you were just getting in stride.
[laughter] >> and then there was some other embarrassing introductions. we used to share the -- whoever the governor is -- i've been through a few of those -- we would alternate the welcoming to the city of different conventions. and i'll never forget when i was -- maybe back in '78 or '79, 9:30 at night. probably my last stop. the mariott hotel. and we used to have these small conventions that would come in town, like the basket weavers from idaho, and the mayor would welcome them so i would never forget. i walked into the mariott, one of the smaller -- about 150 people. i walked in, and they had a head table up on a riser, and i walked in -- the table was set one wine and candles and everything. when i put my foot on the riser,
the whole head table fell down on the floor in front of me with all the dishes and food and everything. so, i went up to the microphone and i said, ladies and gentlemen -- they were all from like idaho or someplace. i said, ladies and gentlemen, the mayor asked me to tell you he'll be 15 minutes late. [laughter] >> so those are some of the funny things that happened to me when i was mayor. then the not so funny things happened. i remember when i first got elected back in 1974, a democratic primary that really -- democrats were fighting, and i was a republican, and that was not a good word in those days. probably some people don't think it's a good word now. i was republican in those days. eventually changed parties. there was a fight going on, and i decided to run for office, and i did. and i won, and there was a -- before that i was a prosecutor. i was assistant attorney
general, and we prosecuted all that whole crowd that was running a lot of the crim activity in the city at that time. i used to run these wire taps for the station police, and that was a lot of fun, and the judge who was the presiding judge in those days, i had to go and -- every so often we had to secure the tapes, and we would have to good to the hospital trust bank, then hospital trust. and we had to unlock -- two keys, to the safety deposit box, and put the tapes in there i liked to listen to the tapes. give you a little flavor of one of them. they were doing a bookmaking operation, and 0 two girlfriends of two bookmaker cans were on the phone, and one says, my boyfriend says these wires might be tapped. they might be listening to us, my boyfriend said, don't worry about it, because i know exactly what to if they're listen;
what's that in she said when my boyfriend came to see me, i'm supposed to tell them i'm taking the fifth commandment; which i thought was humorous. [laughter] >> then there was -- you know, i looked at the mayoralties as three different ones. the first time i was mayor, it was like being a social worker. we all know the story of the american estimate everybody empties the cities in the' 50s and '60s, and the federal government picked up mortgages and who was left in the cities but the elderly and an increasing number of minorities, and the downtown wase tough shape so we wanted to rebuild, and those days were we going through voluntary desegregation, and that was tough, and the city was dead. you could take a bowling ball and throw it down westminster
street, and you wouldn't hurt a soul. even the bible societies move out of town. that's tough. the first day i was in office, i will never forget, getting a call from the parks department saying the monkeys had escaped from the zoo. but they said, what do you do? i said, never taught me that in mayor school. i said, you do what you normally do. and then, of course, social workers and built a network of social service delivery systems will different community centers we built, whether it was the davinci center or federal hill house, and we also thought that we -- the next part of the mayoralty was being a rescue-taker, and we decided to put money in the infrastructure
and tearing down the railroad tracks. they talk about that for a lot of years. but we had tried to have the fortitude and get the political will by everybody concerned to get it done, and we did. we were tearing the tracks down and realized there was other money because there were two waterways of transportation, and we could relocate the three rivers. of course, my friend sullivan, who wasn't governor tot, became governor later, and we kind of dedicated water place park, and he thought two of the rivers that were closed credit unions. and so we did that, and we were kind of risk takers, and the third part was being entrepreneurial, bass we decided to invest in the mall. we used things like historic preservation as economic tools, and we used the arts community as a real tool also, because we
created the first arts district in america that really truly was an arts strict, because artists don't have to pay taxes if they live in that district, and don't pay taxes on their income and don't pay taxes on anything they create. and that was replicated all over the country later. so we tried to do these. build skating rinks. mostly the challenge was trying to bridge the gap between being a mayor for everybody and -- i'll never forget, the first first appointment i had as mayor, the mayor's office in providence is a nice place. a dining room, high ceilings, a fireplace, oriental rugs. gorgeous place. and even better after we restored it. the fact is -- let me tell you something, in 1974, if i knew what it was really like to be mayor at that time, i wouldn't have voted for myself. i didn't know enough to be
mayor, in 1974. i was a approach -- a prosecutor, and i ran on all these promises, i was going to be the most transparent, open mayor you could find, and the first appointment, i thought i was going to need some philosopher or urban learn, and my first appointment was big, heavy set ward healer from the seventh ward in silver lake, there's no water there, no yacht club. it's a tenement district more or less, and he walked in, and the days of the 1975 this was -- he walked in the office, and he sat down, this beautiful office, and i knew he was there i was naive to not that naive to know he wasn't coming to get something. he said, did i help you? i said, yes, you did.
following him in the office was a million midget, a dwarf, and he climbed up on a chair. i said, what can i do for you. he said, did i help you? , i said, yesterday you did. he said, without me you wouldn't have carried the seventh ward. i said, probably not. he said, see him? i said, barely. in those days you could do that. there was no such thing as political correctness. political correct in the was taking care of the people who helped you. so he said, see system i said, barely. he said he's going to make a buck and a half a week. that was lot of money the those days same to do what? he said, i don't care. make him on your desk. so fast forward the tape 25 years. i'm sitting in the same office, never expecting to be there, and the little person now, by this time he became a little person -- comes into the office, climbs up on the same chair and
says to me, they're really screwing me, mayor. i said, who is? he said, the retirement board, i said, how? he said, want my pension, i said your entitled to one. i said i want my disability pension. i said, bobby, that's why we hired you, because you were disabled. why are you expecting a disability pension when you didn't get disabled on the job. that the mentality of everybody that works in the city. [laughter] >> so, i don't know if you -- i don't think you got it. anyway, as time went on, we had a lot of fun. one of -- political parties by my definition are nothing more than a group of people organized for one perp purpose to take over the government by nonviolent means. that a political party. and i didn't have the support of the city council when i first ran, but i had enough for veto
to veto anything they wanted to do. so i tried to use all the method is had to try to go above the fray, and that's why they said go to the opening of the envelope. i attended more events than you can possibly national to gain public support. we had to get things passed, like money for the relocation of the rivers and redoing the zoo and the casino and all that. and then there was the wonderful trip we had with gambling in the city. i don't know if you remember this or not. there was a guy walked in my office one day, roger stone, i guess his name was, a lawyer. he represent one client, and that was at the time -- and he said we're interested -- i represent someone in the gaming community. i said who would that be? he said, mr. city veinwin. -- city vein wynn, and he is will known in the gambling community. i said, really? so he said he'd like to meet with you. i said, i have to check him out.
who can i call? he said, call anybody. >> i said, can i call the bishop? how about the president of brown university. well, call him. so i called him, and he says, wonderful man, philanthropist, the whole thing. so i met with him. flew in, in a big plane, came to my house, had dipper, -- had dinner, and he owned like the mirage hotel and stuff. we got along. and i said to him, well, we need money, and i don't know if i'm for gambling or against it. i said, you pay for and it i'll pay a pollster, the poll came back not bad. people said, okay, maybe. i always maintain we would get in the gambling business in the state when it lost money, and that's about what we're doing now. anyway, but now -- so anyway, we had the pole -- poll done, it looked good, and he came back a second time and anymore who ran
the place in newport spotted us having dinner, and it was in the providence journal, the mayor is gambling. turned out i veto gambling. but i went down there to see the native americans, made an appointment to see the tribal council. i said we can't let this opportunity go by. we have to get some money out of them. so i met with the 11 members of the tribal council, and i said if we build a casino in the city of providence, you guys are doing $800 million a year. if we make mistakes, we'll take 3 or $400 million from you i said pay us not build the casino. and they looked around, looked at me, and they said, how much? i said, well, you know, 50 million bucks a year is a good investment for you, a million a week, which would be good. they said, how long will we not
have gambling in providence, i said, put 50 million bucks and we'll be fine, they voted 6-5 not to do it. imagine if they had voted the other way? we would have had $52 million a year all those years. anyway -- without building a casino. it was not in the press for a. why then i whereas on imus one day, and one of the reporters picked up on it. we almost did it. then, of course, other interesting stories that came about in the city concerning the performing arts center. i always tried to be a big supporter of the arts community, i always remember in 1977, maybe '76, i got a call from some business people who said do you know mr. dario? i never met him. name is dario baciacki and he owned the ocean state theater,
and they said he wants to tear that place down. i said, that was terrible. they said, cue call him and make an appointment and convince him not tear it down? i said, why do you think i can do that? they said, you're italian, i thought, that's real sensitive. so i did call him and went to see him at his house, and i remember going up in the big car, and when i got out of the car two german shepherds came running at me, and i jumped back in the car. and he finally came out and put the dogs down, they were heeling, and so i went in the house. he invited the dogs in the house. so we started talking. then we went out to dinner, and i gave him the soliloquy, and i said why he shouldn't tear the theater down. he said, give me a demolition
permit. i said, you wouldn't tear that theater down. he said, have you heard of the rko? i said, yeah. >> he said, i tore that one down. so i knew he meant business. i convinced him to come to my office on monday, and his lawyer came, and i said we can't bull putt dario in the same room with bill miller because they hate each other. he said, okay. he went over and negotiated the deal. the city put a lot of money in it. still we didn't know we were going to do that much at that time. they finally agreed, and finally they all said yes. and dario said to me, after we agreed on the price and the deal was done, dario said, what about my other $40,000? talked in broken english. i said, what 40,000? he said they promised me a thousand dollars a day to goble. it's been 40 days. i picked up the phone and called
miller. never heard miller swear my whole life except that day. forget i called. the deal is off. i'll hasn't ill. i said to dario, he said, i can't trust them. forget the deal. i said, what if i can give you some of it? i'll give you $20,000. he said, how can you do that? i said, i'd make you the city consult tan on the arts. i wanted to hire a racetrack owner to be the city consultant on the arts. he said you can do that? i said, yes, he said, make it 25, so that's one of the reason we got the performing arts theater. those some stories that happened you probably read about in the providence journal or anyplace else but you can read about it in the book. the other great thing, funny things that happened, was when weapon did the mall. the providence place half. we relocated the rivers and needed to be entrepreneurial, and the whole thing about the mall depended on whether or not
we got nordstrom to be an anchor tenant there, and so the guy who owned -- who was at the time the developer, and he eventually sold his interest. the guy who wasn't to us be involved with him, was a guy named conjul, and we had to good, myself and the governor, good to seattle, washington to meet with the nordstrom family, and we walked into the four seasons hotel and register, and this desk clerk says, governor and mayor, and governor thought he was a world figure, they knew him. and the guy went back to get room keys, i said, bruise, don't get impressed with yourself, the kid probably went to johnson and wales. so the kid came back. i said, where did you go to school? he said, johnson and wales. so the next morning, we end up
going to meet with the nordstrom family in their offices, and we're sitting there, and the governor goes first and say, well you know, you must have heard we have some budget problems. but we're going to be able to straighten that out. i'm going broaden the tax base, we're going to start taxing clothes and shoes. that's out nordstrom sells, clothes and shoes. so they got their head tilted like a st. bernard that is confused. so i kicked him under the table and i said, doesn't our governor have a wonderful sense of humor? knows how to get your attention. and we ended up coming -- we ended up coming back, and then we lad -- had to go meet with the developer at his headquarters, and so we went up to his headquarters, and it was independence day. may 1st.
rhode island independence day, and we flew up there and went to this guy's office. he had an office that was an old post office that had windows that you press a button, shades came down, screens came down, and all the malls he built. we had to mange sure -- make sure he was -- due diligence. during the meeting there's kid -- not kits -- 26-28 years old, and they're apparently the developer's kids. so the presentation stops and sunland has to ask questions, and he said, you're a wonderful operation, and you're like a one-map show here. i see you have a lot of people working for you, but you're the boss, you're one person and all depends on you, i see you got a couple kids coming in and out and i have kids of my own, only at that time bruce didn't know
how many he really had at that point. so he said, i got kids of my open. i know how that works. so he looks at him and says, what happens if you die? and this guy, without skipping a beat, says, governor, we practice dying here once a month. i thought that was pretty good. then he asked me, any questions, mayor? i said, yeah, i like your daughter, how do i meet her and take her to lunch? that's my due diligence. we ended up getting nordstrom and the rest is history. a great project for the city of providence. the other thing you can read about in the book is the garbage strike in 1981, i guess. i guess i had -- the city had some fiscal problems then, and so we had to reduce expenditures, and so one of the ways to do that was by it -- the rule is if you're going to raise
tacks, you better cut by twice as much as the new revenue. so if you're going raise taxes for a dollar of revenue, better cut two bucks out of the budget. so we did that. it required us to get rid of a person on the garbage truck, and here's the point. you can put -- they had four men on the garbage truck. you can put, like two men on a space ship and send it to the moon. so reducedded down to three. so they started throwing garbage, and i went down to the public works department and fired them all. i had people take pictures of them throwing the garbage. so, what happened was they finally said, give us our jobs back and we'll clean it up. and i did. i put them on probation. then i went to the sewer treatment plant where they had a six-day guarantee overtime. i took that away. those guys went on strike, and
the guys in the garbage joined their brothers and sisters, so i fired them, and we got a private come to come in, but we put a fourth man on the garbage truck, a cop with a shotgun, to keep them away. that lasted for a long time. and this is before the air traffic controller, and awful did was fire some garbage men and get a private company. i became an expert on privatization i was invited to win winsor capital to speak on privatization. and i ended up spending a week and stayed at st. george's chapel, and it was great. and then came back, of course, and i had to run for re-election, and i had to get the union endorsement, and i did end up getting it, because of interesting -- i walked into the union meeting there, a big
crowd, and i got there kind of a polite applause, and i knew they weren't going to endorse me. what happened was i was coming out of the meeting -- that morning, brown, the longest strike ever, and i almost had to send policemen to move pickets away from the bank because hospital trust bank had a lot of the same members of the board of directors as brown and sharpe, brown and sharp were interlocking directors, and the union was trying to get people to take money out of hospital trust bank. i sent the horses there. love the horses. never saw anybody pet a police car. they always pet the horses. then they used gas. talk back -- don't talk back to you. said to the union's lawyer, you're crazy, trying to get people not put money in the bank. you're going to stop someone
from putting a hundred bucks in the bank. if i don't go to a meeting tuesday night, you have 300 million bucks you have to move. you're on the board, i'm on the board of the pension system. i'll go bowling that night. so came back and said, you know what? we're going to -- thursday night, you don't go to the meeting, we're going to endorse you friday morning. i said, no, doesn't work like that. you endorse me tonight. so they did. the journal can never figure out why got endorsed. they moved the money around. pension money. anyway, we didn't like that bank because they weren't giving us a great return, and we were going to move it anyway. the book takes me on a journey from providence to a lot of interesting places. the next part of the book talks about what happens during plunder dome, what happened during the trial, and what happened in prison and what
happened when i came out of prison. a lot of it that -- has to do with the redevelopment of the city. i was indicted with 27 charges in found guilty of one, conspiracy to commit rico. and it was really conspiracy to commit a crime i was found not guilty of. and go figure. i took an appeal. that was a great dissenting opinions, but they don't reverse cases. it was 2-1. i'll always maintain any innocence. never took a dime from any developer or anything like that, and not caught up in a whole situation, and by the way in politics today? in the city of providence, the state of rhode island, the city of philadelphia, i don't care, when you got 6, 8, 9,000 people working for you, people are doing things and you're not going to stop that and it's human nature...
it is funny to watch. and then watching tv go change to the channel to the golf match. [laughter] they will kill you. [laughter] at any rate i decided i would do radio and television and big signing parties in nine to running the book. there is interesting and funny thing is. also some nice stories about president ford in the book asked to go down to meet him and i did and money for the u.s. senate but i decided
not to and tv ran there is the issue and it lost the governorship hopper and had the misfortune from when they close the bases bear got that time i was a man of the year and control of the republican party negative at the election i met up with me onofre again after the iowa caucuses reagan was sitting there in the wilshire boulevard office and he looked older than he did when we became president but i will never forget u.s.
conservatives who he says i never forget. what you see is what you get then i said what happens if the guy like me wins or loses? >> he mentioned the ambassadorship. i lost the election. i went down to see him. i walked into the office to sign political operations. so he said why do you want to be the ambassador? i said because i want to learn a second language. [laughter] satoshi said go upstairs and said she polls the map down.
everything yellow is taken. so she said costa rica sounds good. [laughter] so i went down to costa rica then went to the dominican republic and there is a part where they wanted $100,000. that is when i left brian never thought i would win the next election that was 1982. the book is 370 pages and one that i think we find fascinating and it is not the autobiography of born on this day but i talk about my a on life and being in the army and the attorney general and a little bit about brown university and also running for office.
think you will find its providential and if not you may like it's even more. people say what is the best thing that you ever did? building skating rinks third going to the zoo or redoing the rivers? none of those things. 1974 the self-esteem of providence was very low and one of the most important things my administration did was bring the self-esteem of the people up to the level in never thought they could achieve part of the people were proud of this city in the early 2000's they felt the city had come live. the arts, restaurants, this city loaned them the money. if you go to any of those
places, though last person a bank wants to see is a restaurant owner so we will the money at 1% during o% because they occupy the buildings that a real estate taxes. we got part of that eventually and people got jobs. if you do not get off the ball five things you better do it number one is the city has to be safe and people have to feel safer. number two of quote they showed good school system of think we have achieved that yapping it is getting better. number three affordable housing number four you have to have a job and a number five a great recreational and cultural opportunities so people of the city. trinity was saved to three times. anybody remember adrianna
hall? i need $1 million. for what? he said the board foundation gave me $1 million and i was not supposed to spend it. cab borrow the money? i said no. because we will not go to a nice place but he was always in trouble financially and as a matter of fact, one of the things if you enjoy trinity one of the reasons is because of the old fleet center which is now bankamerica, an interesting story there. 22 big the big nortek corporation and seven
warrants due big old -- bill the big building. when we did the biltmore hotel we made a deal release the way and $5,000 a year and then i called the head of ledbetter and said you really be using the land? you have the hotel. know we will lot expand. really? i think i know somebody who would like it. >> i would meet with them but they never showed up so finally i said how can you never showed up? we have a moral obligation to sell it to the law firm. you're not the redevelopment agent for the city. when that didn't happen i was looking at the parking lot. we have a tenant we have
somebody you wanted to build the be of building but no tenet but we've end of giving a grand jury have the urban development action grants that is when they would spend a lot of money so we applied for the grant we do not have to pay back the loan it out. of the boeing could be bilked the money that we could loan to them was the fact they needed a garage that was built from the money from washington that we kept and loaned the conglomerate that built the building for chrome interest rates were 18% those days. we loan that is zero and just a couple of years then
when they paid it back half's to be washed through the economy twice before the city could take it. then it went to cooks in america and when i came back to office i said you do not need city money. i was going to put it back in the budget but trinity said a couple million bucks. we said we would embellish the endowment from the building of the of building at state center. that is how that happened. there are so many other things like where you take the money you give from texas so you can fix a certain area.
fell was done with techs entombment all the spin macquarie put a million dollars into the performing arts center, i said you keep calling this the ocean state theater. this day long give you one time. the last 304,000 -- $300,000.2 change the name of the theater. what to? i said anything with the name providence the new is the providence performing arts center if they change the name of the theater they have to give the money back. [laughter] they will never change it. that is why even things like courses and gondolas and those are all branded items. they won the ballet you can call it providence ballet if you want the money.
and of the hockey team is here with the boston bruins they said no. they plan to give them some cropper, i could see the headline jews lose. [laughter] we waited until the night before 5:00 that we've ended up signing the deal because we would cancel a press conference but they were lucky they did it because national hockey league went on strike and we still the place because the we place they could get hockey is with us. those are interesting things that happened while i was mayor. the other things that i
could talk about is other funny things that happened but i and a stand i am supposed to take some questions. what is the best quality? i have done this almost every night. we have a signing party in washington and new york but the book is doing pretty well. but i like to the story by saying who did you read in you were in prison? >> a lot of stuff with winston churchill who had perseverance. i always say that you cannot locate issues nol say the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. winston churchill once said korea was reported that after world war ii looking at oxford to give a big speech about how he won world war ii.
he walked down the hall and set up the platform and if they introduced him to thunderous applause and he gave a speech on how he won world war ii. took off his hat his umbrella by the side and he said never never never give up. he put on his hat to of the umbrella and sat down to a great deal of applause. i try to live like that. thank you very much. i hope you enjoy the book. [applause] does anybody want to ask a question? >> i am curious we moved here from california one
year-ago we love providence when my son is almost incarnate-- kindergarten and we will move because of the schools. >> there is some stuff going on with a population and i remember i close nine schools and one year and nobody made a peep. nobody said one thing because the population was different and it has been shifting. another's 90 languages spoken? that is just like bridgeport and other cities adjacent. i like to think positive. there's a lot of good teachers that experience the
magic of the classroom. we have a top high-school in this state including the private members' with admissions but there is spotty performances by the elementary schools. people say how can my child learn of the teacher does not speak english? that is a problem. i cannot give you the answer. and when i was mayor we've had similar problems you just have such good deficit deficit, $180 billion structural of a separate probe how that happens there is a big investigation but the internal auditor was screaming but the internal
auditor had to go it tough for her request and had to go to court almost to get it to. from then when the independent auditor, you can see there done by august. but not ogden city hall until after last election, we knew something was happening. when he left office, is the reserve fund there was 19.$3 million. so they sold the civic center and added 22 million so there was 40 something million and i guess when the economy hit it didn't make the cuts they should have made like other cities did
better surviving. they did not do it i could not believe they gave 2% to nonunion personnel. of but where do liv? >> across the street. >> nathan bishop was just redone. certainly a great school with not give up. you see stuff in the newspaper they are working on race to the top of the big thing is the evaluation. the mayor just who fired teachers although not really. you are supposed to tell teachers if you lay them off because you don't know how
many will have because you don't of the demographics of what the class size would be so they have to let them know they will be laid off. the union wants it that way. he changed it and fired those teachers and all holt time the superintendent and head of the union have a great collaboration going. it is a great example of collaboration coming back from denver but then the firing notices went out. you can i find this superintendent to count on this like in the witness protection am programme. [laughter] and they don't have to bring teachers back pretense the new rule is you don't have to bring teachers back on
seniority alone. you could bring them back with competency, it interview, criteria based, some people say that is good but then again how do you attract those to be could teachers in your school system? it works for us otherwise you'll be fired than we will hire you back. maybe. not to job security but i think they work it out. the commissioner of education is a spark plug voicing quote do well if they keep her. it doesn't look like he agrees with what she does. it is political. there is a big problem. [laughter] i like to look at as a challenge. they were on the right track
there really believe this. steve smith of the head of the teachers union was on the collaboration track and revolves around how do evaluate teachers? the union says i did not hire these people. they don't speak english i have to defend them. i don't think you'll find a certain school seven are not performing well but not -- some that are. where would you move? but there is no i italian food down there. [laughter] and a standard you are going through. i know it well. my grand kids go to public
schools. we're very satisfied with that. >> i came back to providence about the time you started your second administration and the remember on the radio program with this huge proportion of the property is government lowered tax-exempt charities and the other is like unfunded pension liabilities so that is like when you were starting and what happened? >> the pension question second. tax-exempt institutions have been a part of the vibrancy of the city in many ways.
brown university you don't have the health care and with all of the industries that surround it, and think of this goals we have. providence college. that is probably the largest population of students and ray do find a better design school then that? they are in the top one lowered to. then you have brown. it is a great place adding a tremendous cultural decision we put in something called the payment instead of taxes. if not for the fact that these institutions were in the city, the state would
not get the benefit of the income tax of the doctors, nurses, professors, a sales tax, so that benefits the state. so we devised a formula so the state would reimburse us what that proportion of tax revenue source of a wood fire -- bios those apparatus with special agents and all that we were picking up the things i think our bridge and did that. then in addition we created the province plan but the providence plate. the reason why it is funded
and brown narrow like to pay the city directly. they did not just us with the money but i have given you money for the library. we find that. of the woods send me of the others all the time to say i am sending 15,000 to the library any way we fended the whole province plan. the manchester street plan. do you know, the big electric company? maybe from the nightclub? 1991 they came they want to expand and he says think this is what they will pay
so they paid off lots of money every year and we have a separate of appraisers to show what that was worth. the reason why we could do the community police stations, rehabilitation of housing to do things to preserve historic buildings is because we took the money every year, we do not put the money in the general fund rich's is the cleanup of auschwitz all of that was done with providence plan money. it was to be used and we have a private nonprofit porter directors and how the money was spent. nonprofit is very important to the city. only people who have money
are the nonprofits to invest. women and infants hospital, brown university, the knowledge district. i hate that it makes it think i live in the stupid district. [laughter] but we created that when we relocated 1995. that is how the land got their which is the intent to capture and build an area that could create a new industry. they are the only ones with money. take a look at the cities in asia and europe they are scattered and downtown you have a challenge, and million and a half of square feet. see this superman building? that is up. they sold it and that lease
is up in the year or so. fire was mayor i would get on a plane right down to cosec the chairmen of bank of america who used to be here. and also used to be at dean university. i would go down there and bring jack on the banking committee and let them sit there. don't say a word and see what will happen with that building because when it empties out, what you have? >> it is not affected. it is the economy so pay attention to preserving those assets down there. i paid attention. they thought it just happened you have to make sure that it pays attention.
and frankly it wouldn't help put the question on pensions, so respect those institutions and people say iran one year and my eight appointed as an add-on television look at the record. that is not true because all of the people that work there and in the economy they create, take a look and you can see it my way. over the course of 10 years they could have gotten more thinking they have an obligation debt to we have to sit down to bargain and negotiate. the second part is people used to work with the city
of providence because they didn't pay very much money but paid the benefits. one that was put in, policemen and firemen don't get social security they only get pensions but that system is abused by the retirement board made up of people who are elected by unions. they are run by the board. i'll never forget going to the retirement board meeting i saw these people in the audience. who are these people? there is a woman who was called the new bond consultant. really? who is this? no organized attempt to put the investment strategy together they have a football player who was there adviser. they would control who gets
the pension. firefighters of them to death but every single one if they get bed disability pension they pay no taxes after three years they have 66 2/3% of the pay paying no taxes. the same people giving the benefits also control the money. i said this has got to stop. it is in the book so i end up going to court. all the way to the supreme court and said these guys can't control this assessed ago to the commissioners money that was left by harvard university. there was very little money but these seven people you
were supposed do it. i had a lot of big people who were on the board there is hardly any money so we have the money shifted. of the head of the union called me i will never forget it giving bond work to their friends with no investment strategy your asset allocation because there is such a cash drain on the system assuming 8.5% return so what you could do is invest and take whatever you needed to pay the pensions of the widows and get to decent returns if you have the right investment. i'll never forget the head of the fire union called me that night because we took control of the money. he said you could appoint
some citizens. i know that. outside city hall i know that spin mckinley recommend somebody? it is just like getting a divorce. he is our baby and i have custody it. [laughter] with judge does not want you near that baby. he said dan six-month can i call you to reconsider? kid to a point* does to the board? i said every time i talk too little teddy psychiatry says he goes crazy. [laughter] you did not clean his diapers. he shakes when he hears your name. [laughter] that is in the book. we got along but i took them to court we hired the same
retirement board, they thought they could give themselves a cost of living and i said you are nets. we reduce them down to three because the consent was attributed wrong. we went to court to have it changed so nobody gets that after 1991. anybody hired after 1991 doesn't get the 3% bonus. i remember that. there's a lot of myth and kennedy said and i am paraphrasing, i can handle the allies i can handle because i can repeat them but the mess goes on.
you have to destroy the myth so in 1990 we won the case of the nonprofit i have a different viewpoint. not saying they shouldn't pay something but take a good hard look at what they can to be before you go after them. >> with basically the planning process it should have the economic value but also with the public should be allowed to have access to the waterfront. that is a wonderful piece of property. fat deteriorated that means we have to do the staging
area and money that had to be paid back but with the money we got to sell it. thank god there was a bond issue that the people put together so they could pay the money to the federal government and keep it with providence. i had a great waterfront plan and we were denied the waterfront by the industrialist over the years. that was then next thing if that but i thought brown could use that as a campus. i thought was the water taxi to take you over i thought
that would be terrific. we propose that. and i was thinking of where all the buildings are at city park that is where the mayor has to fill but -- felt the building's attacks incentives or what ever. people will not go there. >> has anybody approach you for your advice alert what would you say? >> get three envelopes. do know that story? [laughter] he has good people until and will learn by trial and error that when you surprise people the way the unions do
it is you want them with you and not against you. the big problem is financial because that is everything flows from and our tax capacity far exceeds the tax capacity. that is the problem. and as a result you cannot raise taxes. when you do cuts nobody wants to cut personnel or jobs but if you have directives of protocol that is so much but the last administration directors of protocol and i was not an angel pie spent and so i think you have to do cuts
#1. a vision with that days without action and action without vision is a nightmare. that is what we have had action without a lot of vision and it has become a nightmare. good judgment comes from experience but that comes from bad judgment i think we have had some of that to. the bad judgment is not making cuts when it was necessary. you could run that city if you take off 10%. if i was mayor and running again you could take 10% of the budget in the afternoon and would notice if you really wanted to. that it is about $70 million to take write out. also restructure the pension
system. not to scare you right now that has a hundred $80 million unfunded liability. they make you separate the health benefits. that is a 1.2 billion dollars. i don't know how you dig out of that. it is big and have been to. when i left the office there was $660 million in the pension plan too now there is less than 220 million. it trained 400 million in three years. you can just get rid of the unfunded liabilities this three amortize but that just takes good money after bad. there was a time you could do that when deutsche bank
would do well with us and you could borrow the money and pledge what you had a hand over the course of 15 years payback with no unfunded liability but doing this in the state assembly and tried to do the same thing and wouldn't let them do it. that is where we are at. good times coming up. great adventures and then use and it is just financial. also the fact of the unemployment situation that is terrible. we have a great city i am proud of a lot of things we do is go through more
because we've don't have the thought that went into it the last few years. any more questions? >> [inaudible] >> that used to be but now they have to sign a document not to take advantage. one guy took it too and was grandfathered. maybe not with us any more. there was one guy in the whole state. that doesn't happen anymore. churches don't pay taxes at. yes they do they pay them on the rectory but that is higher. there is saying is that -- out there that could be taxed. i was surprised the latest
poll people say it is okay to tax the sewed up. one fenty -- penny per ounce for the share tax but people wouldn't object strongly and that would ruin those places per from white concerns and i have an interesting show for tax credits for the movies for the we did those here and did providence play. did i tell you this story? about baltimore? restarted the movie industry here by starting a film commission and have a party in monsanto's every year
with all those people who did the films and fried got movies here they did something about mary and a bunch of other movies then we moved in to tax credits that was our initiative. we recommended that. i will never forget we have the providence tv show on five years on nbc and always show the city beautiful is the fall. one time they wanted to film and said the water was too low. we were not getting the right shot. what do want me to do? raise the river. [laughter] who the hell do you think i am? [laughter] you can do it. we do have the hurricane barrier that was built to take the gallons out of the city when it rains and pushes the water into the
day. those plums reverse. they want to reverse the pumps to bring the water in the city. go ahead. so they finally stopped it and have the beautiful water level to ride the bow and to the scene. but the mayor of baltimore said i like that show on friday nights. cahal how did you get that? >> i said we were card. i have a show. it is called homicide. [laughter] >> i don't want that one and >> who is your favorite politician? that is a hard question because i liked carry-forward and i thought he was a decent man.
a good friend and i always acquired him. 1. -- funny story he campaigned for president came here a lot and going down to a fund-raiser the went to the airport reid drove down to newport stopped at the hotel he had to do press. i stayed outside. the state about half an hour then something that rarely happened is the third guy in the car. i knew who he was but he sat in the jump seat it was only a five minute ride to the party. he says mr. president i will
go here or there or campaign there and alaska we get to the house he got out of the car was moving out and the president crab to my arm. who is that? i said he is the secretary of the navy. [laughter] he didn't know who he was. but i am very biased. i thought kennedy didn't have enough time in office but was very charismatic and a lot of people that inspiration from him. there are sol many who you can look to different or at least the then fall in love with there are many heroes there are people who are
very honorable i can tell this even if it is on c-span. 1979 emissary interested in passing the anti-discrimination ordinance to ban against gays and minorities. we didn't have one on the books. wanted to show you -- pushed it through. i got everybody on board but some people were against the gays. i started the first day liaison in my office and did things with that community to make them feel wanted and included. 1976 a council man from the six soared used to have a gold chain around his neck and wood smoke a cigar.
he was head of the ordinance community of was somewhat 11:00 i turn on the news and it is live. the roving reporter was live. from inside it city hall then they bring her out to so they could smoke the cigar is and say we have this long hearing about the mayor anti-discrimination ordinance. he said the desperate cry talk to him about it. i might buy told the mayor i don't want any fags on the police department. [laughter] in front of the live audience bride turn off the tv. it is the mentality. that is days that happens.
nothing is on fire. i lit the first one new year's eve 1994 are cut who knew it would go this far? it cost 115,000 if it is sold one and it has been wonderful because it celebrates the arts in the community and truly is a combination of fire, smoke, and the anti-smoking are down there first but it is a sense of place in the buildings are the sculptures coming out of the ground and the lights who and a lot of that is original music but he has replicated that in other cities may be one performance may be houston or italy but this is the home of the water fire and it is a wonderful implementation of an id and added is kind of a secular. i don't know but if anybody
just walking owe for there. >> the hotels go up and restaurants make money won't and get revenues back but we made a deal he gets all licensing money as he should. he has to buy the would but one year one company tried to stop it. that was election-year but i didn't have an opponent so i didn't care. [laughter] people complained about the smoke violating the epa i said your office or my office? they decided discretion was the better part of valor and they did not stop it. anybody else? i have zero moscow professor says sometimes it is thought
who was a slave to martha washington to help two dresser, a cooking and household kinds of work and found out somewhere in 1795/96 that martha washington was planning to give her away as against it a wedding to relatives of this meant that would never promise the washington's made to their slaves that you'll be free when we die is out the door. says she began to maker plans to get out of the door. 198 while the washington's rich in the living room having dinner, she went out the door you could see them calling her. where is the food? she was gone. she made contact at -- contact with the black community she grabbed her
close and personal possessions and vanish. it turned out accidentally issue was discovered in new hampshire the washington's found out so they decided to go after hurt even know as president of the united states and someone who declared himself anti-slavery he would have thought she is gonna come i am representing the country in so they would go after her. they were embarrassed so they met the convoy to sit down to say if you come back we will work negative out and all is forgiven and we will let you be free. she said i am free now. i don't see the point* of
this discussion. i am not going back. then washington decided we will send the slave catchers after her and have my nephew go and figure out how to kidnapper and bring her back but she was warned so she was able to get away and the washington as never got her back and never went back to slavery. i think she learned to read and became active in the community into her 80s although she never went back the rest of her life she was a fugitive as were the laws at the time. this is a young woman who basically challenges the most powerful person in the country. not just a small farmer but all these people but it is so driven by her own desire not to mention writing about
the inspiration for the haitian revolution happening in the early 1796 urie illiterate or not every single slave in the country, also influenced by the american revolution. think about it. the people that were insulate were there every moment with a discussion and debate about american democracy and freedom when those principles were happening and more access to those discussions than any journalist or scholars than anybody writing about that at the time. how could they not be influenced or understand the contradictions? at
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