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Firing the first shot of the new political season, ahead of the special Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee road show on behalf of the Pawtucket Red Sox owners, the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island (LPRI) is taking its opposition of public funding for private enterprise to towns and cities across the state. First stop: Cumberland Town Council.

Resolution 17-53 is on the agenda of the Cumberland Town Council meeting of September 6, and makes formal the opposition to public funding of private enterprise. LPRI Chairman Pat Ford, acting in his capacity as a Cumberland town resident, requested the resolution and will present it to the council for consideration and vote on Wednesday.

 “The Libertarian Party of Rhode Island is taking the lead on this issue, standing against the use of any public money for this private investment. We are calling on city and town councils to take an official stand as well,” Chairman Ford said. “As a Cumberland resident, I find it unconscionable that our town’s businesses should be forced to support a competing business in a neighboring city. Where is the benefit to Cumberland businesses, or to Cumberland taxpayers?”

The resolution also states a taxpayer-subsidized entertainment facility represents a direct economic threat to Cumberland businesses.

“There is a finite pool of disposable income available for entertainment purposes in any given city or town’s economy. Competition among businesses on a level playing field is one thing. However, government subsidies of some businesses at the expense of others create an unfair advantage, one our Cumberland businesses should not be coerced to support,” Chairman Ford said.

The resolution reads:

R-17-53

RESOLUTION: TOWN OF CUMBERLAND
RELATING TO PAWSOX STATE SUPPORT

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF CUMBERLAND AS FOLLOWS:

WHEREAS: Taxpayer money has no place subsidizing private investments; and 

WHEREAS: Voter consent must be obtained before agreeing to any relationship with the Pawtucket Red Sox; and

WHEREAS: Taxpayer subsidies are an affront to local, entrepreneurs, who would be forced to financially support enterprises they compete with; and

WHEREAS: Private investments must find support in private capital markets, where arms-length industry expertise will analyze their potential; and

WHEREAS: The presence of a taxpayer subsidized entertainment facility represents a direct economic threat to Cumberland, Rhode Island, businesses.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF CUMBERLAND AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. The Town Council of Cumberland, Rhode Island, rejects the State of Rhode Island’s proposed support of the Pawtucket Red Sox baseball team

 SECTION 2. This Resolution shall become effective immediately upon its passage.

Volunteers interested in being part of the LPRI’s coalition across Rhode Island are invited to register here. Please note in the comment box:

  1. which hearing(s) you can attend,
  2. whether you would like to speak at a senate hearing, and/or
  3. whether you would like to contact your town or city council to arrange a resolution. 
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