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Elorza, Smiley at odds over $7M Kennedy Plaza pavilion
PROVIDENCE – The impending change in City Hall administration could throw a wrench in plans to remake Kennedy Plaza with a $7 million food-and-drink pavilion. The city originally planned to award the contract for the “big shade” project in December, right before Mayor Jorge O. Elorza leaves office. Assuming the sole bidder who responded meets…
Smiley is one 100% in target with his position on Elorza’s project the timing for which makes no sense at all.
I generally do not view Elorza in a favorable light and support Smiley, but on this issue I’m turned off by Smiley’s trite comments and his lack of an overall vision for the city’s main downtown plaza. To say that the city cannot do both projects at the same time shows he has no understanding that time is money and that a project that enhances Providence as a beautiful, welcoming, walkable city should not be delayed because of some archaic belief our ducks have to align perfectly before proceeding. Smiley comes off here as button downed Brooks Brothers traditionalist rather than showing strong competence on things big and small and lacking in boldness and vision. Sadly, Providence needs so much more.
I am a fan of neither Jorge or Brett, but I agree with Brett entirely on this one. Wasting $7 million on a food and beverage pavilion is totally insane, especially when PVD has more pressing needs. I attended a meeting where the various plans for the pavilion were presented and had absolutely no faith that the presenters even remotely had knew what they were talking about. It’s as if Jorge said to the presenters, “Here’s $7 million, figure out a way to spend it.”. (BTW I spent 40 years working in the Superman and 50 Kennedy Plaza Buildings and a food pavilion would have been great 40 – 50 years ago, but it isn’t going to save Kennedy Plaza now).