(Providence) – As Governor, Mayor Fung knows he’ll be inheriting multiple state departments in complete chaos.
“In addition to the UHIP fiasco at DHS and the unconscionable issues arising at DCYF, DOT is in disarray. When Gina Raimondo was elected in 2014, she was supposed to be the smartest person in the room, but reality did not match the hype. Instead, there was botched roll out after botched roll out, costing RI families millions,” said Mayor Fung.
Now, with the botched rollout of the 6/10 and 195W road projects, Raimondo mysteriously ordered more delay tactics to get her past election day. Politics aside, this will cost Rhode Islanders millions, maybe tens of millions more dollars, with contractors already putting in claims. The DOT refuses to release the real numbers – probably because they are astronomical.
Project costs – like a 70% increase and one year delay on the pedestrian bridge – are going unchecked, and poor oversight leads to lawyers costing Rhode Islanders millions when they failed to file the proper paperwork.
As Governor, Mayor Fung will tear down the tolls – and replace the $37-40 million dollars from keeping transportation dollars in the budget. Currently, 41 million dollars from the gas tax is being diverted from DOT to the DOA to fund centralized services. Unlike Raimondo, who continues to divert 911 funds despite pleas from the Feds, Mayor Fung will have budgetary restraint and keep dollars funding the projects they were designed to fund.
Furthermore, Mayor Fung will massively reform DOT to provide more centralized oversight and coordination from the current project management approach which is leading to many small fiefdoms and poor results. Also, he’ll bring back a lot of the experienced engineers that were chased out under Raimondo. Currently – the head of project management at DOT has no experience in engineering at all – and in fact came over from her previous post as budget analyst for House Finance. This insider job shuffling will stop under a Fung administration.