Letter: Please consider the truth when deciding on a new police station

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In an attempt to convince voters the proposed North Smithfield Police station bond for $18 million is unreasonably expensive, one resident
compared it to the proposed Glocester Police station, which that individual says costs only $8.8 million. There is only one problem with that: it’s not true.  

Here is a quote from Glocester Police Chief Joseph Delprete that was in NRI NOW recently: “Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete explained that the completion of Phase II and III designs will provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the project. He added that the previous numbers given for the project will probably be a little higher – or maybe considerably higher”.  

I also know this individual spoke to Chief Delprete several times regarding their police station and the chief asked the person not to go around using that number of $8.8 million, because it is not an accurate number. Yet, this person posted it on their Facebook page, it’s on pamphlets the individual is handing out all over town, and again in a recent Letter to the Editor. I call that being despicably deceitful. This individual is being purposely deceptive in an attempt to sway public opinion against the police station. If one of those pamphlets floats your way, just toss it in the garbage, as it’s a complete lie.

Also, the current architect did discuss a renovation and even provided a conceptual design of what a renovation would look like. The cost of “renovation” was still in the neighborhood of $17 million because two additions to the existing building would be necessary. Council President Kim Alves asked the architect what type of building would we get if we told him he only had $10 million to spend, “what would be
the end product?”  He replied he could stabilize the existing building, but it would not address the other issues to make it a proper police
facility and it would not renovate it. He then said for $10 million they could build a small building on the site and connect it to the existing building but then that would not address any of the issues on the existing building. In short, it cannot be done for $10 million.

The price goes up approximately $1 million every year. How long do we want to wait and how much money will we be willing to spend in five years? Seven years? Ten years? And for the record Claire O’Hara, Doug Osier, and myself cannot pass a bond to build a new police station. We voted to let the people decide.

John Beauregard

John Beauregard is a member of the North Smithfield Town Council

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting that you think a reader “understands the concept of a letter” better than the concept of a Byline. What research has led you to the conclusion? Why not just address the actual misleading and inaccurate Byline issue rather than just make a conclusion that the “understanding the concept of a letter” negates the misleading and inaccurate Byline? Maybe even consider the crazy “concept” of not showing any Byline at all.

    • As mentioned, it’s a setting on the platform, and not something we have been able to change. Perhaps it’s a drawback that will be fixed in the future and we will be able to run letters sans byline, but in the meantime, we will try our best not to lose too much sleep, since it is clearly marked and signed as a letter, and it would be very rare for any news source to publish one written by “editorial team.” But we do apologize for making you scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to get the information.

  2. This back and forth reminds me of a time when a former appointed member of North Smithfield School committee and budget committee reported falsely to town officials about their meetings and conversations with members of RIDE regarding plans/costs to renovate some school building(s) years ago. As I remember reviewing emails and documents at the time, this person cherry picked or maybe falsified some statements/facts from RIDE to benefit their own agenda. I see a pattern here..:

  3. Why does the Byline on this say “By Editorial Team” instead of “By John Beauregard”??? Unless a reader reads to the very, very end, this article comes across as an editorial written by and expressing the position of NRINow itself — which surely is not NRINow’s intention, correct?

    • It is a setting on the platform we use but not of concern as we do, indeed, anticipate that our readers understand the concept of a letter, and know that the signature is traditionally at the bottom despite ever-shrinking attention spans.

  4. I could not agree more Mike with your assessment of Glocester estimates and $14M would be insane and how could you explain to someone I said $8.8 million and now it is $14 million.

  5. John Beauregard you always portray yourself as the victim. LOL. You were never blocked from my page until you blocked me from your “NS Police Station Info page” after I corrected your false statements. You claimed total costs for Glocester would be $14 million which is insane and laughable. You make up numbers to fit your narrative. The article did state a “detailed” cost would come in the next stage. It worked the same way in NS. Saccoccio is the architect NS used for the Town Hall renovation and he’s now working for Glocester. He initially provided an estimate based on a conceptual design and then provided a cost estimate broken down by division (detailed), like $245k for masonry, 500k for electrical, 300k for plumbing etc.. In the final stage he will have his estimated costs reviewed by a cost estimator. He broke down the soft costs into categories such as architectural fees, technology, equipment etc.. In North Smithfield, the new architect Tecton has identified the architectural fees he will charge will be $1.3 million.
    It’s unfortunate you didn’t accept my invitation to debate you publicly I think that debate would have shown people who lies and who uses facts. BTW, I’m more than willing to unblock you from my page if you are willing to unblock me from yours. I’m not afraid of allowing you to respond but you apparently are afraid of my responses to your claims.
    Mike Clifford

  6. “I believe your placement of signs on school owned or town property”. Mary, Just a quick question, are you saying I placed those signs at the school? Because it sounds like you are.

  7. John, in an attempt to convince voters that they should vote yes on the bond issue, be advised that I believe your placement of signs on school owned or town property violates RIGLaws. I would have thought that many of the co-signers would have been aware. As you know well, ignorance of the law is not a defense. I would suggest that the town solicitor possibly review RIGL with TC members, the TA and all town employees.

  8. John Beauregard is lying. He seems to be reluctant to identify me by name but I
    believe he’s only trying to protect himself from being sued. I did speak to the Chief (once, not “several times”) and shared our conversation with the Town Council in a public meeting. I asked the Chief about the cost after reading the NRI Now article which stated the projected cost to be $8.8 million. He never told me not to mention the cost to anyone, and why would he, since he told the NRI NOW writer the cost a week earlier and it had already been reported in the paper. Why on earth would the Chief even be concerned amount me repeating a number that was no big secret. When we spoke the Chief was aware that NS intended to build a new station, but was shocked to hear the projected cost was estimated to be $18 million. Mr. Beauregard’s statements regarding my exchange with the Chief are patently false, fabricated and an idiotic claim for him to make. I “welcome readers to my Facebook page “Cliff Notes by Mike Clifford’ and check the accuracy of the facts I present.
    Mike Clifford

    • To be fair to the writer, I have to let you know that a name was originally included and he was informed that it violated our policy on personal attacks – as does your comment unfortunately. I will provide a little time if you would like to try again before it is deleted. (Hint: stating the facts as you see them is always fine, naming an individual and their actions as idiotic is not.)

    • Mr. Clifford, please read the article you are asking people to read. The $8.8 million figure you are throwing around is not accurate. You are quoting a September 26th article where the $8.8 million is mentioned but completely ignoring the more recent article that came out after that on October 10th stating “Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete explained that the completion of Phase II and III designs will provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the project. He added that the previous numbers given for the project will probably be a little higher – or maybe considerably higher”. Now who is not being truthful? The October 10th article completely negates the September 26th article yet you throw it around like it is fact. It is purposely misleading.

      John A. Beauregard

      • First off the police chief is not qualified to know what is the true cost. And again this is taking one statement out of context because the next statement is “I think this (estimate) will be the best you are going to get, unless something crazy happens,” said DelPrete. I wish everyone involved in this decision could be objective. I still fail to see the value for taxpayers on a new police station.

  9. I question this letter as it is very misleading in of itself, in fact there are multiple falsehoods, and the writer has a personal axe to grind against the implied person.

    Speaking of passing around information, after the school committee said no to a neutral sign, which just said there will be a vote, at entrances, someone or a group of people decided to place very biased signs at the entrances sunday morning. Do you condemn that person or those individuals involved, whomever they may be? Or should the school committee have placed a neutral sign instead, as to raise awareness of the vote?

    The bond question itself is so very vague of new building OR renovate, yet we plan for only new? Will this bond question bankrupt the town, where other NEEDS have to happen? An almost $1m new filtration system for the high school and middle school, the school itself needs repairs, our roads (which the police need to drive on, which would make the police cars wear faster and need quicker replacement), Gary’s plan was good, but our roads need more work than planned for. The needs of many outweigh the wants of the few.

    How do you know the price would go up $1m every year? Are you a qualified architect/economist/financial advisor able to see into the future? The town has been asking for a 3-5 year forecast the last 8+ months, but the financial advisor can’t provide the town with one. I ask why not produce one yourself and share it with the town, so the meetings can be shorter. Why do this now, when interest rates are at a very high number instead of waiting when prices stop fluctuating? Is a modified debt plan, really the best option as it would make this ballon to over $27m for a final cost? From your Facebook posts, you don’t seem to grasp the concept of basic economics, so I would hope you don’t try to make a 3-5 year forecast and share it.

    I believe you said the Glocester proposal of $8/9m was just a number with no structure plans or permitting, this past council meeting. It’s a full proposal with Master planning approval, so I’m told. So which are we to believe?

    I fail to see this letter as anything else but a desperate attempt for a yes vote. Do we believe the architect of Glocester or do we not? Which brings up my question of, do we believe the architect of Tecton, or not? Should we take your word for this, when you have previously mislead people? There’s a lot of examples, but this isn’t the place for it. Or should we take someone’s word who has a history of being right/ having done the math? Do the people who have shown the math, and talked during the information sessions, not be trusted?

    We the people in this town have lived without a police station for its entirety, why change it now? Will it deter criminals in this town? As someone who has been in the security business in multiple sectors for almost 20 years, it does not. Will it bring in added revenue which this town needs, so our taxes can stop climbing, by 45% since 2013 if this passes, currently at about 37% tax increase for myself since that time. Will this new building have a plan for maintenance, or will it fall apart? It seems like, to use your own words of “Putting the carriage before the horse”, which you have said previously is not something you want to do/see others do. If passed will work orders be filled out/filed, so the building doesn’t get to “eye-sore” level as you have so put it. We the people already voted on renovations 7+ years ago, but you say the price was wrong then. Why is the price right, now?

      • Sandy, I am responding to a letter to the editor written by Mr. Beauregard. Although my name was not used in his letter I believe there are many people in town who would be able to say who and what page he is referring to. If I am willing to identify myself as the individual he is speaking about, why am I not allowed to comment and state that he is lying? Would it make a difference if I were to state the “author” of this letter is lying or am I
        not allowed to defend myself by stating it’s a lie? Also, it seems to be a bit unreasonable not to allow someone to state an action or a plan is idiotic. It’s your page so do as you please.
        Mike Clifford

        • This is not just for you Mike, but for anyone wondering if their commentary is at risk of being deleted: By definition, personal attacks often involve someone making damaging remarks relating to somebody’s lifestyle or choices. These types of attack can include comments that question a person’s intelligence, values, integrity, motivations or decisions.

          It is my personal preference not to delete anything. Unfortunately, I’ve had to witness that quickly get out of control.

          Seriously, it’s not hard – just stick to the issues and stop making it about people. Not just you.. EVERYONE – please?

          • Sorry, do whatever you want with my comments Sandy, I just can’t agree to delete a comment that states an elected official’s action was idiotic. I’ve had much worse said about my suggestions but if I put myself out there by making the statement or a claim, I accept I’ll have to defend myself by critics and I’m not even an elected official.

          • So by Sandy’s reference of the definition of personal attacks, regarding people’s choices. Is this not what the entire letter has done? It’s attacking the heavily implied person’s choice of spreading information, trying to say it’s false. Is that not the heavily implied person’s lifestyle? So if I’m not mistaken, it should be removed, according to Sandy’s own standards.

  10. I will consider the truth and the truth is the taxpayers can not afford an $18M police station. All taxpayers would love to live in a million dollar home but they live in a home they can afford. But this is what happens when you have people with zero financial skills and accountability for poor decisions. In a business if a decision to over spend was made the accountability would be an negative impact on the business services or bankruptcy. I have seen multiple business owners over spend on a building and have either gone bankrupt or had to sell the business. I still question how a new police station will positively impact my property value because I know of no one who considers the police station when buying a home but they do consider the annual taxes! We can also build a police for much less when you do not shop at Louis Vuitton and get some other bids (aka fiscally responsible). Also please remember the last bad decision that the town council made that ended up on national news.

    • Agree with Tom Balon … the only thing the $18 million bond issue will do is raise our taxes considerably and it’s NOT clear what we are getting for this amount. How about just building a new building suited for a small police department…? And, the comments about it going up $1 million each year delayed (see above) is based on what assumptions?? We need a new building… perhaps. I don’t understand how stabilizing the building will cost the millions quoted above??

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