On Politics
1:53 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Taveras: “It’s a question of how you resolve your differences”

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is understandably downplaying dissension on the City Council, and he denies that he’s losing support among the majority of councilors who’ve backed him since he took office.

“I don’t think that we are at all,” Taveras told me at a recycling event in Elmhurst this morning. “I think what we’re having, as anything else, people don’t always agree on everything. I think if you look at what we’ve been able to accomplish, it’s been because of strong support on the council.”

Ironically, Taveras pointed as an example to council support for pension ordinances — the issue that kicked off the tug of war over the leadership of the Finance Committee.  Be that as it may, Taveras tried to frame things in a positive light:

“I feel good about where we are. I think we’re going to keep moving in the right direction, and we’ll work out any differences that we have . . . . People can always disagree. It’s a question of how you resolve your differences.” 

Still, it’s worth noting that the councilors at the mayor’s event — President Michael Solomon, Majority Leader Seth Yurdin, and David Salvatore — are his most robust supporters.

Council support has shifted due to various gripes, including redistricting, last year’s controversial school-closing plan, and the lack of committee assignments for councilors who didn’t back Solomon for council president.

Taveras has emerged as a very skilled, self-possessed public speaker. He’s polled as the best-liked elected official in the state, and is no slouch when it comes to raising money.

But Taveras probably doesn’t want the kind of soured council relationship faced by David Cicilline in his last years at City Hall — especially with the 2014 governor’s race looming on the horizon. That’s why the mayor’s reference to “how you resolve your differences” has some real resonance.

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