Failure and bankruptcy are not options for Providence

Providence, Rhode Island David Eichenthal and Seth Williams January 31, 2017 Finance + Operation, Op-Eds and Research

Providence faces serious economic and fiscal challenges. Last year, the National Resource Network projected that Providence has a structural budget deficit totaling $176 million through Fiscal Year 2026 — driven in part by the burden of public employee pension liabilities totaling $1 billion and additional unfunded retiree health care benefits.

But in the face of these challenges, Providence also has extraordinary assets — strategic location, vibrant anchor institutions, rich and diverse cultural experiences — that make it attractive to businesses, residents, and visitors.

That’s why the network partnered with Mayor Jorge Elorza and the city to develop a plan to work through its long-term structural budget deficit while building a platform for increased economic competitiveness.

There is no question that there is hard work ahead for Providence. It needs to move forward with the reforms outlined in the Ten Year Plan. And for those fighting for Providence’s future, failure is not an option. But given current circumstances, bankruptcy should not be one either.