CENTRAL FALLS — When Thomas Lazieh was elected mayor in 1990, the city was embroiled in a different kind of economic turmoil—an inherited budget deficit of a then-staggering $2.7 million. With the school system still under the city's control, Lazieh maintains that the budget deficit was actually worse—percentage wise—than it was two years ago when the decision was made to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Yet, with some belt tightening and economic development measures, “we were able to turn the city around,” he noted. More importantly, he thinks the 2010 bankruptcy could have been avoided.
Lazieh, who served as mayor from 1990 to 1996, has announced that he intends to seek the office once again. He firmly believes that he has the experience, skill set and love for his native community to steer the city firmly out of bankruptcy and beyond.
In the wake of Charles Moreau's resignation, a special non-partisan primary and election is being planned for the mayor's seat. The state Board of Elections will be meeting today to discuss the dates.
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