A close up image of blue water in the ocean.

Pool-a-palooza in Cranston. Mayor calls it sad, the constant bickering of Councilman, PAC advocates

“I am so disappointed in Bob Ferri’s incessant carping and unwillingness to be a collegial and participating member of the city council to seek common ground and pro-taxpayer solutions,” Hopkins said. “Ferri’s attacks are used to deflect and show his lack of understanding on financing capital projects like the Budlong Pool.”

“Bob Ferri has aligned himself with the progressive partisan Cranston Forward activists who choose stubbornness over reality and continue to demand we waste money on fixing a pool built in the Depression,” Hopkins continued. “It is well known that even his Democrat colleagues find him difficult to work with on issues. We have all seen his outburst and temper tantrums as evidenced by his childish behavior at the September 6th community forum at Cranston East where he banged the table and got up and left in a fit of rage.”

Hopkins noted even Council President Jessica Marino was alarmed by his antics at this meeting.

Hopkins says Ferri and others want to keep talking about a pool size that is unrealistic and too expensive to fix or build for the taxpayers. 

“We have about $4.7 million for a new modern pool that will serve the interest and swimming needs of Cranston families,” Hopkins said.

The mayor reiterated that he had consulted a national aquatic design professional firm Weston & Sampson to guide Cranston into the 21st century with a new and exciting pool concept.

“Mr. Ferri’s idea of a good pool design is just making it look like a bowling alley,” said Hopkins.

The mayor said his political opponents do not want a new pool for the community – “They want a campaign issue to run against me on.”

Hopkins stated most Cranston residents will see through this political charade and appreciate his efforts to wisely spend tax dollars for a modern pool complex.

Citing a recent encounter with Ferri at the polls for the October 3rd special council election, Hopkins again expressed disappointment in Ferri’s unpleasant disposition.

“I approached Ferri and said that we need to find a way to be more constructive in our tone and actions on city business,” Hopkins said. “Keep in mind that I have known Bob Ferri long before he flip-flopped from a Republican councilman and turned to being a partisan Democrat”

Hopkins said Ferri rejected his conciliatory approach and made clear “politics dictates the adversarial attacks he brings to the public dialogue.”

“How sad is that?” asked Hopkins.

“I will continue to place good public policy and responsible leadership over partisan obstruction,” concluded Mayor Hopkins.


After it was announced this week that Mayor Hopkins would move forward with the bid process on the pool the newly organized PAC (Political Action Committee), Cranston Forward, called an emergency meeting on Zoom for the same day.

RINewsToday also obtained a description circulating by one of the PAC’s members describing the pool as “about to be gutted and replaced with a kiddie pool” .

The new pool, designed by professional pool consultants, is a $4M+, 8,000 square foot pool with a planned depth of 6- 61/2 feet, a splash pad, a new clubhouse, and a design that accommodates little children (with a 0% entry) to seniors, and a special nod in design to teens.

The PAC member said “the description negatively impact those of us who don’t have a pool nor the finances to trek to the south county beaches for relief. It will increase an existing socioeconomic divide in our city by excluding the teens who used Budlong pool as an accessible place to cool off, learn to swim in deep water (a life-saving skill) and to build community. It will also exclude many individual and family patrons who were fortunate enough to know what it means to have a pool in Cranston that accommodated everyone.”

City official were at a loss to explain why anyone would think or describe the new pool plans this way. One community member said the people are being used by those with clearly only partisan interests to rile themselves up in opposition to the Mayor.

It has also been learned that an informal group has been put together to investigate Cranston Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton Fung (former Mayor Alan Fung’s spouse) running for Mayor, herself, in the next election. More than one Cranston City Council member has also expressed interest, informally, in running.

What’s Next?

The Mayor’s office is preparing specs to go out to bid for the new pool.

There is another City Council meeting set for October 24th, where people will again be able to speak on the design of the pool.

It is important to note that the Mayor’s office can seek bids without the Council approval as the process does not need Council approval at this phase.

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See the full proposal on the pool and more, here:

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