PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Angel Taveras (AYN'-juhl tuh-VEHR'-us) inherited bleak finances when he became Providence mayor more than two years ago, warning that municipal bankruptcy could be the only way out.
But the 42-year-old Democrat has walked Rhode Island's capital back from the brink through spending cuts, school closures, increased voluntary contributions from tax-exempt institutions, higher taxes and a pension overhaul and benefits changes negotiated with the city's unions and retirees.
Taveras has generally won praise for his approach to pensions; a similar state overhaul is tied up in legal wrangling. He says he has tried to build trust and foster open communication.
The mayor now finds himself one of the best-liked politicians in the state. He says he will decide later this year whether to seek the governor's office.