Thursday, July 30, 2015

Providence Schools: Parent Forums: August 4, 6, 13 and 17

Come and meet Providence Schools Superintendent Chris Maher and share your views on the direction of our schools and how to make them stronger!
Time and Locations

Thursday, July 23, 2015

WPRI: Councilman seeks to block ex-pols from spiking their city pension

Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: July 22, 2015, 9:27 am  Updated: July 22, 2015, 8:43 pm

Councilman David Salvatore said Wednesday he plans to introduce an ordinance that would prevent politicians who also held a municipal job from counting their time in elected office toward their pension credits. Full Story

Friday, July 17, 2015

WPRI: Providence tax rate still ranked among highest

By Ted Nesi
Published: July 16, 2015, 5:00 am  Updated: July 16, 2015, 5:37 pm

This marks the second year in the row that the study pegged Providence’s rates at fourth-highest. The city’s ranking has improved somewhat in recent years – it topped the list in both 2011 and 2012, but then bankrupt Detroit took the crown. New York City and Chicago ranked third- and fourth-highest, respectively.
Full Story

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Providence Journal Editorial: Ease and integrity

U.S Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., is urging fellow House members to support a bill that would automatically register people to vote when they do business at their state’s motor vehicle department...

On its face, the change sounds reasonable. Although registration does not present a daunting obstacle to those who take their civic duties seriously, making registration easier can’t hurt in the effort to boost turnout...

At the same time, any move to change voter registration procedures must be approached first and foremost with a focus on ensuring the integrity of our elections. Are the motor vehicle departments in Rhode Island and other states up to the task of handling far more instances in which people want to register to vote? And if they are, are proper safeguards in place to prevent duplication, fraud or the registration of non-citizens to vote?
Full Story

Former Providence councilwoman tapped for new city job

Dan McGowan, Reporter
Published: July 15, 2015, 12:39 am  Updated: July 15, 2015, 10:02 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence City Council didn’t look far for its latest hire.

City Council President Luis Aponte said Tuesday he has brought in former Councilwoman Balbina Young to work as an “administrator and liaison” to the city clerk’s office, a newly created position in city government. The job, which was not advertised to the public, has a pay range of between $57,000 and $60,000, Aponte said.

“She’s got years and years of institutional knowledge,” Aponte told “With her years in leadership on the council, she understands the challenges on the council and in the clerk’s office.”  Full Story

Providence Water Supply Board asks for up to $39M in revenue bonds to combine offices

By John Hill

Journal Staff Writer

Posted Jul. 13, 2015 at 11:15 PM

PROVIDENCE — The Providence Water Supply Board wants to leave its current offices on Academy Avenue in Providence and Scituate Avenue in Cranston and consolidate them on property off the Route 6-10 connector near Mashapaug Pond, according to documents on file with the city and state.
PWSB spokeswoman Dyana Koelsch said due to a confidentiality agreement she couldn’t say where the board wants to move, but according to a resolution pending before the City Council and testimony submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission, the new location is 125 Dupont Drive off Niantic Avenue; a site currently occupied by a Bank of America facility. Full Story

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

GoLocal Prov: Providence Rhode Island Defaulted June 30, 2015…So What

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Michael G. Riley, GoLocalProv MINDSETTER™

The City of Providence Rhode Island defaulted midnight June 30, 2015 on a $62 million dollar debt to the City of Providence Pension plan. That very same day Greece defaulted on $1.7 billion due to the IMF. Both Greece and Providence continue to operate as governments. Fitch and Moody’s rate Greece Debt as “junk”, while Providence Rhode Island debt is rated Baa1 by Moody’s Investor Services and by Fitch as BB.

Full Story

Road and Bridge Data by State

The Highway Trust Fund is set to expire on July 31. Without action from Congress, federal funding for transportation will come to a screeching halt -- and with it, so will traffic in many places. Over the last six years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation for the long term. And our transportation system -- our roads and bridges, especially -- is in a dire state of disrepair because of it. The attached fact sheet shows us this. Experts agree:  The only way to prepare our transportation system for the next generation is to stop this cycle of short-term measures and pass a long-term transportation bill.

Road and Bridge Data by State

NBC 10 I-Team: Firefighter severance costing city millions

The NBC 10 I-Team has learned Providence firefighters are retiring in droves, and their pensions are only part of the cost city taxpayers must cover...

As of July 1, at least 33 firefighters, including the chief of the department, had put in their retirement papers.  That’s more than double the number that retired in 2014, when just 13 firefighters hung up their hats...

Sources within the fire department tell NBC 10 that the battle over shifts with City Hall has morale at an all-time low, and many veteran firefighters would rather retire than work a 56-hour shift.

Full Story

Friday, July 3, 2015

Providence Firefighters’ Raise Could Trigger Millions in Raises for Teachers

Friday, July 03, 2015
Kate Nagle, GoLocal Contributor

A clause in the recently agreed upon Providence teachers' contract could trigger millions in additional costs to the city, if the city's firefighters see a significant pay increase in light of Mayor Jorge Elorza's platoon change proposal.
The new three-year teachers' contract language stipulates that if other municipal unions receive more than a 1% raise during the years of the contract, that teachers would get that same amount -- as a firefighters are being tapped to get as high as a 5% increase, due to potential changes in their work schedules if a platoon change shift moves forward.

Full Story

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Things to think about in the Tax Stabilization Plan

GoLocal Prov: Critics Raise Questions Over New 195 Tax Break Plan for Providence
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
Kate Nagle, GoLocal Contributor

Community leaders -- and real estate professionals -- were among those who raised questions about Providence's stake in the newly brokered plan for a standardized tax stabilization agreement (TSA) for development of the 195 land on Tuesday night.

Full Story