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Tell It Like It Is! Blog On East Providence Patch

We know you have something to say, so join the conversation on Patch and share it!

About this time last year, Patch rolled out a new platform for members of the community to be heard. Now, we're making it even easier to get involved in Bristol-Warren Patch's Local Voices.

How easy is it?

At Patch, we're devoted to finding ways to make your life as ridiculously easy as possible. So we've changed the way blogging works to make it easier for you to start blogging right away.

All you have to do to get started is visit our blogging page and click "Post on Patch." From there, let your typing fingers run rampant (but coherently, please) and when you're done writing and have saved your work, hit submit!

Why should I blog?

Patch is more than a news site. It is a free place to post upcoming events. It's an online conversation about the community. But to keep the conversation going, we need your voice!

You may be asking yourself, "What would I even write about?"

Well, the answer is, anything! A blog offers the opportunity to share your thoughts, concerns, advice, and tips, get your name out to the community, get info about your local group out to the community, and so much more.

Is blogging on Patch right for me?

Blogging on Patch is perfect for anyone who has ties to the community. More specifically, you may be perfect for blogging if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:

  • Do you have a passion for everything local, from supporting downtown businesses to promoting community events?
  • Are you passionate about issues in Bristol and Warren?
  • Are you a craftsman, artist, business owner or hobbyist who can share do-it-yourself tips?
  • Do you have strong opinions about local government or are the first one to stand up for what you think is right in our school system?
  • Can you just make us all laugh?

Even if you answered no to any of the above questions and you just want a platform to have your voice heard, East Providence Patch's Local Voices platform is the place for you!

Ready to take the leap? Get started with blogging on Patch! Still want more information? Email abigail.crocker@patch.com!

Note: You write what you want to say when you want to say it. Do it on your schedule, whether that's posting multiple entries per day or a couple times a month. And Patch won't own what you post, so you can repost your entries to your other blogs!

Dennis April 26, 2012 at 02:40 PM
The Fire Dept Union and the teachers union are not helping this city, raise taxes seems to be their answer to our problem in this city. we the taxpayers can no longer afford these unsustainable union contracts. let this city go belly up, and start over again using common sense. WE THE TAXPAYERS ARE TAXED OUT. it's time for you to step up and do the right thing.
Abigail Crocker (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Hi Dennis. Why don't you blog about it?
Jack April 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Thanks Michael O'Keefe for closing two community assets - Rumford & Fuller Libraries.. Can you tell us where the other cuts are coming, or is the plan to keep raising taxes and water rates??
Just the Facts April 27, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Dennis. Do tell how the FD is not helping the city in your opinion. They are the only Union w/ an HSA healthcare plan. It equates to a 30% copay. That on top of other concessions in the current contract. All willingly agreed to by both the union/city. No arbitration or lawyers or court dates. They have brought a 3.5mil staffing grant (to fill current vacancies lost through attrition) to the city to all but eliminate overtime. Still not decided upon by the city. An 8mil grant to rehab 2 of the 4 stations that are in desparate need of repair. Grants to install generators in the stations, sprinkler 3 of 4 stations without them. A complete replacement of the police/fire communication system. A grant awarded to outfit/train a complete Technical Rescue Team. A Team that will be able to bill for their services when utilized. Much like the HazMat team does now. All the above grants and awards obtained by the members of the FD. Sorry, I almost forgot. When you see a FF @ a structure fire, the entire ensamble being worn by the FF was obtained by grants written by the FF's. Not required in their job description. All a relief to the tax payer. So again, tells us how the FD is not helping the city.
Looking for relief April 28, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Grants are not in the "Job Description" but is sleeping? Come on...yes it is at times a tough job and thank you for that. But let change the shifts to eliminate the OT and get within a budget that the taxpayer can afford. Do we need 4 stations in this city? What happened to consolidation at the state level? What happened to not taking the firetrucks to Shaws and getting your food like everyone else? We could go on and on. The bottom line is that they have a tough job and deserve all the money but we just don't have it! Where are the solutions? Firemen Just the Facts give us some cost savings ideas. You are very knowledgable and seem like you could offer some solutions. Thanks.
Just the Facts April 28, 2012 at 01:09 AM
What Station would you close? Really, give us some insight. Maybe Riverside? A town in itself separate and distant from any other apperatus. How about Rumford? I sure the residents of Bridgham Farm Rd. will go for that. Or Sta 1 on Broadway, the most densely populated part of the city loaded w/ 3 deckers. I know! Sta 4 on Wampanoag Trail! The people on the south end of Wampanoag Trail can just call Barrington! Over 11k runs per year more than justifies 4 stations. Do you have to brown bag it for your lunch @ work? Who hasn't? Can you brown bag it for 3 meals a day for 3 days in a row? I know I couldn't. When you talk about the money and not having it, I agree. But did you read my last post? How much more would you like to cut? Maybe send 1 less truck to a structure fire to save fuel and let three more guys sleep on your dime? Or maybe send as many qualified personnel on the city dime @ the time to make quick work of the job and make the incident as safe as possible? "How many guys do you need to send on medical calls"? I don't know? How many is enough when a member of your family stop breathing? How many is enough when you father clutches his chest and colapses @ Thanksgiving dinner? Would you want somebody charged w/ your health and safety shown up to your house while being on duty for 48hrs w/ no sleep? I know I wouldn't. Please understand the job/resposibilities/tasks performed by the Dept before just saying "cut" and "why do we need 4 stations"? Thanks to you as well.
Look for Relief April 29, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Boy I did not see one solution in that Just the Facts! Also, I asked... do we need 4 stations, not why do we need 4 stations. My point is you should not have to brown bag 3 meals a day because you should not be at the station that long. With your argument we should have a station at each corner so when a person clutches their chest you can make it on time. Perhaps they should have 3 guys on the rescue and don't sent the fire truck. Not sure if that work, but again, you are the firemen not me. But that could be a cost savings SOLUTION. I am certain that many of the staff could offer cost savings ideas. You, on the other hand, want to offer a defense.
Just the Facts April 29, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Like you said, "not sure if that'll work". If you're not sure than maybe you should talk to somebody that is. If you pull a guy from the Engine to ride the Rescue, you're down to 2 guys on that Engine. NFPA recommends a min of 4 to even attempt supression. The city only funds 3. Now you have a big red shiney show piece pulling up to a structure fire w/ not enough personnel to do the job. I do agree members should not have to be on duty that long. Didn't you say they should look @ a schedule change to save money on OT? By making the change you speak of would entail more hrs by less staff. This is why the staffing grant was written. It covers recruitment,training,gear outfitting,salary,healthcare,pension obligations for all current vacancies for 3yrs. Is that not a solution? All of the mentioned costs would have to be picked up by the city @ some point. If its not accepted it will be revoked. @ some point vacancies will have to be filled. Why not have it paid for rather than pay for it? I'm not a numbers guy. I'm a taxpayer in this city like you. But when you say "the FD has done nothing for the city" I will counter that statement w/ a defense. The FD "does " for the city every day. It may not be @ your house or involve your family, But it involves somebody in the city over 11k times per year. Thats over 30 runs per day where somebody needs help in one way or another. The FD doesn't make the phone ring. Taxpayers do.
Looking for Relief April 29, 2012 at 03:56 PM
So angry. I do believe a conversation can be a constructive tool in fixing things. You seem to just want to miss quote such as "FD has done nothing for the city". I never said that but in any case is useless. We also know that recommendation can be overstated and may not be helpful in all circumstances/cities. Of the 30 runs a day, how can we refine them and make them for cost effective? Let have a dialogue with solutions. I believe that as a fireman you may have many more doable solutions than I.
Just the Facts April 29, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Not angry. Just upsetting when others think they have the answers when they have no idea what they are talking about or understand the inner workings of a particular entity. When you say,( as I misquoted) "the FD union and teachers union are not helping this the city". Thats just plain false on so many levels. I'll refer to my previous posts as to what has been done to lessen the burden on taxpayers. As far as refining the runs that are completed on a daily basis. You need to keep in mind the dept has to be ready for whatever obsticals may encountered @ any time. It's always better to have and not need, than to need and not have. Not only for the safety and well being of the taxpayer but for the FF'r responding to the situation as well. As I stated before, the city currently operates below the recommended safe manning level. While this city may not be NY or Boston or even Prov for that matter. When we do have a fire it burns just as fast and hot and is as stressfull and dangerous as in any other community. The dept operates @ an expense of just under $400 on average per street address per year. I'll be willing to bet you couldn't get a plumber to your house in the middle of the night in less than 4min for less than $400. Or anytime after that for no xtra charge. I know it's apples/oranges, but it puts it in perspective to see what you get for your money. Many cost saving measures have been implemented. Just know all my above statements stem from the 1st line of the first post
Looking for Relief April 29, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Thanks for responding. I am sure that you have some great ideas that could help both the fire department and the taxpayer. I do appreciate your clarification but we need to make changes now. We can not even afford the $400 a household that you speak of and that IS the issue. Let's come up with solutions. Thanks
Looking for Relief April 30, 2012 at 01:25 AM
You just don't get it. We are not questioning the value of the fire department! AGAIN, where is your solution. Perhaps we can refine the service...aka...how to be more efficient with each call. You try to diminish other services to make you look better. STOP.....SOLUTIONS! PS. If I supply the paint can you paint the doors on the fire station on Broadway on your down time? Also, it needs a new flag too.
JJD April 30, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Looking for Relief, you are the one bringing up what you see as a problem, where are your SOLUTIONS! Don't just state a problem and passively expect others to come up with the ideas and demand solutions from them. And 'cut them' isn't a solution, unless you have something specific and workable.
Looking for Relief April 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM
As stated I am not a firemen but Just the Facts is and is knowledgeable on the system. I admit that I do not know the workings of that department but know that the people who do it everyday know more than me. That is why I am asking him for solutions that are doable or workable. I am not demanding anything but think if we all work together we can take all suggestions and perhaps use them, modify them or even move on from them. I am a believer in asking the workers that do their job everyday how it could become more efficient vs an outsider who knows little about it.
Just the Facts April 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I don't get it huh? Well, if you say so. As far as the doors @ Sta 1. The oldest operating city owned building. As posted before. WE have obtained 8mil dollars to rehab it as well as Sta 4. I'm sure the doors and flag will be taken care of. Again, many cost saving measures have been implemented. I'm not sure what more you would like to see. We could talk in circles for days. But unless you have an understanding of the day/day operations of the dept, I may as well be speaking a diff language. We do get it and are doing all we can for the residents of the city.
Just the Facts April 30, 2012 at 01:01 PM
BTW. If you would so graciously donate several gal of paint and a new flag, we would most certainly put them to good use. The new paint will look great on a bldg that has a leaking roof, a basement you can tread water in when it rains and windows that let enough wind through to put the shades out horizontal. As accurate as these problems are, I'm being sarcastic obviously. It just proves my point that what you see from the outside of a situation isn't necessarily what's going on inside.
M A April 30, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Relief has said over and over again they don't have the solutions and you may have better suggestions. You just keep going on and on with your sarcastic remarks. Many of the guys do construction on the side and I am sure they could fix things on their down time but I am sure that is not in their contracts! They don't care about the taxpayers in East Providence because many don't live here. Check out all the Mass plates at the firestations.
Rags 1 April 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Julius Casear complained bitterly to the Roman Senate that the conquest of Gaul and the upper lands wanted by the Senate to get more farmers, trading partners, and territory would require more taxes that they were unwilling to ask the people to contribute. Sound familiar? That was two thousand years ago. Services and people cost money. Government cost money. The trick is to balance the taxes and the service delivery to an acceptable level and cut the waste and duplication. I am sure that by not working together, we will reach that goal for EP. Should we or can we afford to be a "full service" city?
Just the Facts April 30, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Really? Maybe the Budget Commission should fire the City manager, he's from Mass too. If members of the Dept didn't care, they wouldn't do the job. Have you ever had another persons waste on you as part of your job? Think before you type. It's better to be silent and thought of as a fool, than to (type) and prove it.
JJD April 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Absolutely, but you can't just leave it to the firefighters to come up with solutions for their department, it starts with the citizens too. Even as someone that doesn't know the department, you can still be part of the solution, look at the City Council, it's not a council of department heads, it's a council of citizens. Read the budget, ask pertinent questions and develop ideas, they won't all be workable but if you do your homework some will.
JJD April 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM
I think we can afford our current level of service, it will require concessions from unions and department heads (some of which got a much sweeter deal than the unions did). It will require residents working together. It will require an end to waste and abuse of the system. It will require a Council willing to lead, which we haven't had in over a decade. It will require an end to all duplication on the city/school end regionalization of some services at the county level or at-least to start, neighboring communities. It will require an equitable distribution of taxes.
Joe Botelho May 01, 2012 at 06:24 AM
Middle class wages have been flat for 20 years. Taxable assets are back to 2001 levels when the city budget was $100 million. The budget is now $140 million K. A 30% cut on every single line item gets us back to the the tax dollars payed to budget ratio that East Providence was at in 2001. It's not coincidental that $40 Million is exactly what O'keefe is looking for to balance the city's finances. One can go to the library and look all this up. I don't undersatnd why this is so hard to figure out???? As a Realtor my income is in line with what the economy offered us in the year 2000 as the market volume is equal, if not lower ti that period. I am not complaining because as Realtors we had some good years. I just don't understand why the free market 1099'ers are expected to roll with the changes on the downside yet are taxes continueto escalate????? Amidst the propaganda the truth exists somewhere.......
JJD May 01, 2012 at 02:32 PM
"One can go to the library and look all this up." - Not if you live in Rumford or Kent Heights. Kidding aside, what you point out is a reason why it's time for Rhode Island to move away from the property tax model for municipalities. It is also why we need more efficiency in government and regionalization. Cutting services isn't the answer, it is deeper than that, it goes to how we structure municipal government in this state.
Looking for Relief May 01, 2012 at 11:01 PM
We do have many service that can be refined. I think we all can make concessions, taxpayers and employees. Politicians have talked about consolidation but where is it? They need to stop talking and do it. It needs to start at a State level. One School System, Fire Department, Police Department, etc. Works for State Police.....This State and this city are both top heavy. Lets get something done. Or all the fighting in not going to matter because we are soon to be Central Falls!

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