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Budget Commission Chairman Turns Over Reins

Director of Revenue designee Diane L. Brennan will take the spot of Michael O'Keefe.

Michael O'Keefe, current chairman of East Providence's state-appointed budget commission, announced he will stepping down from the leadership position.

He nominated Director of Revenue designee Diane L. Brennan to take his place starting in a July meeting. The commission agreed to appoint a new chairman every six months.

"It's been interesting," he said, adding Mayor Bruce Rogers has been an integral part of the commission's work though he was originally "not happy" when the commission's arrived in December.

There is currently a $700,000 surplus in the fiscal year 2012 budget. O'Keefe said much work has been done to tackle the budget deficit and touted the recent bond upgrade, though he said more work is still needed. He advised members to be financially stringent to ensure city books do not fall into the red.

Lobster Fest June 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM
That is great that there is a $700,000 surplus. I think they better make that check out to the fired building inspector that just won his case. He will be happy to see they can afford to pay him now.
Nelson Almeida June 27, 2012 at 05:23 PM
He didn't understand the people of east providence. About time
b1 June 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Mr. Almeida, Mr. O'Keefe's job wasn't about understanding the people of EP. His job was to fix the mess that the people of EP created. Unfortunately, the people of EP don't understand how they got to where they got. It's called being blind to the fact that we HAD no money. We spent, spent and spent......and some are still trying to spend. You have the likes of Chrissy Rossi trying to blame everything on the budget commission, well, if you did the job you were elected for maybe this wouldn't have happened, She as well as others need to be removed from office and never put back there again. They can't and couldn't control coins in a piggy bank let alone a city budget. OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW!
Jack June 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM
The problem dates back at least decade, way before Mrs Rossi was ever in office. How out the sweetheart contracts given out by the outgoing School Committee. See the recent list of the raises for the school employees making 90,000 or more.
b1 June 28, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Jack, 100% agreed. OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH NEW
Bruce Zarembka June 28, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Jack you are absolutely correct that the problems began with many of the prior administrations...however, this administration (both the school committiee and city council did nothing to address the issues.) This brought in the Budget Commission. We should all be thankful that we then gained competent individuals who understand finance and took a look at the city's spending from the perspective of how a business should be run. This has never been done in East Providence, and was long overdue. Let's be honest, the current city council spent many months battling over trivial issues (I won't go in to the details as we all know what they were) Chrissy Rossi thought the answer was ad's on the school website...how has that gone...did it even raise enough to support Middle School Sports?? (Unfortunately the answer is no)...but her ideas all involve spend spend spend...we can only hope the majorities on both of these governing bodies are never elected again. Let's hope that the residents, have finally seen through the smoke and mirrors and (as the rock band "The Who" once said.."We won't get fooled again"... by the puppet masters that control these people from behind the scenes.
Tom Terrace June 28, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I agree with Jack that these problems go back well beyond this current crop of beauties. What I don't understand is how Chrissy Rossi sat up there and talked about how she hugged and made up with superintendent Cirillo after he made those sweetheart deals. My kids walk over cracked asbestos tiles and he gave out raises. Here is another Who song to describe the state of the EPHS facility "Teenage Wasteland".
Jason Desrosiers June 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Jack, you're right, the School Committee has been carrying a deficit every year since at-least 2000. While mandates and maintenance of effort play a role in that, it was still the School Committees for over a decade that let it get out of control, and the same with City Councils, we gave the City Council the power to approve or reject school contracts under the guise that they would get some control, but they haven't.

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