East Providence Mayor James Briden questioned last week a fellow City Councilor’s request to put an item about the former budget commission on last week’s docket for the joint meeting with the School Committee.
"This topic is not relevant to our meeting with the School Committee," Briden said to Chrissy Rossi at the joint meeting, which was set up to talk about repairs to school buildings.
Briden was referring to Rossi seeking an opinion from City Manager Peter Graczykowski on the former budget commission, which has been replaced by Financial Advisor Paul Luba for five years. The item was titled “RIGL 45-9 Explanation” – that’s the law that established the budget commission.
Rossi asked Graczykowski if that board could be reinstated again as it was soon after Police Chief Joseph Tavares was put on administrative leave last spring.
Briden asked RI Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly to reinstate the budget commission soon after Tavares was placed on administrative leave by the city manager – allegedly under pressure from Rossi and City Councilor Thomas Rose. Tavares retained attorney Thomas McAndrew to defend his conduct and possibly sue the city for wrongful termination.
Briden asked Rossi why she had not asked for an opinion from the City Solicitor on the issue per the City Charter instead of seeking an opinion from the city manager. A copy of the docket and city manager's opinion to Rossi is attached.
Rossi had filed a complaint with the police department on Briden's request to reinstate the budget commission to handle personnel matters, saying it violated the City Charter.