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BLOG: East Providence City Council Meeting

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Abigail Crocker (Editor) April 18, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Submit comments into the blog! I'll post.
Govstench April 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Comments by Joe Tavaras pertaining to going to a strong mayor form of government is NOT the answer to this city's problems. Driving politics into the equation is all that strong mayor form of government does, nothing else. Look at Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence for prime examples of bad strong mayors. As you state, if you don't want that form of bad government in East Providence, then why are you advocating for strong mayor. You can take back your government by electing qualified councilors, not changing the form of government. You have the best form of government right now!
Spring Street April 20, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Charlestown RI Town Adm Wm DiLibero Resigns April 19th from Blackstone /Framingham Mass. He had this choice or The Council was going to vote to fire him ! Previously Hopkinton RI Town Mgr fired Charles Mauti ,bldg insp.. He sued dilibero and others. Town hit with huge lawsuit in fed'l court Judge McConnell ! Westerly suffered a $100,000 lawsuit under dilibero's reign in Hopkinton. Poor Charlestown wouldn't listen even though they were warned. Then he fired their beloved recreation director 22yrs Lisa DiBello. Later the town voted her to council !! RI DEM also sent him packing. He is the Black Plague ! http://clerkshq.com/default.ashx?clientsite=Charlestown-ri http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/dilibero-s-position-may-be-on-the-block-thursday/article_57430796-8960-11e1-9f9a-001a4bcf887a.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yBpVjdjfpE&list=UULrmOjbAH4ygRfLqAOVibVQ&index=1&feature=plcp
Rags 1 April 20, 2012 at 01:54 PM
We don't want more competition with other flower stores! Why don't we vote against Wal-mart to stop competition aginst other stores? Talk about protectionism. There has to be more to this story.
JJD April 20, 2012 at 03:39 PM
We don't have a Walmart in East Providence
JJD April 20, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Agreed, there is room to tweek (7 instead of 5 councilors, our current 'weak' mayor elected by the people at-large instead of by the council, etc) but I would not want a strong mayor government in EP. Council-Manager works, provided the citizens do their job and elect the right people. A strong mayor would only be an other dysfunctional part of EP politics, it starts with us electing the right people.
Rags 1 April 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
I know that-just an example of protectionism vs capitalism. No licrense should be denied to protect another business interests unless it is in the public interest or a public safety or zoning issue. End of story.
JJD April 21, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I think that there is something to be said for businesses that establish themselves here vs ones that are transient and don't pay taxes or otherwise contribute to the city.
Rags 1 April 21, 2012 at 01:39 PM
JJD-there is no limitation on travels or criteria in any ordinance that discrimiantes against a business because it is transit. Gov authority should not be used to make business decisons, that's up to the free market. Many times the government that govens least is the government that govens best. Business decisions are best left up to due deligence and business, not government.
JJD April 22, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Licensed aren't assumed in the favor of the petitioner unless someone can cite an ordinance against them, it is the Council's judgement based on the good of the community. As for "the government that govens least is the government that governs best" sadly if that were true we'd be a model of good government in EP. Someone has to look out for community interests, that's not a job for the free market, there are so many instances of businesses run amok and people suffering because those in power took your philosophy or they were just asleep at the switch. Picture an EP 10 years from now, where we have lost 20% more of our business base to hawkers and peddlers that don't pay taxes in EP. You just bankrupted the city right there and no Commission will save us from that, libraries and the homestead exemption would be just the start.
Rags 1 April 22, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Community interests-JJD Zoning, master plans and vision statements determine the fate of growth. If you think that business transits should be banned, then create an ordinance that states formulas that are constitutional so we all know what to expect. Picking and choosing among your friends somehow doesn't meet the smell test to me. I think no more on this issue for me.
JJD April 22, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Zoning, planning and vision is just a part of the equation, taxation, property value and community are another part. The Council gets to choose to approve licenses or not, based on the effect that the business will have, that works, if you have a problem with the consistency of how individual council members vote, that's why the vote is in public, that that councilor to task and don't vote to re-elect them if they are in your ward or at-large. Too many people are complaining about the system, whether licenses or other city government structure/processes, but the system is only as good as the officials 'we the people' put in office.
Joseph Tavares April 24, 2012 at 01:50 PM
What has a city manager form of government got you lately that makes it good government? Do we forget that we have a 20million dollar deficit and that our government is not in the hands of the people we elected. If you don't like the job that our current ceremonial mayor is doing, if you don't live in ward 2, you can't vote for or against. With a strong Mayor you can have your voice heard by the power of the electon process. The seven member council should be a part of the package, because it makes posible for the voters to determine a majority on the council. That why i'm calling for a Charter Review Commission to examine these posibilities. There hasn't been one in twenty years, and look how East Providence has done with our present form of government.
JJD April 24, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Joseph, what would a strong mayor have done differently? the mess we are in is due to the short-sighted City Councils and School Committees for essentially the past 12 years, coupled with an economic mess in the entire state and a municipal system in RI with too much duplication. Central Falls, Providence, etc. all have strong mayors and are facing the same issues. We may need a 'weak' mayor instead of a ceremonial one, in concert with a city manager, to provide leadership and direction, but I do not think a strong mayor system is on-balance any better for a community like EP. If you are concerned with not being able to elect the Mayor directly, then amend that, I called a few months ago for merging the Mayor and At-Large Council seats so that we choose the mayor instead of the Council.
Rags 1 April 24, 2012 at 07:04 PM
JJD-I certainly agree with your last statement that society is reponsible for its own delinquency. Moreover, the City Manager/City Council form of government is the best posture for EP. A City Charter change however is necessary and should be convened at least every ten years to meet the challenges of changing laws, values and protocols. Pure politics has reared its ugly head to keep it intact. Term limits, Mayor election criteria, early voting for municipal elections, consolidation of duplicative jobs, and ethics/conduct issues are all hot button issues. Since the City Charter is the basic document--we should start there.
JJD April 24, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I'm not opposed to a Charter Commission, especially given that even the Budget Commission is suggesting Charter changes, such as the fiscal year date. I only oppose the idea of changing Council-Manager government. As far as duplicative jobs, that's a policy issue, not a charter one, unless it relates to the City Manager or other charter officer.
Govstench April 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
The arguement for street peddlers and hawkers should be controlled to protect existing businesses. If these peddlers/hawkers have a warehouse in EP, then the council would look more favorably on the license request. To have someone seeking a license in this city while the employer has a storage facility in another municipality is doing nothing for EP. That was the driving reason for the rejection.
Joseph Tavares April 24, 2012 at 10:44 PM
In East Providence,all that is needed to secure a city manager's position is 3 votes from the city council. In cities that have strong mayor's, it takes a majority vote of the people of the city. How many city manager's have been voted out in the last twenty years because they didn't agree or appease three members of the council. Are we not supposed to have of government of the people. Whether you agree with me or not, time and situations scream out to establish a charter commission, to take a serious look at our charter. It shouldn't be left to a state Buget Commission to change our charter. It seems like a good time to have open and honest conversation about the pro's and con's charter, let's have that commision. Maybe they can convince me that the present government is the best choice.
JJD April 24, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I agree that there should be a Charter Commission. However, I think your other comments suggest that the City Manager is just an appointed version of a Mayor, it is not. You say that the City Manager gets ousted for not agreeing with the Council and then say "Are we not supposed to have of government of the people", I don't understand, the Council are the representatives of the people! In Council-Manager, the City Manager is a Chief Operating Officer, managing the daily operation of the city, he/she is not a political leader. The political strategic leadership is vested entirely in the Council, (rather than a strong executive Mayor and legislative Council splitting the role). A strong Mayor will only add politics into the daily operation of the city, when we see we already don't have a political leaders that can solve the larger strategic issues of the city, who would be this magic candidate for Mayor that would solve our ills? sadly we would likely end up with someone in the same EP political caste as we have now. I will keep my professional City Manager thank you, required to have a Masters Degree in Management by the charter.
A. W. April 25, 2012 at 04:15 AM
http://everythingpoliticalineastprovidence.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/andreoni-going-senile/ City Solicitor Orlando Andreoni going senile?
Joseph Tavares April 25, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I think our present city manager is doing a excellent job, considering the mess he inherited, maybe he be a great candidate for mayor if it ever comes to that.
Rags 1 April 25, 2012 at 05:51 PM
What's the mattter JJD--term limits scare you. Fiscal year change, term limits, consolidation, appointed school committees, fiscal centralization and elimination of charter specified departments, etc etc are all general enough to put into a Charter change. My humble opinion is that a non-partisan City Manager/Council form of government is the best for a city of our size; however, it doesn't mean that structural change isn't necessary. Maybe the Busget Commission is starting to fill in the gaps.
JJD April 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM
"What's the mattter JJD--term limits scare you." I never said anything against term limits, so I don't know why your saying that. I actually think that terms should be 4 years and Council/SC members should be limited to two terms, it eliminates people making Council membership a lifetime activity and it gives a long enough term that incumbents don't have to start running essentially the next day after swearing in. That said, I can't think of a Councilor that has been in office more than a few years now, the lifers like Grant, Miranda and Midgley aren't there anymore, Larisa spends two years in and two years out. The turnover just on the will of the voters is pretty high. That said, I do think term limits are a good idea, please don't attribute opinions to me that I never took. "Fiscal year change, term limits, consolidation, appointed school committees, fiscal centralization and elimination of charter specified departments, etc etc are all general enough to put into a Charter change. " Fiscal year change is the example I mentioned as to why I agreed we need a Charter Commission, term limits certainly are a charter issue, consolidation could be put in so that a future regime doesn't try to reverse the progress we've made, not argument there. Appointed school committees are a violation of RIGL 16-2-5 except in Prov, CF and Woon.. I think there should be no Charter departments, so I agree there too, strip all charter departments and do all departments only by ordinance.

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