Solomon amasses over $90,000 in donations in 3 months

Posted

***This story has been updated to correct inaccurately reported data from the donation sheets pertaining to individual donors and PACs.***

While it’s still too early to examine the financial outlook of three of Warwick’s candidates for mayor, the two candidates that have submitted their most recent campaign finance filings for the period from April 1 to June 30 showcase a pretty extreme example of fiscal contrast.

Current Mayor Joseph Solomon has an ending balance of over $213,000 in his war chest (though $100,000 of that comes from a self-funded loan declared on March 31). Democratic challenger Richard Corrente, on the other hand, has a cash balance of just over $34, and is actually in the hole by nearly $39,000 thanks to outstanding loans.

Due to their date of announcing candidacy, Democratic candidates Gerald Carbone and Vincent Ferla do not have to report their first campaign filing until 28 days before the Democratic primary on Aug 15. Lone Republican challenger Sue Stenhouse does not have to file until 28 days before the general election on Oct. 9.

Solomon, as of now the runaway favorite in terms of political capital raised, amassed $84,865 in the filing period from individual donations and $5,250 from political action committees (PACs). Prior to this period, he had just shy of $33,000 in funds (plus the $100,000 self-funded loan). Between individual donors and PACs, Solomon raised over $90,000 between April 1 and June 30.

Large donors, city workers bolster Solomon

The majority of Solomon’s collection from individual donations (55 percent, amounting to $49,825) came from large donations of $500 or more. There were 76 such donations, which came from a variety of donors such as retired individuals and owners/employees of local businesses like Dave’s Marketplace, Rhode Island Imaging and Centerville Builders, Inc.

There were also more than a dozen members from various law offices who ponied up large donations, as well as Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey ($500) and Rep. Joseph McNamara ($200). Thirteen members of Solomon’s family donated a total of $6,975, which amounts to 8 percent of the total funds raised from individual donations.

Another interesting facet gleaned from the numbers showed that a total of 57 Warwick City employees, including five members of the Warwick City Council (Richard Corley, Jeremy Rix and Timothy Howe did not donate) and two Warwick Public Schools employees donated at least $25. The average donation among city workers was about $150. In total, the 57 public employees raised $8,450 (about 10 percent of total individual donations for the period).

The 13 PACs that donated to Solomon included:

  • $50 from the Cumberland Rescue Local 2725 Firefighters Union
  • $100 from the East Greenwich Firefighters Association PAC
  • $100 from the Hope Rhode Island PAC
  • $200 from the Construction Industries of Rhode Island PAC
  • $250 from Warwick FOP Lodge #7
  • $250 from the Warwick Teachers’ Union 915
  • $300 from Rhode Island Carpenters PAC
  • $500 from IBEW Local 2323 Electrical Workers Union
  • $500 from People, RI Council 94, AFSCME AFL-CIO PAC
  • $500 from the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters
  • $500 from Providence Central Federated Council
  • $1,000 from Rhode Island Good Government PAC
  • $1,000 from Warwick Firefighters Local 2748

Solomon fundraiser bears bountiful fruit

Mayor Solomon, shortly after taking over the reins from former mayor Scott Avedisian in the beginning of May this year, held a fundraiser on May 24 at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick to rally support and collect donations. According to the campaign filings, this shindig cost around $6,700 to pull off.

It was certainly worth every penny for Solomon, who has not been silent about his strong desire to become the next duly elected mayor of Warwick.

Of the 76 donations of $500 or more, 42 of those were listed as received on May 24 (55 percent). Of the 55 city workers and two public school employees who donated to Solomon, 42 (73 percent) of them did so during the fundraiser. 

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CrickeeRaven

As predicted, the failed 2016 mayoral candidate's repeated pandering to the Warwick Teachers Union has failed, since the union contributed $250 to acting Mayor Solomon.

The losing 2016 candidate's attempts to smear elected officials as "political insiders" have been exposed as sour grapes, since many of the same officials who contributed to his failed campaign are now supporting acting Mayor Solomon.

And the losing 2016 candidate's attempts to run his campaign for free on this website have failed, since he has raised nothing, put a total of $900 into his campaign, and reports $34 available to spend.

The losing 2016 candidate's latest campaign has failed, and it will only be a formality when thousands of honest, taxpaying voters overwhelmingly reject his candidacy on Sept. 12.

Thursday, August 2
WwkVoter

Don't count him out just yet Raven he has $35 in his own war chest!

As to Joe Solomon, this is just showing that he is a solid candidate with solid support.

Thursday, August 2
CrickeeRaven

I appreciate the humor, WwkVoter. We should also count all the unpaid political advertising that the make-believe mayor has placed on this website while acting Mayor Solomon has actually held successful events and met with voters to promote his campaign.

Thursday, August 2
Scal1024

I'm confused. Rick Corrente has been running for office for over 4 years. He loaned his campaign over $40,000 last election, yet the campaign is $39,000 in the hole? WHERE IS THE MONEY? What does he have to show for 4 years of running? This is the same guy who claims he is going to cut spending? Whether its his personal finances, his tax delinquency or his own campaign expenses what has Rick Corrente done to show taxpayers he has any clue how to budget their money? Facts are facts...and as I've been saying for almost 4 years the facts point to a hack candidate who will say and do anything to get elected. The more facts that come out, the worse "The Tax Delinquents Mayor" Rick Corrente looks. Voters will not be fooled by his propaganda or his spin.

Thursday, August 2
richardcorrente

Dear readers,

In the last election I represented the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab. I accepted ZERO Political Action Committee (PAC) checks. My opponent, career politician Scott Avedisian, accepted 237 Political Action Committee (PAC) checks. Instead, I invested $40,000 of my own money and campaigned for 700 days in a row to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" and IT WORKED! My campaign got 29 taxes "CUT" from the budget. I earned and received over 14,000 votes according to WJAR Newswatch 10, and I am carrying those supporters with me into the Democratic Primary on September 12.

In this years primary, my opponent, acting mayor Joe Solomon, raised thousands from the political insiders and Political Action Committees, and he WILL BE OBLIGATED TO THEM if elected. As in the last election, I have accepted ZERO Political Action Committee (PAC) checks and as a direct result I will "owe" no one political kick-back jobs if elected. That alone will "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending".

Joe also just gave the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab, THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE ALLOWED BY LAW! His political insiders votes are bought and paid for. And he paid for their votes with taxpayers money!

I will win this election with the first person who votes for me. My win will get bigger and stronger with every additional vote and, as in 2017, the more taxpayers that come out, the stronger our voices will be. In the last election our rally cut 29 taxes from the 2017 budget. This year we all need stronger tax relief. The more votes "Richard Corrente for Mayor" gets, the stronger our "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" message becomes. The 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab are strongly behind me. If they ALL come out and vote, I will crush this primary election. If, however, just the political insiders vote, Joe will be the last one standing.

Taxpayers! Please come out and vote on September 12th. Warwick is already over a BILLION DOLLARS in debt. We can't afford another tax-and-spend Mayor.

Thank you.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, August 2
WwkVoter

"In the last election I represented the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab. I accepted ZERO Political Action Committee (PAC) checks. My opponent, career politician Scott Avedisian, accepted 237 Political Action Committee (PAC) checks. Instead, I invested $40,000 of my own money and campaigned for 700 days in a row to "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" and IT WORKED"

CORRECTION: Last line should say "AND IT DIDNT WORK. GOT CRUSHED!"

"We cant afford another tax and spend mayor"

CORRECTION: Corrente's crazy ideas to "buy out retirees. pay people who are already moving to Warwick and his support for raises for everybody" (while screwing Warwick on his own tax bills for years) is the very definition a reckless tax and spend neophyte. And as a bonus is delusional as well.

Maybe that;'s why Joe Solomon the lawyer and CPA has $200,000 in support while corrente has $34 ?

And I don;t throw around the term delusional lightly, watch this WPRI report on youtube for yourself:

https://youtu.be/ZgCpY73J4eg

Thursday, August 2
CrickeeRaven

WwkVoter, here we see, yet again, the make-believe mayor's shamelessness in repeating statements that have been proven to be lies.

"[Avedisian] accepted 237 Political Action Committee (PAC) checks."

This is a lie. The total number of contributions listed as being from PACs between Jan. 1, 2016 and Election Day was 28.

"My campaign got 29 taxes 'CUT' from the budget."

This is a lie. The city council proposed and passed 29 amendments that reduced the original $7.25 million budget increase to $6.5 million and kept the tax rate the same -- taxes were not cut, and spending was not cut. None of the city council members ever -- ever -- cited the make-believe mayor's failed campaign and wasted spending for those decisions.

"I will win this election with the first person who votes for me."

This is a lie. Election winners get the most votes. The make-believe mayor will not "win" when he gets fewer votes than other candidates.

"Warwick is already over a BILLION DOLLARS in debt."

This is a lie recycled from the losing 2014 election, and is still untrue. The debt carried by the sewer and water departments is not part of the main city budget, and are paid by user fees and not property or commercial taxes.

And his statement "I earned and received over 14,000 votes according to WJAR Newswatch 10" proves that he doesn't know how to find the records from the Rhode Island Board of Elections, which are here: https://www.ri.gov/election/results/2016/general_election/warwick/

As you rightly point out, he ignored the fact that Mayor Avedisian received 26,281 votes -- or nearly double the number that the make-believe mayor received.

"If, however, just the political insiders vote, Joe will be the last one standing."

This is another pathetic statement aimed at tricking voters into forgetting that the make-believe mayor took campaign contributions from some of the same people who are supporting Joe Solomon this year, and who the make-believe mayor is calling "political insiders."

It's also an accusation against thousands of voters who do not need to be "insiders" to see the many defects in the make-believe mayor's character and understand that he is completely unfit for office.

The make-believe mayor once again willingly makes a pathetic spectacle of himself through is uninformed and false statements -- and honest, taxpaying voters will respond appropriately by overwhelmingly rejecting his candidacy again on Sept. 12.

Thursday, August 2
CrickeeRaven

Scal, for a candidate who claims to know how to handle city finances, the make-believe mayor's record proves exactly the opposite. He wasted $40,000 on a losing campaign and he couldn't even use the correct check to pay for a political advertisement that is the subject of a Board of Elections complaint.

[I'm sure he'll reply, again, that the BoE chairman wrote him an "email," even though he has never produced proof of this -- do you find it odd that he crows about "political insiders," yet claims that he received a private email clearing him of a potential campaign finance violation?]

Barely six weeks remain until honest, taxpaying voters reject this disgrace of a candidate.

Thursday, August 2
Scal1024

More pathetic lies and attempts to spin TERRIBLE financial statements from Rick Corrente. When you have less than $35 in your campaign bank account, its not just the "political insiders" (another bogus lie) that aren't donating to your campaign Rick, NOBODY is donating to your campaign.

Once again, Corrente falsely claims "influence" over budget hearings where he never spoke a word, and his name was never uttered by a single member of the City Council. Influence over what? The only influence Rick Corrente has had in this city is burning $40,000 which yielded NOTHING in return, and being a tax delinqient who couldn't pay his fair share. The Beacon article breaks down quite clearly who donated to Joe Solomon. Maybe Rick Corrente should focus his attention on paying back the $39,000 his campaign is in the red. Although, if theres anything we've learned from Rick Corrente its that he can't ever seem to be bothered to pay his own debts ( property taxes, car taxes, mortgage, water/sewer bills).

When a candidate spends $40,000, gets crushed in the general election, claims overwhelming support, decides to run again (now running almost 4 years total) and has less than $35 in the bank...its quite clear the last person on Earth who knows how unqualified Rick Corrente is to serve as mayor....is Rick Corrente.

Thursday, August 2
Thecaptain

Richard,

How come you never told us about the tax lien that you had on your office condo at 1050 Main St. (unit 16) in East Greenwich due to unpaid assessments in the amount of $4857.12 that was issued on Jan. 27, 2012 or the foreclosure of that unit that was issued on April 19th of 2012? Can you give us some details on this debacle? It just seems your trail of unpaid bills gets larger and larger.

Mayor feckless

Thursday, August 2
CrickeeRaven

Hello again Thecaptain:

Mayor feckless has also never answered why he is paying office rent to the same person who previously paid the taxes on his former residence [the make-believe mayor no longer reports 177 Grand View as his residence on his public voter information], so it is no surprise that he is trying to ignore your latest example of his tax delinquencies.

Nailed it again, Scal.

Here's what I wonder: Why has the make-believe mayor continued to talk about his losing 2016 campaign?

The only conclusion I can reach is that he doesn't see his behavior as what it is: A repeated desperate and pathetic attempt to twist his loss into something that is relevant this year. Take this disgraceful statement:

"I am carrying those supporters with me into the Democratic Primary on September 12."

No candidate can count on past voting trends to be repeated, especially not one who has so willingly and repeatedly lied to voters while using someone else's website for free political advertising.

Taking votes for granted is among the most ignorant and uninformed things the make-believe mayor has ever said -- and that's really saying something.

More to the point, only a delusional candidate would think that an overwhelming loss in one election would magically turn into a victory in the next.

It's much the same way that I suspect he thinks that all the negative reactions he gets on this website somehow benefits his disgrace of a campaign.

He's wrong, of course.

He is an election loser who has learned nothing from his past experience and simply continues to engage in the same behavior that resulted in his prior defeat while expecting a different result. He is attacking the people who supported him in 2016 while believing he will somehow get their votes. He is making false statements while expecting voters to consider him a credible candidate.

I eagerly anticipate Sept. 12, when the make-believe mayor's political campaign will again come to a humiliating end.

Thursday, August 2
PhillipDrummond

You guys celebrate Solomon but to me he is just a clone of Avedisian so of course the Unions are going to support Solomon. They expect him to keep the giveaways flowing and raise taxes to pay for them and put the city in even more of a hole. You talk of fecklessness and that is a perfect word to describe the school committee. Our schools are in shambles. I encourage every parent who reads this to look in to the pathways program and take their kids out of this horrid school system maybe when they lose even more money the light will go on and they'll take a corrective course but until then, think about your kids and try to find them the best education you can because it will not be in Warwick.

It's very clear that the same 2 or 3 people come on here to rag on Corrente and I don't know yet if Corrente is the guy that Warwick needs but what I do know is that a vote for Solomon is a vote for more of the same BS that has been going on around here for a decade and it's time for a change. The city is literally crumbling around us, the schools are in shambles and the taxes keep going up and that's why people keep leaving and it's apparent people on here want more of the same. They can't even get RIAC to admit the airport is in Warwick and you guys speak of fecklessness lmao

Friday, August 3
WwkVoter

" I don't know yet if Corrente is the guy that Warwick needs"

really? after ALL the evidence of multiple deadbeat tax delinquencies for YEARS, foreclosures, trying to worm out of his own child support and pay $10 a week(!) the lies, bogus statistics that defy the census, and his plan to "pay people to move here" and "pay peoples pensions off" for hundreds of millions, illegal campaign filings and signage, you still "dont know yet"????

as to celebrating Solomon, he is the only legitimate candidate and the other three include the above, the used car guy whose wife was just arrested for food stamp fraud, and the lady who dressed up a city bus driver as a woman for a press conference in Cranston.

Yeah, I'd say having a CPA and a Lawyer with 18 years governing experience is something to celebrate, considering the nightmare alternatives.

Finally, as to the same 2 or 3 (more like 4 or 5) commenters, no one would repeat the FACTS about corrente's dubious legal history if he wasnt constantly spamming most stories with his same lies and BS.

Friday, August 3
Thecaptain

Phillip,

At this point it doesnt matter who becomes the mayor because the problems now are to big to solve. The city's own actuary stated that we have past the point of no return. With the union give aways and the unfunded liabilities we can expect maximum tax increases for many years to come. Corrente however, is completely clueless and does not have enough brains to exit a phone booth.

Friday, August 3
Scal1024

Phillip, you would have to direct me to where multiple people have been saying nothing but positives about Joe Solomon? Yes, we do go after Rick Corrente when he posts false information, lies about not paying his taxes, lies about his multiple foreclosures and many other issues. Had Rick Corrente come forward and said you know what? Taxes in this city are outrageous, the burden is too much and I have experienced this, it wouldn't even be an issue. Instead he has blamed his lender, or denied he was ever delinquent to begin with. This is unacceptable for ANY CANDIDATE.

Crickee, Captain, myself and others have all been critical of acting Mayor Solomon at different times when the time called for it. No one is immune to criticism in this city. When one looks at each candidate in the Democratic Primary we have 1 whose wife is being accused of Welfare fraud (Ferla), we have another who has a past of unpaid bills, litigation losses and tax delinquency (Corrente), another who believes Global Warming is a major campaign issue for Mayor (Carbone) and finally Joe Solomon who you (and others) believe is tight with the unions. Of the 4 Democratic candidates in the race I mentioned, I do believe Joe Solomon is the most qualified. However, you have to remember it is the primary, and the GOP candidate is running unopposed, so most of my comments are judging the race immediately in front of us. I also think there is something to Captains point and that is no matter who is elected, they have alot to prove in terms of reigning in spending. Phillip, do you believe a candidate who loaned his campaign $40,000, lost by a 2-1 margin, and currently has $34.13 in the bank this election is the candidate who will reign in spending? Objectively speaking I would say that is a pretty good indication of a candidates fiscal responsibility. It is the first sign we get of how they manage a budget.

I respect your comments, I just thought it was an unfair characterization, and its a false talking point Mr Corrente has repeated suggesting any negative comment against him comes from an employee of Joe Solomon. That is a baseless lie, that should not be fed into by anyone. I would invite you to ask Mr Corrente questions, as I have. Maybe you'll have better luck getting a detailed answer than I did.

Friday, August 3
CrickeeRaven

Scal, WwkVoter, and Thecaptain:

Clearly, Philip is new here. That's the only way to explain how he missed the many times we have all been critical of Joe Solomon.

For my part, I have frequently mentioned the city council's decisions under Solomon, including the $6.5 million increase in spending and unrealistic 99-percent tax collection rate in FY18. Those decisions led directly to a $4.2 million deficit and state-capped maximum tax increase in FY19.

Philip also clearly has no context for the many defects in the make-believe mayor's candidacy, which all of you correctly point out.

And I do agree, like Scal, with Thecaptain. The city is looking at having to make very difficult financial decisions, and to a degree it doesn't matter who's in the mayor's office -- to a degree.

Joe Solomon has been on the council since 2000; many other councilors have been in office for several years, as well -- that means many of the same people who let this problem develop will now have to fix it.

One this is certain, though -- the last thing that Warwick needs when serious decisions have to be made is a tax delinquent liar who can't maintain the truth from one end of a sentence to the other.

Friday, August 3
JohnStark

I believe Crickee makes a good point. Being on the city council for 18 years and overseeing the utter demise of the city hardly qualifies one for being the CEO of that very city. If you want a living, breathing metaphor for the City of Warwick, look no further than the Conimicut Lighthouse. In 2005, the Conimicut Lighthouse Foundation was formed to oversee the restoration and maintenance of the lighthouse after is was acquired by the city in 2004. Nothing, absolutely nothing was done for over ten years. In 2015, when two private proposals were submitted for lighthouse improvement, both proposals were blocked by members of the city council. Chief Obstructionist: Joe Solomon, who sought more "input" from the public (i.e. "Lets continue to do nothing."). 14 years after it's acquisition, the lighthouse continues to rot. There is no plan. There is no clue. It now appears that Warwick will be ineligible to take ownership of the Warwick Lighthouse on Warwick Neck when the Coast Guard ceases operations there because of the city's demonstrated incompetence in overseeing such a structure. If you wish to see Warwick circa 2030, take a look at the ongoing deterioration of the Conimicut Lighthouse. Much like the city itself, it was once a jewel. All while Joe Solomon seeks more "input".

Friday, August 3
CrickeeRaven

Thanks for the insightful comment, JohnStark. It seems that we're talking about the same thing, that as much as Solomon wants to be seen as someone who deliberates over big decisions, the results are often not good, to say the least. Your example of the lighthouse is a good one.

Take the recent fire and police contracts as another one. The council held up approval until they read the proposed agreements -- and then approved them anyway.

Or look at the FY19 budget. How many hours did they spend in hearings -- only to impose the highest tax increase allowed by law?

Solomon is going to learn -- if he hasn't already -- that the mayor often doesn't have the luxury of time to think over the options before making a call. I'm with you, I'm not entirely convinced that his time on the council qualifies him for the mayor's office -- but as others have said, the rest of the field is even worse.

Friday, August 3
WwkVoter

What exactly ruined the city financially? I think the answer from critics would be compensation, and retirement benefits, right? So lets be real, how much less could we have paid our employees and how much less could we have offered for retirement benefits, and still attract and retain good employees to run the city and schools?

No one has offered a realistic alternative and a number that it would reduce our annual budget.

Yes we could find some efficiencies but how much realistically could the total cost be lowered?

Some has already been done for example eliminating family medical for retirees hired after a few years ago (forgot the year) and we will be eventually paying down the worst pension funds (Police/Fire 1). That will take a long time to save any real money, but eventually it will.

Friday, August 3
Thecaptain

Correction - Crickee, the recent contracts that were ratified were Police and Municipal. Fire is in the back burner.

Wwkvoter - here is a question for you. Do you know how much money is in the health care fund and how much is unfunded?

Let's start there.

Saturday, August 4
WwkVoter

I asked first.

But yes we all know that the health care fund is not healthy and being "pay-as-you-go, the obligations are contractual and therefore inescapable short of receivership which No1 will NOT happen in Warwick, and No2 Central Falls STILL had a 19% property tax INCREASE after receivership.

So, as I asked TheCaptain and others where is your solution or plan and how much does it reduce the budget?

Saturday, August 4
CrickeeRaven

I stand corrected, Thecaptain. Thanks!

Saturday, August 4
Justanidiot

I love the signs out now for master mayer corrente.

"Vote for Corrente. He deserves your vote."

That says everything about his candidacy and how he views himself.

No candidate deserves a vote, they have to earn it. Through action or deed. Through promises kept.

Deserving our vote is someone's ego running for office who thinks that they are better than everyone else and don't have to do or say anything.

Save us the trouble master mayer and go to the dollar store and buy yourself one of those ribbons that reads "I done good!". Then pat yourself on the back and criticize the people who are out there working hard.

Saturday, August 4
WwkVoter

Here's an example of how The Captain sometimes does the very thing he derides others for. He answers my question (which he ignores) with a question.

Let's put it this way, Cote has MORE than proven that we have substantial and costly obligations to pay going forward as well as operating the here and now. I get it. We all get it. Job well done. He and Cushman and others have more than been successful and acknowledged here in the Beacon and on WPRO and other news outlets.

Now what's the solution? Rob come on try and offer your solution before Corrente beats you to it and addresses his delinquencies, foreclosures, and tax problems! (kidding on that)

Seriously, what is your solution. The "Cote Plan" if you were running things?

Saturday, August 4
CrickeeRaven

Please tell me you're joking, Justanidiot.

"He deserves your vote" -- ?!

What a disgrace.

Saturday, August 4
Thecaptain

Wwkvoter,

The point I was making (actually, just wondering) if you knew what the unfunded liability was for healthcare. Since you answered my question with a question, ill give you the answer. The unfunded healthcare liability currently is $300 million. How are we going to pay that? I dont know, but I can assure you of one thing. The health care plan is too lucrative, and the employees do not contribute nearly enough. So the first step is to maybe not give the Cadillac plan when we clearly historically have not been able to afford it. There needs to be serious increases in co-pays, there should be no free lifetime healthcare given to retirees, that needs to stop immediately, and retirees need to contribute substantially more.

The fact of the matter is that longevity should not mean that the taxpayer is obligated to continue to give raises that we cant afford just because you have been there for x amount of time. It is about what the community can afford. We cannot afford any more..

For 20 years, we have had city council members that have never performed any research, never asked for documentation to substantiate numbers, and several times have voted to ratify contracts without even reading them. Case and point 2015 fire contract where 6 council members, including Solomon, told me to my face that they didnt read the contract because it never changes. It did change, and now we are in a quandary with unused sick pay.

There is huge fat in all of the contracts and also in every departments budget. Think about it, last month the finance committee discussed for 30 minutes how to save 5 cents per can of spray paint that is used on the ball fields, yet 5 members voted to ratify contracts prior to the 5 year fiscal evaluation was made public. Those 2 contracts included $2,833,000 in raises. Make sense? Of course not, but that my friend, is how we have arrived at this point.

Insolvency is now the only solution and it is on the way, for sure. Joe Newton, the actuary stated last year when he was asked by Merolla : At what point to we get to the point of no return? His answer: "Mr. Merolla, that was 5 years ago".

I have sent countless letters to every member of the council with budget cuts for each department that do not touch salaries, but clearly cut areas that have historically shown to be wasteful. Do you think anyone listens? The plan and answers that you are asking me for is the question you should be formally asking the council. Have you done that?

Saturday, August 4
Thecaptain

Wwkvoter,

BTW, here is just one of the ideas that I brought to the council. Just WFD.

SECTION 3. PAID HOLIDAYS

The following holidays should be removed from the WFD schedule of paid holidays for all members of the Fire Department.

VJ Day (2nd Monday in August)

Lincoln’s Birthday Labor Day

Easter Sunday (1st Sunday in April)

Firemen’s Memorial Sunday (2nd Sunday in June)

This renders the department with the 10 standard Federal Holidays. Cost savings to the taxpayer of the 3 year contract based upon the 2016 average day rate of a Warwick Fire Department member : 880 days cut x 3 years = 2640 days x $376/day = $992,640 SAVINGS

ARTICLE VIII SECTION 6. PAYMENT FOR UNUSED SICK LEAVE AFTER MAXIMUM ACCUMULATION

In any case where an employee has accumulated his or her or her maximum sick leave entitlement under Section 1 hereof, he or she shall, at the end of each year, be entitled to be paid for three-fourths (3/4) of his or her unused, yearly sick leave entitlement, prorated on a monthly basis, not to exceed fifteen (15) days. Such payment is to be made on the basis of said employee’s daily rate of pay and shall be paid to the employee by the last day of each month.

The above benefit was changes from ½ (10days) to ¾ (15days) in 2015. The net result was showed an increase in over $600,000 annually. This benefit needs to be reduced to 25% or 5 days. The net overall result is that in the PAST 6 year period the members still receive an average of 50% which amounts to a 6% annual bonus over and above the 1 ½ % semi annual pay raise and longevity raise. Data is as follows:

2016 pay out to 139 men = $1,092,0421

Reduction to 25% results in the following cost savings

$819,316/year x 3 years = $2,457,948 SAVINGS * based upon 2016 salary schedule

10 year savings based on 2016 wages without factoring pay increases and step increases =

$ 8,193,160.00

ARTICLE IV SECTION 2. SUBSTITUTIONS

The right to substitute at any time shall be permitted, provided, however, that permission in writing to substitute must be obtained from the Battalion Chief on duty. A substitution shall be defined as a mutual exchange of time. No other form of compensation shall be allowed.

The above provision must be removed from the contract. Average substitution days based upon 2014-2017 documents =1400 days per year.

1400 days x 3 years = 4200 days

4200 days x $376/day = $1,579,200 SAVINGS

This savings would be realized by eliminating the substation clause. All substitution days should be utilized as vacation days covered at straight time by the floaters. No addition overtime costs are incurred by the city.

ARTICLE VII SECTION 1.

CLOTHING ALLOWANCE a. The clothing allowance for all members of the Fire Department shall be EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY ($850) DOLLARS per year. Clothing allowance shall be payable during the month of March. An employee must be on the payroll as of March 1 to qualify for payment of the clothing allowance. Effective on July 1, 2013, the clothing allowance shall be ONE THOUSAND ($1,000) DOLLARS per year.

All uniforms provided by the City shall be “Nomex” or equal to “Nomex”. The City agrees to replace all clothing and protective gear, eyeglasses and dentures of an employee of the Fire Department which may be damaged or destroyed in the line of said employee’s duty while on duty or while said employee may be responding to or returning from a call to duty.

b. Protective equipment for new probationary fire fighters shall be ordered prior to the fire fighters being sworn in and reporting for full-time duty. Such equipment shall include minimally: 1. Helmet with eyeshield, strap and frontpiece. 2. Bunker Coat. 3. Bunker Pants. 4. Suspenders. 5. Fire Boots. 6. Hood. 7. Gloves. 8. Gear Storage bag.

c. New recruits shall be paid the clothing allowance when they are hired full time by the fire department after successful completion of the training school. This payment shall be in lieu of the clothing allowance paid on March 1, so that the employee will receive only one clothing allowance payment per fiscal year.

SECTION 2. ADDITIONAL UNIFORMS Any employee, upon being promoted to any rank requiring a new class of uniform, shall have one set of the same issued to him or her by the City at its cost and expense. If the City requires a change in the Class “B” uniforms the City will provide the initial four (4) sets of uniforms over and above the regular clothing allowance.

Clothing allowance section of the contract needs to be completely eliminated since in every situation from new recruits to advancement to damaged clothing, the city is responsible to pay for new uniforms. No monitoring of this expenditure has ever been performed. Savings from the elimination of this clause as follows:

220 men x $1000 = $220,000 x 3 years = $660,000 SAVINGS

Total savings $5,689,788 without touching salaries or amending other issues such as below.

Saturday, August 4
WwkVoter

WOW Captain, that was great info and options. I will read it all over again later. Thanks

Saturday, August 4
PhillipDrummond

For starters, I am not new here. I have been reading the back and forth between Corrente and you guys for months. There would be times that you guys would comment (Raven mostly) about what Corrente would say before he would even comment on the thread and I find that personally annoying. It's a tactic used to put words in people's mouths that I don't appreciate. I'm not here to defend Corrente. He's a big boy. He can take care of himself and I never once said that people who speak out against Corrente work for Solomon. Never even implied it. In any case, the put downs and insults flew back and forth but the one insult that bothered me was the "mayor feckless" insult. We just had a mayor who feels like he just rode off in to the sunset like the conquering hero when in reality he's like a cockroach who scurries away when the lights come on. He takes off in a manner that doesn't allow for a special election so that his buddy Solomon can continue the Avedisian legacy of giveaways and tax increases. So yes, I've seen all the "evidence" but I'm trying to keep an open mind about everybody who is running because for me, having the fox guard the hen house makes me a little uncomfortable. You know that he's going to give the school committee the money to fill the holes in their budget. Where's that money going to come from?

Where was the great CPA and career politician when Avedisian was running this city in to the ground. Did he ever once speak up? Did he ever pushback saying that the city couldn't afford it? I never heard that maybe I missed it. I reject the argument that it doesn't matter who is the mayor because the problem is so massive. It's that kind of apathy that has gotten us all in to this situation. All of these bums need to be thrown out from the city council on down to the school committee and superintendent.. They're too busy patting each other on the back and taking care of each other to see that they have put this city in a precarious position. Once again I'm going to say, parents, get your kids out of the city when it comes to education. Warwick is incapable of teaching our kids. The kids who have left are much happier so do some research. Warwick isn't going to tell you about the available programs out there because they want to keep the kids in Warwick but trust me it's worth it. You'll thank me later. They tried to recall the kids but RIDE slapped them on the wrist and told them no but I guarantee they are looking at ways to stop or minimize it so get in while you still can.

Sunday, August 5
WwkVoter

Phillip thats a nice post and it's good to have yet another commenting on Beacon topics. I like your analogy to scurrying when the light is turned on (is cockroach less an insult than feckless?) Rob is quite acerbic, thats his style and he obviously wont change (even if his delivery could be more effective if he did). As to the deadbeat candidate, I think it is obvious that not only is he totally ill-equipped to run even his own household finances let alone a city as large as warwick, but he wont address his myriad tax problems other than to lie about it again and again.

Solomon will almost certainly run the city "competently" but amenably to labor and everything will be smooth except the property taxes will constantly have to be hiked. I published the table on what that would (will) look like for the average taxpayer assuming full legal maximum tax levy increases over 15 years. Here it is again. I think the warwick taxpayers would trade being boiled like frogs (slowly) rather than any kind of labor strife that would result from any attempt to go after the unions for concessions to pay or benefits or retirement... there is NO WAY that some inexperienced ethically challenged gasbag can affect this. They will only make a mess.

Here's a table with approximately max tax increases starting with a 3500 tax bill this year:

Year Tax Bill

2018 3500

2019 3623

2020 3749

2021 3881

2022 4016

2023 4157

2024 4302

2025 4453

2026 4609

2027 4770

2028 4937

2029 5110

2030 5289

2031 5474

2032 5665

Sunday, August 5
Justanidiot

CrickeeRaven, it is true but it states that He deserves OUR vote.

Sign is on Post and Elmwood by the Shell. I believe it is an illegal location (surprise!), so it may be gone.

Monday, August 6
CrickeeRaven

Phillip, I'll take you at your word that you've been reading for months.

If that's the case, then you're well aware of how often the make-believe mayor has repeated the same comments, to the point that they can be easily predicted.

I wasn't putting words in his mouth -- I was repeating what he had previously said to make the point that his prior statements failed to get the support from the WTU that he was clearly trying to get.

Maybe you should direct your annoyance at him for being so predictable, and not me for calling it out.

And you're absolutely right about Joe Solomon and the other city councilors who have been in office for many years and essentially allowed the current situation to develop. But you're flat-out wrong to try and compare current elected officials with the make-believe mayor, even for purposes of "keeping an open mind."

Monday, August 6
Thecaptain

Wwkvoter,

I do apologize for my sometimes harsh delivery. It comes after year of speaking as a gentleman and professional and getting lied to your face. Case and point(s)

When I went thru the process to get on the docket to speak publicly to the council about the car taxes, Camile Wilkinson sent out emails to numerous people in the city filled with lies telling them that I contacted the RI Truckers association and that they were going to surround city hall with 18 wheeler's and stop traffic. She then sent emails throughout the city stating that I was a convicted felon and had pled no lo to numerous felony charges. Another lie. She then made statements that I chased her son and rammed him with my truck on the night of the council meeting, another lie. She then sent out an email to Donna Travis, Bruce Place and Ray Gallucci stating that "all of the people that come to the council meetings are nothing but A-holes. By the way , I know this because I subpoenaed her emails from the courts.

Then you have Bruce Place who after going thru the process decides that he is only going to let me speak for 2 minutes and that no one else could speak. He did everything possible to stop myself and residents from questioning the council and the mayor on the impact of increased car taxes.

Lets not forget Ray Gallucci who violated city ordinance and was contracted by Dave Picozzi of DPW to assist in clean up after the wind storm Irene. He was illegally paid $9725.00 by DPW and ultimately had to pay it back when I got the press involved. Or when Donna Travis didnt realize that she had a hot mic and was talking to Picozzi and made a derogatory statement about me and said that she would shut me down and not let me speak at the open mic session. It goes on and on. So if you are wondering where the bad blood comes from, those are just a few examples. These politicians only respond to one thing and one thing only. Public humiliation.

So thats where it began.

Monday, August 6
WwkVoter

Thanks Rob for the reminders as painful as they are to read. I think those acts and slander are horrible and should not be tolerated. I hope you won your court cases against them (but havent heard about the outcome).

I still think that you have to be careful to be respectable and you can still expose the acts of petty evil, thereby accomplishing humiliating them, but with their own actions and words not you using similar tactics. Expose them for what they are. But take the high road (or at least the middle road) how you communicate.

People always love the watchdogs but once u cross the line, u lose support that you need.

You want to be the guy that people say "that guy was friggin right, my taxes have gone up a lot and they still aren't fixing the roads or schools. Why?"

My 2 cents

Monday, August 6
Scal1024

It is unfortunate Rob that these things were said about you. I don't believe that is fair, especially with some of the work you do. I understand your frustration and without being in your shoes I get that its hard to understand the anger you feel. However, I will say this is a two way street. You have said some tough things about the WFD. Some of them I will not repeat (I thought they were that harsh and beneath you). I think we've all said things on this forum big or small that we'd like to have back occasionally. I won't hold Rob to a higher standard on that than I hold myself, I just think its something we should all be mindful of going forward when discussing our public sector employees. We should be mindful of who we are attacking and the job they are doing everyday to protect us.

I often am crticial of the WTU. It's a tough issue to address because I think Warwick does have some great, kind hearted teachers. Whenever I am critical of the WTU (Warwick Teachers Union) its always spun as being critical of the teachers. This is baseless. I just thibj

Tuesday, August 7
Thecaptain

Points all well taken.

Thanks

Tuesday, August 7
Scal1024

I apologize the rest of the comment was cut off. I appreciate the time and resources I'm sure it takes to provide the information you do Rob. I appreciate your comments, and I hope the results of your work produce positive outcomes for the city in the future.

Tuesday, August 7
Thecaptain

Much appreciated.

Thanks

Tuesday, August 7