Woonsocket City Councilors in Their Own Words on the Budget Commission Resolution

Here are the statements made by Woonsocket City Councilors and Mayor Leo Fontaine, prior to the vote to request a budget commission to oversee the city. The summaries with audio clip are my characterization’s of each councilor’s remarks, from the liveblog written during the meeting…

[7:04] Mayor Leo Fontaine speaks 1st. Recounting the short-term cash-flow problems of the school dept. They should be able to get through one more pay period, with regularly scheduled state aid. After that, the well runs dry…
[7:08] Says Rep. Baldell-Hunt’s assertion that a budget commission would be appointed under any circumstance is false…Assertion that false information was given to House and Senate leaders is also false. Mayor Fontaine was taken aback that such a comment was made.
Audio 5m 46 sec
[7:16] Councilman Roger Jalette wants to be made Council President, so he can have the seat on the budget commission, if a budget a commission is appointed.
Audio 2m 15 sec
[7:18] Councilman Daniel Gendron says we’re here tonight because of inappropriate actions by our General Assembly. Seven people who live in a city, overseeing a Mayor living in the city should be making these decisions. Not one of them was doing anything different then what they thought was best for this city. That security isn’t there, if a budget commission is appointed.
Audio 3m 10 sec
[7:22] Councilman Christopher Beauchamp cites lack of communication as a problem, thinks at least 2 members of the Woonsocket GA delegation didn’t really know what was going on.
Audio 1m 19 sec
[7:23] Councilman Robert Moreau agrees with sentiments of Councilmen Gendron and Beauchamp. The City has an obligation to pay its debts to the people who are owed money.
Audio 2m 7 sec
[7:25] Councilman Albert Brien is in total opposition to “any state interference”. Says Woonsocket has significant shortages in cash flow, because the school department has been underfunded by $7M…”We have repeatedly asked to negotiate with our unions” wrt the health plan. Nothing has happened. Cites fire overtime issue.
Audio 5m 11 sec
[7:30] He doesn’t see a viable, ongoing plan. This supplemental is insufficient to fund current receivables. “There is no concrete plan other than a hope” other than Governor Chafee’s municipal plan.
Audio 3m 40 sec
[7:43] Council President John Ward …without the supplemental tax, Woonsocket’s ability to meet its short term needs go away. Budget commission powers to accelerate state funding mimic those of having tax anticipation notes. After that, options are things like not making payroll. “I don’t think we should be breaking faith with our employees”.
Audio 5m 11 sec
[7:48] He will not step down a Council President to avoid the budget commission…He holds the state responsible for much of Woonsocket’s fiscal situation…as City Council President, he will continue to look for ways to cut costs.
Audio 4m 54 sec
[7:54] Councilman Brien suggests that the state should ignore the request for a BC, and advance Woonsocket the money to handle its cash flow problem. “We are more qualified” than the state is, to deal with our own problems.
Audio 2m 25 sec
[7:57] Councilman Marc DuBois will support a budget commission.
Audio 55 sec
[7:59] Councilman Gendron says recent tax increases have been fueled by cuts from the state. Now putting the state in charge, after that, doesn’t really make sense.
Audio 1m 9 sec
More to come…

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.