Cranston

Cranston School Cuts

By Marc Comtois | January 29, 2010 |

Cutting or consolidating sports programs is grabbing the headlines as Cranston tries to deal with it’s school budget deficit, but other programs are in danger as well. It’s not just the jocks. The $1.1-million in proposed cuts — which include the elementary school enrichment program along with strings, band and chorus, following the recommendations of…

What One City Council Thinks of Binding Arbitration for Teachers Contracts

By Carroll Andrew Morse | September 29, 2009 |

On Monday night, the Cranston City Council considered a resolution sponsored by Mayor Allan Fung opposing a proposed change to Rhode Island law that would require binding arbitration to occur when a school committee and a teachers’ union were unable to agree upon a contract. During the public comment phase of the meeting, Dan Beardsley…

Whither School Committees?

By Carroll Andrew Morse | September 24, 2009 |

At Mayor Allan Fung’s town hall meeting last evening on city issues in Cranston, there was much emphasis on the school committee as the area of city government most in need of fixing. You can hear some of the discussion for yourself, by clicking on the links below…Cranston City Council President John Lanni gave a…

Making Up Time in Cranston

By Justin Katz | July 17, 2009 |

Tim White’s got another video of employee malfeasance with taxpayer funded time: The video shows the janitorial office at Cranston’s Western Hills Middle School from the view of a hidden camera looking down at a time clock used by school custodians to punch in and out of their shifts. The first minute and twelve seconds…

Arbitration Is a Union Game

By Justin Katz | July 15, 2009 |

Anybody who still believes that public sector union arbitration isn’t the unions’ playroom should take a moment to glance toward Cranston. The contract between the city and the Teamsters (PDF) contains the following language: The City agrees to offer a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan for each member of the Union and his family. Each…

Jim Quinlan: Another $25,000 Wasted by the Cranston School Department

By Engaged Citizen | June 18, 2009 |

According to a Projo article by Randy Edgar: The [Cranston] School Department will pay outgoing Supt. M. Richard Scherza $25,000 this summer to work as a consultant and help with the transition to a new superintendent, according to an agreement signed last month. Scherza will work on an as-needed basis during July and August, providing…

Closing Cranston’s Budget Hole, By Saying Let’s Pretend It’s Not There

By Carroll Andrew Morse | May 13, 2009 |

Randal Edgar of the Projo captures both the tone and content of last night’s Cranston City Council meeting, where the Council seems to have decided how they will “close” Cranston’s budget deficit: by assuming union concessions that have not yet been obtained…The City Council charted a financial course Tuesday that differs sharply from the wishes…

Housing Offenders

By Justin Katz | May 11, 2009 |

Focusing mainly on the local controversy, journalist Randal Edgar didn’t ask why this should be true: Dennis B. Langley, president and CEO of the Urban League of Rhode Island, which runs Harrington Hall, played down the concerns, saying the shelter, which opened as a permanent center in 2003, has housed sex offenders for years. The…

Government as Pension Program

By Justin Katz | May 4, 2009 |

Here’s an eye-popper: Cranston spends more than a fifth of its total budget on pensions (not including teachers). Nine municipalities spend over 10%. While Rhode Island’s political leaders wrestle with state pension reform, there’s another big pension headache out there — the soaring cost of municipal pensions. A new study by the business-backed Rhode Island…

Meanwhile, in Providence…

By Carroll Andrew Morse | April 22, 2009 |

Combining Randal Edgar‘s story in today’s Projo on the likely next step that follows the inability of the parties(*) in Cranston to agree upon a new police contract via negotiation…After watching a tentative contract go down to defeat, the police officers union is taking its case to a new venue that could ultimately cost taxpayers…