Woonsocket

Woonsocket City Council Meeting, May 21

By Carroll Andrew Morse | May 21, 2012 |

Good evening, from the city of Woonsocket, where I will be liveblogging tonight’s Woonsocket City Council meeting that includes an agenda item requesting that the state appoint a budget commission for the city. [6:56] Official start time of the meeting is 7:00. [7:01] Meeting called to order. [7:04] Public comment portion of the meeting. On…

Meanwhile, About that 13% Supplemental Tax Bill …

By Monique Chartier | May 17, 2012 |

Without losing sight of the 38 Studios situation, other matters around the state continue to move inexorably forward and, therefore, command our attention. Not the least of these is developments regarding the city for which, ominously, a budget commission has already been assembled, though not sent in. So, in order to stave off that budget…

Woonsocket Memorial: FFRF Declares Victory – Prematurely?

By Monique Chartier | April 26, 2012 |

A couple of hours ago, the AP reported that the organization which has demanded that Woonsocket remove the soldiers’ memorial in front of a fire station is counting their crosses before they’re removed. The Wisconsin group challenging the constitutionality of a cross on a war memorial in Rhode Island says it expects to prevail without…

State Lines Up First Step of Woonsocket Receivership

By Monique Chartier | April 26, 2012 |

So reports the Valley Breeze’s Sandy Phaneuf. While Woonsocket’s legislative delegation continues to debate the merits of a supplemental tax bill, State Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly is reportedly preparing for the worst and has already begun choosing members for a Budget Commission to help guide the city out of fiscal crisis. The commission would…

Anti-Religion (Pro Legal Fee?) Zealots Take Aim at Woonsocket

By Monique Chartier | April 24, 2012 |

The Woonsocket Call reports. The thorny constitutional principle of separation of church and state is rearing its head over a 1921 World War I monument featuring a prominent Christian cross on city property. Unlike the recent prayer banner controversy in Cranston, which was sued by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the…

Woonsocket’s Startling 13% Supplemental Property Tax Faces Uncertain Reception in the General Assembly

By Monique Chartier | April 12, 2012 |

Observers of Woonsocket’s current financial straits are aware that the city has proposed a 13% supplemental property tax – an increase, by the way, that would then form the basis, going forward, for Woonsocket’s new (higher) tax rate. Such a step requires approval by the state legislature. The Valley Breeze reports, however, that at a…

The Gov’t Giveth and the Gov’t Taketh Away: State Diverts Half a Million in School Aid to Select Vendors

By Monique Chartier | April 7, 2012 |

In a move that should set off alarm bells in (state-aid receiving) school boards around the state, Ed Comm Deborah Gist will pay three overdue school invoices directly and reduce state aid to the Woonsocket school department by that amount. Three vendors owed money by the Woonsocket Education Department will receive the funds directly from…

Not So Fast: Now The City Council Will Consider Whether To Request An Investigation

By Monique Chartier | March 29, 2012 |

Last night, despite what appeared to be considerable grounds to do so, the Woonsocket School Committee voted three to two against bringing in the State Police to investigate such matters as apparently falsified school budget surpluses and a vanishing termination clause. Under my post reporting this irresponsible development, City Council President John Ward this morning…

Woonsocket School Committee: No Police Investigation And Soon, No School Buses

By Monique Chartier | March 28, 2012 |

So here’s where we stood as tonight’s School Committee meeting was gaveled to order. A $69,000 surplus in the school budget had suddenly turned into a $2.7 million deficit (and a $10 million deficit for two years), in part, due to cuts in state aid and in part due to off-the-book hires by the prior…

ATTRIBUTION CORRECTION: Mid-Year School Closure or Bust the Budget: Choosing Between RI Laws

By Monique Chartier | March 16, 2012 |

[The post below has been revised with the addition of the link to the article, quoted extensively in the post, by the Valley Breeze’s Sandy Phaneuf, who appears to have broke the story about the Woonsocket School Comm contemplating the closure of schools two plus months early. I had omitted the link when the post…