EP News Briefs
East Providence Primary Vote Results:
Voters in East Providence went to the polls in September to cast votes in a statewide primary and local races. The only contested races were mostly statewide offices and the first-ever East Providence Mayoral vote. Most interest was upon the Mayoral primary which was needed to reduce the field of four candidates to two for the November 6, 2018 election. Roberto "Bob" DaSilva, James M. Russo, Chrissy Rossi and Albert W. Quattrucci, Jr. were contenders. DaSilva took the first spot with 3,309 votes. Next highest was Russo with 2,847; Rossi, 1,368 and Quattrucci had 442 votes. DaSilva and Russo will face off in the November election.
East Providence Mayoral Primary:
Roberto L. DaSilva 330941.5%
James M. Russo284735.7%
Albert W. Quattrucci, Jr. 4425.5%
In the Senate District 14 race, Valarie J. Lawson garnered 2023 votes to Delmar Condinho's 1470. With no Republican candidate, Lawson is the Senator-elect from District 14. She will replace outgoing long time Senator, Daniel Daponte who did not seek re-election.
House District 63 Incumbent Katherine S. Kazarian will return. She defeated her primary opponent, Elizabeth Ava Clupny by 1858 to 346 votes. Kazarian's November opponent, Christopher Holland, has withdrawn from the race. Holland was previously a Republican and changed to Independent.
Returning to the State House is three term Democratic District 65 Representative, Gregg Amore. He was unopposed in the primary and has no opponent in November. Incumbent District 16 Democratic Senator William Conley was unopposed in the primary but will face a challenge from Independent candidate Jack Peters in November.
State Democratic Primary Results in EP:
Senator in Congress:
Patricia J. Fontes158724.1%
Representative in Congress District 1:
David N. Cicilline501276.5%
Gina M. Raimondo385957.5%
Matthew A. Brown216632.3%
Spencer E. Dickinson68810.2%
Daniel J. McKee326251.2%
J. Aaron Regunberg311448.8%
Secretary of State:
Nellie M. Gorbea 5375100.0%
Peter F. Neronha5135100.0%
Senator in General Assembly District 14:
Valarie J. Lawson202357.9%
Delmar Branco Condinho147042.1%
Senator in General Assembly District 18:
William J. Conley, Jr.1883100.0%
Senator in General Assembly District 32:
Cynthia Armour Coyne536100.0%
Representative in General Assembly District 63:
Katherine S. Kazarian185884.3%
Elizabeth Ava Clupny34615.7%
Representative in General Assembly District 64:
Jose R. Serodio77750.4%
David V. O'Connell76549.6%
Representative in General Assembly District 65:
Representative in General Assembly District 66:
Liana M. Cassar36951.5%
John J. Chung34848.5%
State Republican Primary Results in EP:
Senator in Congress:
Robert G. Flanders, Jr.98485.0%
Roque "Rocky" De Fuente17315.0%
Representative in Congress District 1:
Patrick J. Donovan83080.7%
Allan W. Fung 67752.7%
Patricia L. Morgan55343.0%
Paul E. Pence946100.0%
Secretary of State:
Pat V. Cortellessa920100.0%
Michael G. Riley943100.0%
Senator in General Assembly District 32:
Representative in General Assembly District 66:
Local November Contests
East Providence Mayor:
Roberto L. DaSilva
James M. Russo
East Providence City Council Ward One:
Robert Britto (unopposed)
East Providence City Council Ward Two:
Joshua Luis Pereira
Anna M. Sousa
East Providence City Council Ward Three:
Nathan Cahoon (unopposed)
East Providence City Council Ward Four:
Ricardo Mourato (unopposed)
East Providence City Council-at-Large:
Robert P. Rodericks
East Providence School Committee Ward One:
Charles Tsonos (unopposed)
East Providence School Committee Ward Two:
Anthony Ferreira (unopposed)
East Providence School Committee Ward Three:
Karen Oliveira (unopposed)
East Providence School Committee Ward Four:
Jessica Beauchaine (unopposed)
East Providence School Committee-at-Large:
Joel Monteiro (unopposed)
Fiscal Advisor Paul Luba Gives Final Advice to EP Seeks to Help East Providence Maintain a Good Financial Footing
At the August 21, 2018 City Council meeting, James A. Briden, Mayor & At-Large Councilman asked the state-appointed fiscal overseer, Paul Luba, to "memorialize events of the last five years" as a guide going forward for the soon to be new city council. "I've asked Paul Luba to put together a document to help prepare a new council on what lies ahead for East Providence," Briden told his colleagues. "In our most recent Audit Report for the Fiscal Year ending October 31, 2016, we were told that our City has implemented “Best Practices” in essentially all areas of Financial Management. These categories include a fully funded pension ARC, fully funded OPEB ARC, a fund balance policy, capital fund policy and a conservative budgeting and collection policy," said Briden. "We have a good financial situation now and we need to keep focus," added Briden. "Standard & Poor’s has upgraded the city’s Bond Rating to A. What will empower us as a city in the future is maintaining our financial strength. This will require that we continue to make careful decisions within the framework of continuously refined multi-year financial and capital budget plans," said Briden.
"A perfect storm of conditions took down East Providence but you bounced back," Luba told the council. Financial Advisor Paul Luba is the lone holdover from the state appointed budget commission, which was appointed by former Governor Lincoln Chafee in 2011. Chafee and state Department of Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly appointed an East Providence Budget Commission charged with fixing East Providence's budget mess. The city's bond rating was downgraded to three notches below an investment grade. Now that the city has recovered, Luba had several suggestions to help maintain this status.
'TANS' or tax anticipation notes are a key to East Providence's financial health. TANS are loans issued to help finance current operations before tax revenues are received. When the city collects the taxes, the proceeds are then used to retire the debt. "Because you (city of East Providence) haven't synchronized the budget year, you need TANS. You need lenders to give you cash because you run out of money every June through May. The system works but you need the ability to get TANS. You need good bond ratings," said Luba. Luba then outlined several recommendations to help the city prevent a TANS crisis:
- "Know what to expect. This means that before each budget is passed, ask to see an updated five year forecast from the City and the School. No one likes forecasting and to be honest anything beyond 1 – 2 years isn’t very accurate but it gives you some idea what to expect going forward. Just talking about potential future problems is a good thing. It cushions blows and sometimes allows for more creative solutions. You've got to try to do this."
- "Keep in touch with the school department. Ask questions regularly, how are they (schools) doing, are they over or under budget. Schools are the biggest department and therefore the biggest part of your city budget."
- "The state aid to education formula must change. It is a big concern that the state is freezing aid to education. This must change, especially to help urban schools."
- "Care about where the School Department is going, and how they are doing. Intervene immediately if a problem is identified. If I had to identify the biggest weakness that I have found with City government, it is that the School Department usually does not receive much attention from the City until a financial problem arises, and then it takes an inordinately long period of time before any resolution is arrived at. Unresolved School Department deficits brought the Budget Commission to Woonsocket and East Providence."
- "Expect to do the fiscally necessary things. Work to expand the tax base as much as you can but realize that tax expansion will likely fall behind the rate of expenditure growth such as healthcare costs, pension expenses and wages. It is a balancing act but you cannot depend on new revenues to make things balance. New businesses usually carry tax stabilizations, and the full benefit of them coming into your City will not happen for years after they arrive (though you will get permit fee money). It may mean tax increases. In the last 5 years you have had very minimal tax increases. You must cut expenses or raise taxes. You cannot budget deficits. When times are good, the loans are there."
- "Keep reserves. Maintain the 12% combined restricted and unrestricted reserve balances in both good times and bad. This shows fiscal restraint to lenders, and actually lowers the amount of TANs you will need to borrow. If you use a reserve, plan to replenish it, even if it means raising taxes."
- "Fund your pension ARC (annual required contribution)."
- " Don’t let fiscal problems linger. Do what you have to do quickly. Things only get worse.
- "Adequately provide for capital. Older equipment does not age well. It won't get better, just older."
- "Expect the unexpected. Things happen you can't control. Pawtucket just lost a few million of future tax revenue, and Woonsocket lost a $1.6 million taxpayer hospital that went non-profit. Accounting errors occur, pension miscalculations happen. In the Warwick situation I believe they should have known a while ago that a significant budget shortfall was going to occur with their school budget (Warwick is running a significant school deficit)."
In conclusion, Luba told the council to "remember the perfect storm that took down East Providence. It can happen again. You will need to keep yourself sheltered by practicing sound fiscal policies," Luba added.
The appointment of a state budget commission in 2011 was not without controversy. Some in the city have always maintained that there was behind the scenes machinations by State House operatives with East Providence ties. "We were not in the same predicament as Woonsocket or Central Falls," said former City Manager Paul Lemont. The late City Manager did not approve of a state budget commission running the City. Former school officials maintained that underfunding required programs was a major cause of school deficit spending.
In a March, 2017 interview with the Reporter, Paul Luba said that the "city's problem had been building up since around 2000. "While the city was running a surplus, the school department was carrying an accumulated deficit of some $7.6 million," he recalled. At one point an unpaid bill for special education services payable to Bradley Hospital had reached $6 million. "Basically bills couldn't get paid and as the city's bond rating plummeted, there was no cash or ability to secure TANs," Luba said at that time.
Luba also remarked on the frequency of City Manager changes in the city. "This probably didn't help things. I think former Manager Bill Fazioli was right in predicting that continued deficit spending in the school department is bad. Bill did a good job," offered Luba.
Paul Luba's appointment as Finance Adviser to East Providence was set to end last September. He is also advising the City of Woonsocket. Luba's salary and benefit package for both jobs is at $120,000. The state contributes $60,000 and East Providence's share is $30,000. Luba has been part of every budget meeting the city has had over the past five years.
EP Police Reports
Several weeks ago the East Providence Police received phone calls from concerned citizens regarding suspected drug activity in the vicinity of Kent Farm Village. This resulted in members of the East Providence Police Vice Unit conducting an investigation into an individual engaged in the sale and delivery of heroin and fentanyl in East Providence. An undercover police officer was able to make several purchases of heroin and fentanyl from the suspect of the investigation. Earlier this month, the suspect, Johnny, age 23, of Peace St. in Providence, was arrested. During his arrest he was found to be in possession of approximately 9 grams of suspected heroin/fentanyl. Taveras was charged with the following:
1. DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE (3 COUNTS)
2. POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
"We thank those concerned community members, as this arrest could not have happened without their calls," said a police department press release.
"On 9/11/18, Officer Chris Cooney conducted a motor vehicle stop on Roger Williams Ave. due to traffic violations and the registered owner having an active warrant for their arrest. During the course of the stop, a struggle with the operator ensued as Officer Cooney and Officer DeMedeiros attempted to arrest him for the warrant. The officers were eventually able to take him into custody. A search of his person incident to arrest found him to be in possession of approximately 1 ounce of suspected heroin and just under $2,800. Also located was a digital scale and plastic sandwich baggies." - EP Police Statement.
In addition to the South Kingstown Police warrant for possession with intent to deliver narcotics, Roberto Prensa, age 36, of Gallatin Street in Providence was charged with:
1. POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DELIVER HEROIN
2. RESISTING ARREST
3. DRIVING IN POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
Riverside, EP "Icon" Michael Damiani Dies:
Former East Providence Police Sergeant Michael Damiani passed away in September. His obituary read, in part, that "Mr. Damiani was a Sergeant for the East Providence Police Department for 17 years before retiring in 1996. He was a cop’s cop and loved every second of being on the job. He was a great mentor to many and stayed involved with EPPD long after his health issues pushed him into retirement. Mike truly bled blue."
"Senator Damiani was a colorful and effective member of the Rhode Island State Senate for ten years serving from 1996 until his retirement in 2006. He served the Senate as the Deputy Majority Leader. As a Rhode Island State Senator he was instrumental in establishing the State’s registry of sex offenders, Lyme Disease health insurance coverage, and the mandatory defibrillators for all Rhode Island College buildings and police cars."
"Mike was a firearms instructor, sniper on the SWAT Team, and an arson investigator. He was also a Range Master at the Massasoit Gun Club. He was an accomplished stick, TIG, and MIG welder and enjoyed boating, fishing, and hunting. Mike’s accomplishments and interests earned him many accolades, yet he always considered the closeness and connection of his nuclear family to be his greatest achievement."
A "Riverside Icon," the Damiani services and funeral were among the city's largest ever. Besides his wife Sharlene of 40 years, he is survived by his children, Michael J. Damiani Jr and his wife Isabel of Attleboro, MA, Jennifer L. Damiani of Riverside, and Christine M. Damiani of East Providence; four grandchildren, Evelyn, Jocelyn, Lucas, and Joseph Damiani; a brother, Steven R, Damiani and his wife Linda of Barrington; a sister in-law, Elaine Damiani of Naples, FL and several nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Dr. Louis M. Damiani.
East Providence Police Invite Women to R.A.D. Training
The East Providence Police Department is inviting local women to attend a Basic Physical Defense Course. R.A.D. is a contemporary basic self-defense course for WOMEN ONLY. Rape Aggression Defense Systems, Inc. and East Providence Police Officers trained in this program provide attendees with information, tactics, and considerations, which we believe may be useful to various types of abductive encounters perpetrated against women. Even though your husbands, domestic and intimate partners want to protect you from harm and keep you safe, they are not able to be there every hour of every day. The fact is, there is one person who will definitely be there in your time of need....that is YOU! YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST DEFENSE!
It is important for participants to make a commitment to attend all 6 classes to complete the course. The classes are held twice a week for three hours each. they are physically interactive at the pace of each individual participant.
Anyone under the age of 18 years old must have a parent of guardian's permission to participate.
Any applicants under the age of 16 will be individually reviewed for participation in this program due to content.
The R.A.D. Women Basic Physical Defense Course is a series of six, 3 hour classes, given twice a week for three weeks. Our R.A.D. Program will begin Tuesday, October 10, 2017. Any questions, please contact one of our R.A.D. Instructors:
Lt. Maari Stainer 401-435-7600 ext.20181
School Resource Officer Tammy David 401-433-6230
Detective Matthew McNulty 401-435-7600 ext.20031
Fall 2018 R.A.D. Class Schedule (Classes held at the EP Senior Center)
Tuesday10/09/2018 6-9pmThursday 10/11/2018 6-9pm
Tuesday10/16/2018 6-9pmThursday 10/18/2018 6-9pm
Tuesday 10/23/2018 6-9pmThursday 10/25/2018 6-9pm
Pre-Registration is required online at www.eastprovidenceri.net/RAD or at the East Providence Police Station, 750 Waterman Ave. A onetime $20 fee is due on the first day of classes. Space is limited! Grab a family member or a friend and attend.
East Providence Fire Department Lauded:
During this past summer, the East Providence Fire Department has received the American Heart Association’s Mission:Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. "Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) the deadliest type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment," said a release from Captain John H. Potvin. "To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication," added the department press release.
Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency medical services for their efforts in improving systems of care to rapidly identify suspected heart attack patients, promptly notify the medical center and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel. “The East Providence Fire Department is dedicated to providing optimal care for heart attack patients,” said Captain John Potvin, Director of Emergency Medical Services. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care efforts through Mission:Lifeline.”
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can save precious minutes of treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals to an incoming heart attack patient. We applaud the East Providence Fire Department for achieving this award in following evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”