Archive - News Article
May 29th, 2012
WOONSOCKET ‚ÄĒ With the city teetering at the edge of a fiscal cliff, State Revenue Director Rosemary Booth Gallogly appointed a budget commission yesterday to take control of its financial affairs.
The three non-elected members of the panel were identified as Dina Dutremble, Peder A. Schaefer and Bill Sequino Jr. by members of the governor‚Äôs staff. By statute, Mayor Leo T. Fontaine and City Council President John Ward are automatically on the panel.
CUMBERLAND ‚ÄĒ Saying the stakes could not be higher, Mayor Daniel J. McKee has called on the Town Council and the community to recommit to investing in public education, saying restoring Cumberland as a top ranked school district is about much more than budget dollars.
‚ÄúThis is not only an educational journey we're talking about here, it's also a political and economic journey and that's where the Town Council, mayor's office and community are going to have to get engaged,‚ÄĚ McKee told the council at last week's public hearing on his proposed $82.8 town operating budget for fiscal 2013.
Richard W. Schatz, president of the United Veterans Council of Woonsocket, left, and Thomas G. Paine, United Veterans Council chaplain, Veteran of the Year, Navy veteran and retired member of the R.I. Army National Guard, lay a wreath in memory of World War II veterans Alexandre, Henri and Louis Gagne, three brothers lost in the war, at the controversial Place Jolicoeur War Memorial at Station 2 in Woonsocket Monday. Another wreath was laid by members of the Woonsocket City Council and Mayor Leo Fontaine in memory of their mother, Bernadette Gagne, who lost her three sons in the war.
WOONSOCKET ‚ÄĒ In a rare Sunday session, the City Council voted 5-2 last night to ask the state bring in a budget commission to take over the city‚Äôs finances.
Pro-commission councilors blamed lawmakers for forcing their hand by failing to okay the city‚Äôs request for a 13 percent supplemental tax bill last week.
Woonsocket police officers, from left, Andrew Broccoli, Jeffrey Gagnon, Justin Mowry, Sean Rochette and Mitchell Voyer, are sworn-in as police officers during a ceremony at police headquarters Friday. The five new officers graduated from the Rhode Island Police Academy earlier in the day.
BURRILLVILLE ‚ÄĒ The town is getting ready to begin a revaluation of all properties within the community.
The state-mandated 2012 revaluation project kicks off within the next few weeks when inspectors from Certified Revaluation Company, Inc. (CRC) ‚ÄĒ which the Town Council has contracted with ‚ÄĒ fan out throughout the town with property record cards and aerial maps. The inspectors will visit every type of property, from residential to commercial to industrial.
WOONSOCKET ‚Äď The Woonsocket Teachers Guild has issued a statement criticizing State Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's handling of the supplemental tax increase issue.
The teachers union described Baldelli-Hunt's ‚Äúwaffling position‚ÄĚ on the tax increase as resulting in the measure being sent back to committee.
The statement issued by the Guild maintained that while ‚Äúthere has been much debate over whether this supplemental tax increase is the best solution for Woonsocket, right now the schools have no other current alternative to fund operations.‚ÄĚ
WOONSOCKET ‚Äď Citing continued erosion of the school department‚Äôs finances, Moody‚Äôs Investor Service downgraded the city‚Äôs bond rating from Ba2 to B2 Thursday, three notches deeper into junk territory.
Moody‚Äôs said the city remains on watch for further downgrades. Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings, which already pegs the city‚Äôs bond rating at a junk-level BB-, is scheduled to reevaluate the assessment next week and could follow Moody‚Äôs lead, said Finance Director Thomas M. Bruce III.
WOONSOCKET ‚Äď After an eleventh-hour parliamentary maneuver in the House killed his supplementary tax plan, Mayor Leo T. Fontaine said it‚Äôs inevitable that a state budget commission will take over the city‚Äôs finances, injecting more uncertainty than ever into the city‚Äôs financial picture.
WOONSOCKET ‚ÄĒ Three days after the Rhode Island Department of Health gave its blessing, state Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin Friday announced he has approved - with conditions - the proposed sale of financially-troubled Landmark Medical Center and Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island to Steward Health Care System, a for-profit Massachusetts hospital group.
Kilmartin's decision, which finally paves the way for the sale, came just days after State Health Director Michael Fine announced his decision to approve the deal, under which Landmark would become a for-profit hospital.