April 24 Ward Letter

I hope you are enjoying this weekend’s happy confluence of Earth Day and Passover, the Jewish holiday of freedom.  This week’s letter discusses a the Presidential primary, a crime watch meeting, the upcoming budget presentation, parking meters and a road race.

Download a pdf copy.

On Tuesday, Rhode Island voters will vote in the Presidential primary.  The City has consolidated polling stations.  All Ward 2 residents will vote at Temple Beth El.  All Ward 3 residents will vote at Summit Commons.  Polls open at 7:00 a.m.

Tomorrow (Monday, April 25) at 6:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Complex at 325 Washington Street, the Mayor’s office will sponsor a meeting providing information and resources to establish neighborhood crime watches.  You can read about the meeting by clicking here.

Last week, the City began to present its defense in a Superior Court trial to decide a lawsuit brought by retirees who rejected the agreement did not accept the agreement embodying the reforms of 2012.  In justifying his decisions, former Mayor Taveras testified about his plan to close a $110 million structural deficit through a combination of savings and new revenues incorporated in a checklist he circulated at the time.  In a consultant’s report released two weeks ago, Mayor Elorza described a series of long-term financial challenges the City faces, and on Wednesday night (April 27) he will present his 2016-17 budget in which he proposes ways to address those challenges.   I believe former Mayor Taveras’s approach provides a useful example of how to address this type of problem.  First, he developed a master plan of new revenues and savings that called for contributions from all stakeholders.  Second, he led by example, including himself and his office among those contributing to a solution.  Third, he met personally with affected groups, simultaneously ensuring each group that they were not bearing a disproportionate burden, while also emphasizing the need for everyone to do their part.  On Monday, May 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Hope High School, I will hold a community meeting to discuss next year’s budget, and the administration has agreed to send a representative to the discussion.  More details will follow.

At last Thursday’s City Council meeting, the City Council unanimously co-sponsored and approved a Resolution I introduced to reduce the minimum charge for credit cards on parking meters from $2.50 to $1.00.  The measure will now go the the administration for consideration.

Next Saturday (April 30), there will be a road race on portions of Blackstone Boulevard, Cole Avenue and Lloyd Avenue beginning at 9:00.  You can view the affected area by consulting this Course Map.


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