Council, schools poised for tense September meeting

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The stage is set for a memorable meeting of the Warwick City Council on Monday Sept. 17, as the Warwick School Department is scheduled to provide updated financial information to the council in their attempt to receive additional funding from the city to address cuts made to balance their FY19 budget.

The meeting, originally scheduled to be held last week during the Aug. 15 meeting, was pushed off for a month in order to allow two auditors currently assessing the school department’s programmatic and fiscal practices to conclude and prepare their written report for the council to review.

However, if the meeting held by the council last Wednesday was any indication, it is questionable if even more precise, objective financial information gathered by a third party will dissuade some council members from their lack of trust in the school department – as multiple members expressed outwardly during the general communications portion of the meeting.

“We need more voices out there against the school committee and the superintendent,” said Ward 6 Councilwoman Donna Travis. “The way they're running our school department is pathetic.”

At the center of the issue is a $6.6 million budgetary shortfall that the school department ran into as they prepared the budget for this school year. In order to balance that budget, the school committee reluctantly agreed to find $6.6 million in widespread cuts, which has most recently included 15 custodians, support staff and, drawing the most attention, the $102,000 needed to fund Mentor Rhode Island’s in-school mentor program.

The city has since offered to provide $1.75 million in additional funding (atop their original allocation of $1.5 million above the level-funded budget that former Mayor Scott Avedisian left in his wake), however the school department maintains that this only brings the shortfall down to approximately $4.85 million, as it merely takes care of a $1.75 million liability in principal and interest payments it agreed to pay on a 2006 school repair bond.

City Council President Steve Merolla spoke at length about his disappointment and frustrations regarding the situation – from how he disagrees with the perception that the city council is at fault for not properly funding the schools, to his distaste for comments recently made by Republican mayoral candidate Sue Stenhouse, to how the issue is awash with political undertones.

“It's important for the public to know that we can only raise taxes, for example this year, by a maximum of $5.8 million. And for next year we have a structural deficit of $3.8 million,” he said. “How the school committee can ask for an $8.1 million increase over their budget from the previous year when we only have the ability to tax $5.8 million is nonsensical. We don't have the ability to raise that much money.”

Merolla said it was the council’s responsibility to be fair and listen to the needs of all departments within the city, not just the schools. He took great issue with Stenhouse voicing publicly her belief that the council and Mayor Joseph Solomon should have given more to the schools.

“I find that almost comical that eight weeks ago, when we were discussing these very issues, that person did not show up for one of the four meetings before this city council,” Merolla said, adding that he also found it interesting how Stenhouse is close allies with Avedisian, who level funded the schools. “How can you say that we did something wrong and you want to be in charge of the city, but you're not here advocating one way or another for what you believe to be right or wrong.”

Merolla implored that everybody needed to adjust their expectations to be more realistic, calling for an end to the “shenanigans that go on in a political season.” He also took offense to what he felt was a perception from some unnamed members in the community that felt the city council didn’t care about supporting education in the city.

“All of you that live in the city of Warwick will have the opportunity to vote on a $45 million bond referendum to improve the Warwick schools. Forty-five million. Yet this council is accused by others of not caring about our students. It's infuriating,” he said. “This is a council that deeply cares about education and our students…My father was the former chairman of the Warwick School Committee for eight years. Education is at the root of my family.”

“I'm not here to cast blame,” he continued. “I'm here for everybody to recognize that we need to all do our fair share.”

Blame game

Other council members, however, did opt to cast blame on the school committee and school department.

“The incompetence is beyond belief to me. You can blame this city council all you please. I have done battle, I will continue to do battle,” said Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur. “Go into the Draper building and look at the offices and tell me why we don't have money for mentoring. We have offices the size of classrooms that 30 students used to be in. Then they have to go and buy furniture to fill the room so we don't have all this wasted space. Then we sit here and we have to listen to all this garbage that it's the city council's fault. It is not the city council's fault. It is irresponsible operations of a business.”

“For them to go and give the superintendent an extension to his contract when he still had a year and a half to go, that's not wasted money? There's a lot of wasted money out there,” said Councilwoman Travis. “They don't know how to spend any money. They all should resign because they are not capable of running the school department. They're not capable of taking care of our money and spending the money the way it should be spent – on our kids. And it's devastating.”

Ward 2 Councilman Jeremy Rix went so far as to say that the school department displayed “disingenuous” behavior by pushing off the meeting a month, which indicated that they weren’t really as concerned about addressing the cuts as they said they were.

“Disingenuous is the only word I can think to describe that kind of behavior, because if these terrible drastic cuts are the only solution, if we had these bottom line numbers, I just can't fathom why we wouldn't be receiving that presentation before the school year,” he said. “We're ready for that presentation. Where is it?”

Rix also said that the school department had demonstrated a “lawsuit mentality” even prior to budget hearings in June, as they posted an ad for an “attorney” before the first hearing even took place. For clarity, the schools actually placed an ad for a programmatic auditor to conduct an analysis of the schools’ programming; a preparatory step for a potential suit against the city, for sure, but it was not an ad to directly hire an attorney to sue Warwick, as depicted.

Both Ladouceur and Ward 3 Councilman Tim Howe said that they would support changing the Warwick City Charter. Although they did not specify what changes they would make, it can be safely assumed they were referring to how the funding for the school department in the city has to be allocated through the city council, which has resulted in back-and-forth finger pointing for many years as the council is not able to actually affect how the money is spent, and the school committee is at the mercy of the council to determine how much money they need and deserve to receive.

Public responds

Members of the public expressed their own frustrations during public comments.

“While I share your frustration with the ongoing bickering, shall we call it, between this council and the school committee, the bottom line is we have 160 underserved young people who have already been let down by the system,” said Mentor Rhode Island executive director Jo-Ann Schofield. “They have been let down by parents, perhaps; schools, perhaps; by the community. And we are going to allow that to happen again. I am angry. I am frustrated.”

Schofield said that other communities, such as Providence and Cranston, have taken measures to ensure that mentoring programs in those cities were funded – either through making it a line item in the city’s budget or by creating an account on hold to fund the program. She said that no matter how they do it, the city needs to find the money to help the kids in need.

“It's a volunteer program that takes money to run because we have amazing program coordinators that recruit, screen, train and match those mentors and then support those relationships, because those kids are going through some serious stuff,” she said. “This is a $300 million budget and we need $102,000 for 160 kids who need our help.”

Others were tired of the back-and-forth blaming and distrust displayed by some members of the council.

“I would just like to say how disappointed I am that half of you sat here for half an hour basically tearing down any potential that you can work together with this school department,” said Tracy McDermott, member of the WISE Union. “If everybody thinks this is some political game because this is an election year, think again. We need the money. I realize you're saying that you don't have it. I have heard that through 20 years of level funding.”

Superintendent Philip Thornton said on Monday that he was looking forward to the hearing and hopeful that the schools will be able to recoup some additional funding following a more detailed breakdown of the school’s efficiencies and needs.

Thornton also said in response to Ladouceur's comments about furniture at Gorton in a follow-up call on Tuesday that the administration had utilized recycled or reclaimed furniture to furnish the Gorton building, and that only a couple standing desks were purchased new and placed in the school.

Comments

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Justanidiot

ifs we only had a mayer who lookyied out for the tax prayers. someones like dat not only would urn our votes but would deserves it. a lonely city turns its ayes to ewe, woo woo woo

Tuesday, August 21
CrickeeRaven

After just two years of total control over the city budget, here are the results of the Democratic city council's decisions: A "structural deficit of $3.8 million," as stated by Council President Merolla, a state-capped maximum tax increase in FY19, and grandstanding political attacks.

This is the same council that put $4 million into the asphalt line item, only to take it back.

Now they're blaming the former mayor, criticizing the Republican candidate, and issuing calls to give this same city council more control over the school budget.

If their motive was to show that they can run Warwick differently from Avedisian, the city council is certainly succeeding -- just not in the way that they might intend.

Tuesday, August 21
richardcorrente

The School Committee (SC) received $163+ million for THIS years budget, more than HALF of all tax revenue.

The SC has already received OVER ONE-AND-A-HALF BILLION DOLLARS SINCE 2009!

They refuse to tell the City Council how they spent it. By Warwick City charter, they sadly, don't HAVE to.

It was "supposed" to be spent in part, on teachers salaries PAST AND FUTURE. It wasn't.

It was "supposed" to be spent in part, on building maintenance. It wasn't.

THEN they claimed they ran out of money BECAUSE of the teachers raises. That was a blatant and disgusting lie.

THEN they closed schools and laid off teachers but said that didn't save money for the budget. Another lie.

THEN they promised the teachers their back pay by Dec. 20th. (4 days before Christmas) It didn't show up.

THEN they asked for a bond issue in the next election for an ADDITIONAL $40 million. They won't get it.

THEN I suggested a "Clerk-of-the-Works" to monitor the taxpayers $40 million bond. The SC wouldn't even consider it.

THEN I suggested and INDEPENDANT audit from a source NOT picked by the SC. The SC wouldn't even talk about it.

THEN they tried to con the City Council out of $5+- million MORE.

AND, AND, AND they wonder why taxpayers, teachers and students want the SC tarred and feathered.

NOW they are trying to con the City Council into giving them more money under the threat of a lawsuit. It won't work.

I have openly accused the SC of blackmail and extortion. I can't describe what I have seen in any other way.

Warwick NEEDS a Home Rule Charter! The actions of the SC prove it!

With it, we will have a balance of power between the SC and the City Council. Without it, we can expect more of the above from a School Committee that is expanding their own selfish interests while continuing to ignore the interests of our taxpayers, our teachers and especially our students. I will remain committed to this cause. Warwick NEEDS a Home Rule Charter!

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, August 21
richardcorrente

Dear CrickeeRaven,

If the School Committee factually receives more than HALF of the total budget, with absolutely NO ACCOUNTABILITY, how is the City Council to blame? It's not possible.

By the way, you never answered MY question. How many votes do you predict I will receive in the Democratic Primary?

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, August 21
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

Wow. You combined a sincere complement, with the message on my signs, with a Simon and Garfunkel reference.

Justanidiot, you are anything but.

Happy August old friend.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, August 21
Thecaptain

Richard,

Every person who gets on the ballot in Warwick is assured of 30% of the vote. That 30 % is from the people who haven't got a clue. By the way, in the last election, Jim Ferola who ran against Travis got 38% off the vote. He never put up one single sign, never engaged in any conversation, never had a second of press. Think about it.

Tuesday, August 21
Scal1024

With $24 left in his campaign account, after 4 years of running its clear Rick Corrente sees the writing on the wall, he will lose the Democratic Primary on Sept 12th. Likely, very convincingly. His erratic comments are coming in at lightning speed now as he realizes what most of us knew months ago...for him, its over!

Imagine accusing the School Committee of blackmail? It doesn't get anymore reckless than that. I disagree with the school committee plenty. I do not however, accuse them of crimes just because I have a political/philosophical difference of opinion. That is not leadership and that type of pandering, specifically to one side is beneath the office of Mayor. Not only that, shame on this City Council who are "shocked, just shocked" at the behavior of the School Committee. Give me a break! If the City Council wants the school committee to be responsible with the money of taxpayers, perhaps the Council should take their own advice as well. Litigating the issue in the newspaper doesn't serve students, it doesn't serve taxpayers and it doesn't serve honest teachers in the system who have been victims of poor leadership. Its about time our public servants, and even unelected know nothings like Rick Corrente tone down the rhetoric. It is serving nothing but their own political agenda and it is disgusting and should stop immediately. The Council are the last folks on Earth who should be "Throwing Stones".

Tuesday, August 21
Justanidiot

master paying for tricks mayer. youse has signs out. are dey leo or pices or cancer. is you running for some orafice

Tuesday, August 21
CrickeeRaven

"They refuse to tell the City Council how they spent it. By Warwick City charter, they sadly, don't HAVE to."

This is a lie, and it remains a lie, no matter how many times the make-believe mayor repeats it.

Here is a repeat of the true facts:

The school committee is required to explain its budget to the city council -- which it did during the council's budget deliberations this spring.

The school committee is also required to have an independent audit and publish those findings every year -- which it does, with the audits and budget documents posted online.

Anything the make-believe mayor says about the recent teacher contract is another attempt to pander to the WTU [which contributed to Mayor Solomon's campaign] by a selective reading of events that ignores the work-to-rule, illegal sick-outs, and pickets that resulted in no better of a contract than they would have gotten in the first place.

Warwick already has a legislative charter, which is identical to a home rule charter in everything but name. The city council clearly understands that better than the make-believe mayor, because they are suggesting that the current charter should be changed to give them line-item control over the school budget. A new charter is not needed to make this change.

[It is also debatable whether they would actually get this change made, since such a revision would most likely require a referendum vote; given this council's recent budget decisions, voters may not want to give them even more control.]

"How many votes do you predict I will receive in the Democratic Primary?"

The make-believe mayor never posed this question to me, but the answer is that more honest, taxpaying voters will reject his candidacy on Sept. 12 than support it. The inevitability of his loss will not be affected by its degree; he will finish this primary with the distinction of being the first candidate in a generation to lose to two different mayors.

Tuesday, August 21
Scal1024

"How many votes will I receive?"

Less than the winner...

Tuesday, August 21
Justanidiot

Sorry Scal1024, if Mister Mayer gets zero votes (a possible outcome because he will forget to vote) he will still carry on as the Official Taxpayers Mayor.

In his mind anyway.

Wednesday, August 22
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

Thank you for recognizing my right to have any screen name that I choose. Others apparently feel that they are entitled to hide behind one but I'm not, even though I identify myself right along with my self-given screen name, something those anonymous cowards don't have the courage to do.

Happy August old friend.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 22
richardcorrente

Dear Scal1024,

That was the most cowardly answer you have ever given.

What are you afraid of? You can't be held accountable. You don't even have a real name. You torture me with questions. You repeat lies about me even though I've offered proof to the contrary and now I ask "How many votes do you predict I will get" and you can't even give a straight answer?

And you want the readers to take YOU seriously?

C'mon Scal. Give the readers a number.

Happy Summer to everyone, while we all wait Scal's response.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 22
richardcorrente

Dear CrickeeRaven,

You have tortured me as much a Scal1024 with questions and comments brought up for the sole purpose of causing harm, and when I ask you a simple question like "How many votes do you predict I will get? you run and hide. What are you and Scal afraid of? Being held accountable? You don't even have a REAL NAME, and yours is a combination of a cricket and a raven. Couldn't you think of ANY name better than that one? I can suggest a few if you'd like.

CrickeeRaven,

How many votes do you predict I will receive? The answer needs to be a number, not a paragraph.

We're all waiting. Give us your best guess.

Happy August to everyone while we all wait CrickeeRavens' response.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 22
Scal1024

Justanidiot, you are absolutley right...just wishful thinking on my part. As for the Make Believe Mayors last comment I literally have no idea what he's talking about. Not only is his campaign unraveling, but the behavior and comments from the Tax Delinquents Mayor have been more and more erratic each passing day. With less than a month until the primary is Rick Corrente holding a fundraiser? Is he walking the streets going door to door? Nope. He's on the Beacons website declaring himself courageous to Justanidiot for using his own name as a screen name...wow, how humble!

Is it courageous to FAIL in your obligations as a taxpayer, Rick? Is it courageous to then lie about your past tax delinquency? Is it courageous to hide MULTIPLE foreclosures from voters, while running a campaign for Mayor based on your "business acumen"? Was it courageous to loan your campaign $40,000 in 2016 while you consistently couldn't pay your own car taxes on time? Was it courageous to accuse Mayor Avedisian of heinous things only to shrivel up in front of him at your debate? Was it courageous for you to call Joe Solomon "a class act" just 1 year ago, only to try and smear his name with gutter campaign tactics and accusations? You can say what you want about Joe Solomon, no one has ever accused him of any type of shady behavior...except of course for Rick Corrente. Not only does Rick Correntes horrible record disqualify him from being a serious candidate for Mayor, the way he lies to voters everyday on a public forum is shameful. I look forward to joining THOUSANDS of Warwick voters who will say no thank you to this disgrace of a campaign on Sept 12th.

Wednesday, August 22
Scal1024

"Tortured with questions and comments"- Rick Corrente

Oh the humanity. I'm sorry that you thought you'd run for mayor for 4 years and never get asked any tough questions. If you didn't want to be asked any tough questions, or have your record examined perhaps you shouldn't have run for PUBLIC OFFICE. "Tortured"? Exposing your terrible record of tax delinquency and litigagion losses is torturing a candidate for Mayor? Do you not believe a public servant should be able to pay their taxes on time?

Next, I've noticed Rick is very selective in who he criticizes for screen name use. When he first declared for office I congratulated him on here for putting his name out there. "Cut taxes, cut spending" sounds good, right? Then something started happening over the next few months. I would ask Rick a question, and I'd get an evasive answer with nothing but spin. I grew frustrated of that. You are a candidate for Mayor, not for 4th grade student council. So I began asking more specific, direct questions of Rick, hoping to see if there was any substance behind this "cut taxes, cut spending" plan. Rick grew frustrated with me and began calling me an Avedisian henchman. Really? For asking specifically how you would cut taxes? Weird.

Soon after Rob Cote (Captain) and Crickee (don't remember who was first, credit to both) had come across some pretty serious information. Rick Corrente had a history of late payments on his car taxes, he had a home foreclosed on and at one time owed over $13,000 in property taxes ('15-'16) that were paid by a 3rd party. I had to look into this myself, so I did. I found Captain and Crickees info online, and they were correct. I still had so many questions about the "Corrente plan" but figured I needed to hear Rick out on his delinquent taxes. So just like Captain and Crickee, I asked about the delinquent tax payments. Instead of coming clean with voters and telling the truth, Rick Corrente began calling each one of us a liar. This is not the behavior of a serious candidate. During that time Rick loaned his campaign $40,000 while still paying taxes late. When Rick Corrente uses words like "courage" and "totured" it is to distract from his mediocre record of unpaid bills and delinquent taxes. He may hope the rest of Warwick isn't paying attention, but while he's posting here free of charge...he WILL be held ACCOUNTABLE.

Wednesday, August 22
CrickeeRaven

Scal, I really do think we are witnessing, in real-time, the complete unraveling of a campaign.

"You have tortured me... for the sole purpose of causing harm."

I know you've tried to explain to the make-believe mayor that he is a candidate for office, and through his repeated and willing use of this website for free political advertising, has opened himself to replies and criticism for his statements.

As you rightly point out, he could have been conducting himself as a legitimate candidate but instead shrunk his entire campaign to the comment pages of the Beacon and continued to believe that he doesn't deserve the scrutiny that came with it.

I would say his complaint about being held accountable for his actions and words as a candidate is a new low for him, but then we know he will soon provide an even worse example.

As for "causing harm," I don't take credit for anything except presenting the factual information about his tax delinquencies, false statements, and ethically questionable campaign finance activities.

If honest, taxpaying voters have seen that information and reject his candidacy for a second time in 2018 based on it, then the city has actually been spared the harm of having the make-believe mayor in office.

As for his demand that I put a number on how few votes he will get on Sept. 12, I can't think of a more pathetic way for a candidate to try and make some kind of point.

For you and me, as observers of this election, it's an interesting exercise to think about how this primary will end. But the make-believe mayor seems to be using it to question my credibility [or something], as if it would nullify three years of presenting factual, verifiable, and public information about him.

[He's also wrong that I haven't answered the question, since there's another article where you and I discussed this very topic. I will not enable his laziness by linking to it here.]

So I think your statement explains how he concludes that he has any support from the readers of this website, just as it's a mystery how he thinks he represents anyone, never mind 80,000 people or even the 14,000 people who voted for him in 2014 -- we are watching a soon-to-fail candidate realize how badly he is about to lose and behave even more erratically as a candidate as his campaign collapses.

I'm sure we can expect that, after reading this comment, the make-believe mayor will again willingly humiliate himself by claiming he has somehow "won" an argument.

As usual, he's wrong.

Wednesday, August 22
Justanidiot

sorrys mastered mayer, eyes hopes eye didn't asks youse any tough questions. eyes knows dat 2+2=5 and youse can divide a bottomless tax bucket millions of ways to keep programs intact and cut taxes and cuts spending. some commentors hear are so dense that they don't grasp the quantum politics dat youse and your cats Schrödinger hab puts fourth. youse deserves our vote just likes a kindygartener needs his eyes dun gud button.

Wednesday, August 22
Cat2222

I am not running for office nor am I a public figure. I like it that way because I have no interest in throwing my hat into the ring. Therefore, I am entitled to any screen name I so chose. You, however, are running for office so it would be counterproductive for you to have a screen name. You have met me in person. I wanted to be able to speak to you without any bias and make my own decisions.

Don't get things twisted RC. It has nothing to do with being a coward and everything to do with privacy. You know, as a private citizen I have the right to remain private. I also have a right to my opinion and the right to comment on things that I perceive to be wrong. You haven't been tortured. You have been put on the spot to be accountable for your past actions. Actions that most certainly matter since you are trying to get elected to run the city. I will never believe that you were not delinquent on your car taxes. Public record calls you a liar. You have't fixed the record, therefore, the public record stands as proof of the facts.

RC, you are the embodiment of everything I dislike in a politician.

Wednesday, August 22
richardcorrente

Dear Scal1024,

I asked you a simple question. I asked "How many votes do you predict I will get? You answered "I literally have no idea what he's talking about."

Have a nice day Scal.

Rick

Wednesday, August 22
Justanidiot

mister mayer has neber herd of the founding fathers and Publius i guess

Wednesday, August 22
Scal1024

Rick, I asked you 2 years ago which line item in the budget would be used to pay for your "buy a house, get a check" program? I also asked where the money would come from for your "voluntary pension buyout"? I am still waiting on my answers. How does it feel to have your questions ignored?

Next, out of my entire comment your only take away was that I didn't guess how many votes you will get? Is this now the most important issue of your campaign? It would seem that way as there's roughly 3 weeks until the primary and you've asked that same question on this website 4 times in 2 days. Desperate, pathetic, dishonest, laughable. These are just a few of the words to describe the failing Corrente campaign. Especially these last 2 weeks. To be fair, I'm not sure how many fundraisers Rick will be having with a misrable $24 left in his campaign account. Sept 12th can't come soon enough. I'm sure Correntes excuse book is already 100 pages long.

Wednesday, August 22
CrickeeRaven

Cat and Scal, we again see that the make-believe mayor can not and will not restrain himself from more disgraceful behavior as a candidate.

He has essentially demanded attention through his use of this website for free political advertising and consistently complained when he actually got it in completely the opposite way that he apparently expected.

That is, as Cat rightly notes, one characteristic of an unlikable candidate.

There are many others that the make-believe mayor has willingly and repeatedly shown, but that one stands out.

Wednesday, August 22
Cat2222

Why in the world would you ask Scal1024 a question that NO ONE HAS THE ANSWER TO YET and chastise him for not replying? Why would you want him to predict a number in the first place? What does his answer prove? Of all the important issues that have been discusses, facts that have been provided and numbers that have been debated, you call him out for not predicting votes?

RC, please stop commenting because with each new one you are appearing to become more unbalanced. It is in your best interest to go radio silent here and focus on the remaining days of your campaign. This is not helping you.

Wednesday, August 22
richardcorrente

Dear Cat2222,

Thank you for what seems like sincere advice. The reason I respond to Scal1024, is if I didn't dispute his information some trusting people, like you, might just believe the misinformation he is repeating. Check with the tax collector. Check with the registry of motor vehicles. Check with Butler and messier Insurance. Come to my office and I will show you my credit report, sales agreements, deeds and other documents that prove his accusations to be false. I couldn't hold a mortgage banking license if I was guilty of ANY of the charges that he an Rob Cote keep repeating. He has even convinced you that I am "the embodiment of everything you dislike in a politician". You choose to believe him rather than check the facts independently. That, Cat2222, is the reason.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 22
Scal1024

Rick, I am actually happy that you thanked Cat for his/her advice. If you actually read Cat's comments you would have read the following:

(Quoting Cat2222) "I will never believe you were not delinquent on your car taxes. Public record calls you a liar. You haven't fixed the record, therefore, the public record stands as proof of the facts".

This was brought to your attention years ago, Rick. As a candidate for Mayor, if this really was some sort of "mistake" wouldn't you have immediately demanded the record be corrected? Why is it your car taxes from '09 to '12 were late? '13-'15 your car disappears from the tax rolls NOT EVEN A RECORD OF PAYMENT and reappears when you become a candidate. The level of word games and spin is astonishing. You are a liar Rick! The only coward is the man presented with facts, that still can't admit when he's wrong.

Wednesday, August 22
CrickeeRaven

Just as predicted, Scal and Cat, the make-believe mayor humiliates himself again and provided yet another chance to prove him completely wrong.

"You choose to believe him rather than check the facts independently."

And by "check the facts independently," he means "take his word for it."

But for the sake of once again exposing the make-believe mayor for the defective candidate he is, let's review the facts as they are presented by truly independent sources [meaning not him].

1. Property tax records

Here is the link to the city's tax collection website, showing the verified public information recorded by the city: https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/RealEstate/Default.aspx?mode=new

By entering 177 Grand View, the reader sees three different parties [none of which are the make-believe mayor] recorded as paying taxes on that property dating back to 2015.

The same tax collector that he demands you "check with" posts public information online -- which shows that he, indeed, did not pay the taxes on his former residence.

2. Car registration/taxes

Here is the link to the city's car tax website: https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/MotorVehicle/Default.aspx

By entering "BANKRS" in the License Plate field, the reader sees that, indeed, the registration was not active from 2013 through 2015 before being reinstated in 2016.

By clicking on "view bill" for each year, the reader can then see that, for example, the make-believe mayor paid $28.72 in interest charged because he paid car taxes on March 3, 2013 -- after three of four quarterly payments were due.

The same registry of motor vehicles that he demands you "check with" uses information posted publicly by the city tax collector -- and that information proves that he did not pay taxes on that registration for three years.

3. Mortgage originator license requirements

Here are the for holding such a license criteria from the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS): https://bit.ly/2BKh89k

On credit reports, the NMLS states, "There is no automated standard or minimum credit score that will be enforced inside NMLS."

https://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/profreq/credit/Pages/default.aspx

So, even if delinquent taxes and late car tax payments were included on a credit report, the national organization does not set a minimum credit score to qualify for a mortgage originator license -- meaning the make-believe mayor could, conceivably, lose a property to foreclosure and still hold a license.

I am sure you will agree that this is what "checking the facts independently" means.

It does not mean taking the word of a failed candidate or accepting his illogical arguments that easily accessible and verifiable information is wrong.

It means finding the information from legitimately independent sources, like government agencies, and drawing the logical and obvious conclusions from that information.

In this case, it means he did not pay taxes on his former residence, he did not pay car taxes on his BANKRS registration for three years, and he did not face the potential of losing his mortgage originator license because of those proven facts.

The make-believe mayor is still trying to arguing that he is somehow more credible than objective, verified, accessible public information.

I am sure you would agree that the public records are clearly far more credible.

Wednesday, August 22
JohnStark

This would all be laughable if it weren't so pathetic. A school committee and unions that cry poor mouth over a budget that spends $19,000 per student in a failing system. People are "outraged" and "infuriated" by perceived funding 'shortfalls', yet nary a word is spoken when it is revealed that only 12.7% of Pilgrim students are competent in Math, by far the lowest of any surrounding community. The answer, always: More, More, More money!. Financial inputs are closely scrutinized while measurable outcomes are glossed over or ignored completely by a school committee that abdicated responsibility years ago, and a school administration that lacks any semblance of accountability. All while over 100 'dedicated professionals' call in sick every Friday during the school year. Then we trot in the requisite non-profit director whose job, coincidentally, depends upon Warwick taxpayers, and enlightens us that "This is a $300 million budget..." while the budget is $165 million. But what's $135+million when somebody else is paying the bill...? Does anyone think that if the budget doubled to $330 million these kids who are "...going through some serious stuff" would magically be cured? Does anyone really believe that if we paid each teacher an additional $25,000 that kids would learn more? How does a town like West Warwick, with a significantly higher poverty rate than Warwick and a per-pupil expenditure that is 16% LESS than Warwick, significantly out-perform Warwick students in both language arts AND math?! Hell, Cranston East, where nearly half the students live in poverty and where they spend 20% less than Warwick has higher math scores than Pilgrim! And it's not close. The bottom line is this: Warwick continues to spend more and more money on fewer and fewer students in a completely directionless system that many informed parents have abandoned. A disproportionate number of those students are pudgy, disheveled, and unfocused because their parents allow them to be pudgy, disheveled, and unfocused. And millions more will not change that one iota.

Wednesday, August 22
Scal1024

I would just like to note the lack of comment from "The Tax Delinquents Mayor". Rick Corrente wants to talk about having no courage? It is gutless to tell readers to verify facts independently, then whenever he (Corrente) is confronted with those facts he runs and hides under another article.

Great job by CrickeeRaven for his step by step breakdown of the information as well as the sources he gets his/her information from. In almost 4 years Rick Corrente has never cited any sources or factual data of any kind. Its always "ask my lender", "call the dmv", "I talked to a lady at Citizens Bank". With each passing comment the "Make Believe Mayor" proves what many have been saying here for almost 4 years, he is completely unfit to hold public office. I look forward to joining thousands in rejecting his candidacy AGAIN!!!

Wednesday, August 22
PhillipDrummond

Informed parents are making changes. Have talked to a few friends who have finally seen the light and taken their kids out of Warwick this year. Whether it's private school, charter schools, home school or a different district, parents are starting to get fed up with an administration and teachers who don't care at all about the safety and welfare of our children. My kids left Warwick and their grades have gone up because they are in a safe environment with teachers who care about their learning and root for them to succeed. It's a shame because I live in Warwick and pay taxes in Warwick but I don't trust them to keep my kids safe while in school and do the job they are paid to do and that's to teach them.

Mr. Corrente I wanted to believe in you. This city needs help and in my opinion Solomon is the problem not the solution so I was hoping that you would at least give him a good race but you haven't. You seem resigned to trying to defend yourself on this board instead of getting out there and talking to the people and trying to rally their support. You have conceded defeat and aren't even trying. I think a winning message is the fact that Solomon has been on the council and has been nothing but a rubber stamp for Avedisian and helped to get us in this mess but I guess that's a message left for Stenhouse who will beat him over the head with it and make this election close. I've always felt that the people on this board are people you have met and are people who would never call you names and ridicule you to your face. They are keyboard warriors who feel safe doing it here. My advise to you would be to stay off this board. It's counter productive to what you want to accomplish. and in all honesty if you're on here going back and forth with anonymous people you have too much time on your hands and that's why you have no money to run your campaign

Thursday, August 23
Cat2222

RC, I know how to think independently and do research. I know how to go to the city website and research tax records. I also know how to go to Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal and search for cases by name. I believe it is you that doesn't realize how easy it is to search public records and find information or else you would have easily seen the records that everyone keeps posting for yourself. Did you even attempt to follow the links provided? Why would I need to see your personal finance records? They prove nothing. The public record still stands and until you fix it, it will continue to follow you around. Just saying it isn't true doesn't erase what is in your public record.

By the way, what century do you think it is? Why would I need other men to tell me how to think? Do you think that because I am a young woman I don't know how to be a critical thinker?

"He has even convinced you that I am "the embodiment of everything you dislike in a politician". You choose to believe him rather than check the facts independently."

Who are you to assume I don't know how to navigate a website (that any elementary school child could) and find facts on my own? Would you be happy if I didn't have the ability to vote as well considering you think I need someone to tell me what to think or believe? I must be so frail and feeble minded that I can't even form a single though of my own without the help of a man! I am just a simple young lady who cannot possibly fathom the complexity of the political arena and therefore, I must be put in my place.

You, and only you, are the one that convinced me that I dislike everything about you. I have been reading the Beacon for a number of months now so I have seen your comments. I have read about your issues with false facts and numbers from numerous sources in the media.I have seen many commenters walk you back on statements you have made and your failure to provide proof. You are not endorsed by anyone. You have taken credit for things happening in the city when you have no position or elected role in the administration to make any changes. Finally, I met you in person. I don't need anyone else to influence my decision because I don't make decisions based on someones opinion.

You know what happens when you assume RC? Too late, it already happened.

Thursday, August 23
WwkVoter

I have never met Corrente, nor would I ever wish to. I am an ordinary commenter here on my local newspaper site and due to social media ills of things taken out of context later such as jokes made to look like a serious statement etc, I'd rather not throw my name around. As to insulting Corrente in person, I'd rather not even meet him, and it is sufficient for me personally to question his lies and tax delinquencies and bizarre cash giveaway ideas that could never work, etc right here.

Thursday, August 23
CrickeeRaven

Cat, whatever the make-believe mayor says, I consider you an intelligent person who can think for yourself, and I appreciate your viewpoint as such.

The fact that he takes issue with you agreeing with other commenters -- who, like you, have done actual research and presented true information about about him -- is a defect in his behavior as a candidate, not yours.

And WwkVoter, let's not disregard the fact, as others have stated, that the make-believe mayor decided on his own to use this website for free political advertising, and then try to impose rules for its use [i.e., taking issue with the use of screen names].

We all have our own reasons for using pseudonyms, and honestly, it's been somewhat entertaining to see how much it bothers him. That entertainment value, though, has been reduced by his repeated claims that the use of screen names somehow makes the facts less true.

He's wrong. It doesn't change the public records. It doesn't change the logical conclusions that one can draw from those records. And it certainly doesn't mean that he's more credible than those records.

Like you, I have not met the make-believe mayor in person -- and I don't want to. He has willingly, consciously, and repeatedly shown his true character on this website; why would I ever want to be in the same room?

He has also not held public events to take questions about his statements, nor has he directly answered media inquiries about his questionable campaign finance activities -- so what opportunity has he given voters to actually know anything about him? Oh, right -- only his repeated comments on this website.

By the way, remember when he didn't answer the Warwick Post's questions and instead lied about its owner on this website? I do.

This is from the article about the GOP campaign finance complaint filed against him:

"When reached by phone Tuesday night, Corrente said he did not have an accurate enough recollection of the ad or his campaign finance spending reports to immediately respond to the Republican City Committee Chairman’s accusation."

https://warwickpost.com/gop-city-committee-richard-corrente-failed-report-full-page-pennysaver-ad/

And yet a month later on a completely unrelated article, the make-believe mayor posted a comment on this website that falsely claimed the writer of the article was the GOP chairman, suggested that he writer's speech was "slurred," and accused him of "extortion" because of his ad prices

http://warwickonline.com/stories/delays-in-trash-pickup-possible,131816?#comments

How could any candidate say he did not know about his own campaign spending, and then -- a month later -- try to smear the media outlet that asked the question?

Phillip may disagree with someone making a characterization about the make-believe mayor, but that's just objectively pathetic behavior for any candidate.

I will give Phillip credit for one thing -- he suggests that the make-believe mayor stop using this website for free political advertising.

I wish him luck, because up until now, the make-believe mayor has shown absolutely no restraint in making a disgraceful spectacle of himself on this website.

Thursday, August 23
Thecaptain

In 4 years the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness, has never offered 1 single document to support any of his positions. He attempts to discredit everyone who in fact offers substantial data, documents, and evidence on a number of subjects which include but are not limited to :

His tax delinquency

His multiple losses in civil court

His mortgage foreclosure

His unpaid utility bills

His late payments on car taxes

His campaign payments to Clayton Shackelton

And several other issues.

He has made feeble attempts to discredit me (all of which have failed) for being vocal about issues within the WFD and other issues that I have made public pertaining to the city. One thing is pretty clear, the mainstream media has no clue as to who he is. One would think that if had any value as a candidate, WPRO, Ch 12, Ted Nisi, and Tim White would be all over him. He is completely ignored by all.

On the contrary, when I go public with research or allegations that are supported by documentation, I get air time, TV time, and print, because I have shown to be credible and knowledgeable on whatever the subject is that I happen to be discussing.

Where is the fake mayor's media attention? It is non existent much like his chances of being elected to any position, including the Mayor of Munchkin Land. So with that being said, speaking of documentation, I will once again offer the verbiage of the court documents on his delinquent child support hearings. Enjoy !

From the court records:

" Further evidence that Plaintifff Corrente believed the order to be inequitable at its issuance is found in past court records from previous court appearances. The computation of Corrente's income has been the central focus of the past nine years of litigation.

Corrente has continually urged in past court appearances before different judges, that the Family Court's method of computing his income is inequitable because the court has not subtracted what he considers to be legitimate business expenses from his gross earnings. Appearing before Justice Michael Forte in the same matter on March 12, 1997, Justice Forte asks Corrente, "What's your annual income?" (Record, 3/12/97, page 12, line 7) Corrente responded , "Under $7000 per year, and I can prove that to you. My gross earnings is (sic) one issue. What I live off is a fraction of that, Yor Honor." (Record, 3/12/97, pg 12, lines 8-11) In the same court appearance, Justice Forte asked Corrente, "I'm asking you what your willing to pay temporarily until I can resolve this. If you're a good father - and I'm sure you're going to stand there and tell me that you are - then you're willing to pay something. How much?" (Record 3/12/97, pg 11, lines 8-13) Corrente responded - " I don't want to set a precedence (sic) Ten dollars a week is about what I can afford." (Record 3/12/97, pg 11, lines 14-16) to clarify Corrente's response, Justice Forte later asked,

The Court - "You're telling me, you can only pay ten dollars a week?"

Mr. Corrente - "Yes sir"

The Court - " You're telling me that on the record?"

Mr. Corrente - "Yes sir, I'll stand by that"

Mr. Watson - There is a W2 form that declares $40,000 in income in 1995

The Court - "What happened to that?"

Mr. Corrente - "Gross earnings, Your Honor, He's neglected to tell you the $25,000 that it cost me to make that, Your Honor."

The Court - " Well, we're going to have to wait. We'll deal with it at the hearing".

Mr. Corrente - "You cant look at gross receipts and consider them earnings, I wish you could."

In a court appearance before Justice Forte on January 28,1997, to determine his income for child support payments, Corrente stated on the record, "He (defendants attorney) does not know what my income is. All he know's is my gross receipts , and he's trying to manipulate this Court into believing that my gross receipts is my income." (Record, 1/28/97, pg 3 lines 22-25)

This small sample of on the record statements demonstrates plaintiff's concern with the court's computation of his income - specifically his contention that certain business and/or personal living expenses should be deducted from his gross earnings. It also shows the amount of money that Corrente believed he could afford to pay for child support: $10.00 per week. Corrente was aware at the time of the issuance of the May 27th court order that the court had not deducted the amounts from his gross earnings thathe had wished. He was also aware the the court order stated he must pay $223.15 per week for child support payments: $213.15 more than he stated on the record he could afford. It is hard to imagine how this order could ever have been considered "equitable" by Corrente in light of his previous testimony. His statement on the may 27th record confirms this theory. "

Thursday, August 23
richardcorrente

Scal1024 and Cat2222,

Stop with the lies!

I have never had my car "off the City of Warwick records". Ever. Cat2222 challenged me to "correct the record" I thought "Why should I?" "There is no wrong record to correct"."Scal accuses me of not even being on the tax records for three years. That can't be true or I wouldn't be able to register my car after that." Everyone knows that! Then I thought "Well, what if someone else read this. What if they actually believed Scal's lies?" OK, so I put in the time and made the call. Anyone reading this can too.

On August 28th I called the Warwick Tax Collectors office and spoke to a nice lady named Kim Barbato. You can too.

I asked if I was "off the records at ANY time in the last ten years?" She said "No." You can ask her that too.

I asked "Did I always pay my taxes?" She said "Yes". You can ask her that too.

I said "Do you see ANYTHING wrong with my car or my payment of car taxes?" She said "Absolutely not." You can ask her that too.

I asked her if I ever paid them late? She said "A couple of times you were a little late." I said "That's great for the City of Warwick because Warwick got even MORE taxes." You're welcome.

I ASKED "Would you be able to e-mail me those records?" She said "Yes" and she did. You can get them too. I suggest that you actually do that because you obviously haven't. You just decided to believe Rob Cote. You were blind. You were conned. I'm sorry for you, but now, at least you can stop spreading lies. I hope.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Saturday, August 25
CrickeeRaven

Cat and Scal, we know what the public records show about the make-believe mayor, and we know his claim of having emails is just a desperate attempt to trick readers.

"The city got more taxes."

No, those were interest penalties -- that means he was delinquent and the city was making up for not having those payments in the first place.

That's what interest penalties are -- they're meant to cover the deficit created by delinquent taxpayers.

At least the make-believe mayor is finally admitting to his tax delinquency in this case, though he still has not explained why his BANKRS registration was not valid for three years.

Thank you for joining me and the thousands of honest, on-time taxpaying voters who will not be fooled by the make-believe mayor and will overwhelmingly reject his candidacy again on Sept. 12.

Saturday, August 25
CrickeeRaven

Also, there is no way the make-believe mayor could have called city hall "on August 28," as today's date is August 25.

Thus, another attempt at fooling voters is foiled by the make-believe mayor's own disgraceful behavior.

Saturday, August 25
WwkVoter

17

DAYS

21

HOURS

16

MINUTES

3 SECONDS

Until polls close, and hopefully this sad chapter as well.

Saturday, August 25
richardcorrente

Dear Crickeeraven,

As to the date, oops, you are right. I meant August 23rd.

As to the "explanation why my car registration was not valid for three years" My car registration was NEVER "not valid". Not for three years. Not for three minutes. I have explained that so many times. Stop lying.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers mayor

Monday, August 27
CrickeeRaven

"Stop lying," writes the make-believe mayor, who falsely claims that his BANKRS registration "was never not valid."

Here is the link to the city's car tax website: https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/MotorVehicle/Default.aspx

By entering "BANKRS" in the License Plate field, the reader sees that, indeed, the registration was not active (another word for valid) from 2013 through 2015 before being reinstated in 2016.

That information thus proves that he did not pay taxes on that registration for three years, meaning it was not valid for that time.

It is clear that the make-believe mayor's pathetic campaign is in its final stage of unraveling as he continues to make a humiliating spectacle of himself by arguing against public information.

Thousands of honest, taxpaying voters will respond to the make-believe mayor's continued attempts to fool them by overwhelmingly rejecting his candidacy again on Sept. 12.

Monday, August 27
richardcorrente

Dear readers,

CrickeeRaven lied...again.

He/she can't even remember which three-year period I "allegedly" didn't have my car registered. So far it has been 2010 through 2012, 2011 through 2013, 2012 through 2014. up to todays lie of 2013 through 2015. I have reported to the readers my insurance company, the Registry of Motor Vehicles report, The Tax Assessors office Kim Barbato, and still this person claims I didn't register my car. I did. If there are any records to the contrary I can't find them and if they exist, they are wrong.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, August 30
CrickeeRaven

"If there are any records to the contrary I can't find them and if they exist, they are wrong."

This is a lie. The following information has been presented on this website to the cosplay candidate multiple times -- his only response has been to ignore them. Honest, taxpaying voters won't.

Once again, here is the link to the city's car tax website: https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/MotorVehicle/Default.aspx

By entering "BANKRS" in the License Plate field, the reader sees that, indeed, the registration was not active (another word for valid) from 2013 through 2015 before being reinstated in 2016.

Try as he might to fool and confuse voters, the cosplay candidate will fail.

Wednesday, September 12