EDITORIAL

Election time is over, collaboration time begins

Posted

Now that the dust has settled on the 2018 election, it is time to evaluate where Warwick is at in terms of its elected representatives and how that bodes for the coming months and years.

Though not exactly a shock, every partisan elected position in Warwick went to a Democrat. Surely, this is partially due to the overall lack of Republican and independent candidates challenging incumbents, but it is also indicative of a new beginning following the departure of Scott Avedisian – who for so long represented a lone stalwart of Republicanism amidst an ocean of blue.

If this election showed anything, it is that Avedisian’s grip on Warwick has officially ended, as evidenced by Sue Stenhouse’s 20 percent defeat, which happened despite Avedisian helping her behind the scenes and in a few select appearances on the campaign trail.

In terms of Avedisian’s old office, Joe Solomon can now comfortably switch off from campaign mode and begin to tackle mayoral duties without the overt undertones of cautiously vague responses to inquiries or outright silence regarding issues he’d rather not discuss that has become unfortunately normal during his six months in charge thus far.

Winning the mayoral seat for real – and by a strong margin – should embolden Solomon in a positive way. Now that he has been selected as the man for the job, he should be excited to work with all parties in Warwick, whether it’s the media, old adversaries or even people who didn’t vote for him, in order to create the “even better” city that we do believe he hopes to create.

Solomon will have the full support of a completely Democratic city council, as Rick Corley beat his independent challenger Patrick Maloney by 15 percent.  Solomon only lost one ally in Ward 8 long-timer Joseph Gallucci, who chose to not seek re-election. His replacement Anthony Sinapi, however, has leaned on Gallucci for guidance already and doesn’t seem likely to rock a boat that is clearly headed in whatever direction Solomon sees fit.

Up at the State House, the Warwick duo of Michael McCaffrey and K. Joseph Shekarchi – who represent the majority leaders of the state Senate and House of Representatives respectively – will begin their second year in these roles and hopefully will continue to be active legislators, as they have shown to be in previous years. Issues regarding recreational marijuana, gun reform, reproductive rights and collective bargaining will be potential issues to look out for once again in the upcoming session.

McCaffrey and Shekarchi’s Democratic colleagues, Erin Lynch Prata, Evan Shanley, Joseph McNamara, Daniel Bennett and Camille Vella-Wilkinson all secured their seats against challengers as well, so continued cohesion will hopefully lead to positive progress within the state legislature moving forward.

The biggest variable in the city following the election is certainly the newly configured school committee.

The current iteration of the five-person committee consists of three members who have demonstrated a history of being methodical and thoughtful, yet sympathetic and consistently cooperative with the school administration – sometimes, you could make the argument, to a fault – one member who almost universally goes against the administration and sides with the Warwick Teachers’ Union and one member who has demonstrated consistent neutrality.

The new iteration will now consist of four members who have shown a tendency to rail against the school administration – particularly against Superintendent Philip Thornton – and side with teachers on essentially every issue that comes before the committee. One new member is directly related to a ranking member of the union, and another maintains a close friendship with a current school committee member. One has no formal training in any field related to managing finances or a budget.

To say this situation sets up some possible conflicts of interest or potential for an increased amount of tension between the administration and the public is to put things lightly. While we do believe the newly elected school committee members have good intentions in their hearts and want to see Warwick schools succeed, we implore them of the importance to make decisions based solely on facts, not on preconceptions or assumptions.

We have already seen one instance this week regarding an assumption that caused a widespread misunderstanding and further harm to the relationship between the school administration and the public in regards to the “wasted” materials thrown in a dumpster outside Randall Holden.

According to the city charter, the school administration followed the entire protocol correctly prior to throwing away excess materials. This didn’t stop individuals from plastering photos on Facebook in a clear attempt to shame and smear the administration, without so much as sending an email to anyone from the school department asking for clarification beforehand. This cannot be standard operating procedure with a body that must remain neutral and react based on facts.

As always, as an organization that operates with the mission to share stories of achievement and chronicle issues of importance, we are always hoping for the best outcomes to become reality. May the end to this tumultuous election season be the beginning of a new, prosperous era for Warwick.

Comments

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Justanidiot

Collaboration, hell. The time has come to fight tooth and nail to get rid of them and replace them with one of us. Don't let them pass any item on any agenda without hounding them with phone calls, emails, dropping by their house at 3 am. god bless america.

Thursday, November 8
Cat2222

"This didn’t stop individuals from plastering photos on Facebook in a clear attempt to shame and smear the administration, without so much as sending an email to anyone from the school department asking for clarification beforehand. This cannot be standard operating procedure with a body that must remain neutral and react based on facts."

HEAR, HEAR!

Facts are the foundation of any argument or debate. For whatever reason, social media relies on opinion and assumptions instead of facts. It's time to go back to basics, due diligence and research before posting online. Just because you think you are right doesn't mean you are actually right.

Friday, November 9
Bob_Cushman

The City Council needs to pass an Ordinance, especially with the new conflicted SC members taking office, that will give them the authorize to ratify any collective bargaining agreement signed by the School Committee.. This would mirror the ratification rights the City Council has whenever the Mayor signs a collective bargaining agreement with the 3 city unions.

Friday, November 9
Cat2222

Bob_Cushman, I guess I was under the impression that Mayor Solomon was on board with open and transparent negotiations. I may be wrong in that assumption. Do you believe that would be subverted by the new members? I am still bewildered by the fact that someone so young was elected. Is he simply there to be a yes vote for the union?

Friday, November 9
PaulHuff

God help me.....I agree with Mr. Cushman. Seeing how this newly elected SC appears to be very pro-WTU the city needs to do something to put some oversight in place.

I wonder about my fellow voters, this is a strange group to have been elected to the SC. A teenager and a bunch with blatant conflicts of interest.

Friday, November 9
DannyHall82

Mr. Adams and Ms. Cobden had massive support from the teachers during the whole election, including doing literature drops and working all the polls. Not too many campaigns could compete with that....

Friday, November 9
richardcorrente

Dear Readers,

Amongst all the complaints, condemnations and criticisms of many anonymous people who don't even have the self-esteem to comment from their own real name comes a guy who actually has an intelligent idea. We should listen to Bob_Cushman. He uses his real name, suggesting that he has "real" remarks. He has a world of experience both inside and outside Warwick politics, and he is generally considered one of the more intelligent commenters. His idea is better than mine. I suggested a "Home Rule Charter" to make the School Committee more accountable to the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab. Cushman suggests a simple ordinance to give the City Council authority to "ratify any collective bargaining agreement signed by the School Committee." Smart idea.

I have often said that Bob Cushman is one of the most intelligent people in Warwick. Now I think that might have been an understatement.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Monday, November 12
Cat2222

RC, did you know that one of the biggest reasons people use a username is for safety? We live in a world where people can and do use information they find online to harm others. For example, a very close friend had used her real name when posting on a widely used website. She was inundated with trolls and perverts who did a simple search and found her online. She was just asking questions about a job fair. The internet brings out the worst in people.

I am not quite sure why you feel that using your real name makes you superior but there is simply nothing wrong with using a screen name. It doesn't make my opinion or comment any less valid. In turn, using your real name doesn't make your opinion or comment any more valid. Not sure why this is a difficult thing for you to understand. Granted, your may not be a prime target for some crazy guy that took a liking to your picture and decided to make you his wife (prisoner) but believe me when I say there are plenty of reason to keep safety in mind when using the internet.

5 days ago
richardcorrente

Dear Cat2222,

You couldn't be more wrong.

Using my real name DOES make my words more valid. It means people can hold me accountable, unlike you and the other anonymous cowards of critics you are associated with. Those who hide behind a fake name can (and do) say anything they want no matter how dishonest it is, and even when proven to be a lie, (as in the false "Corrente drove an unregistered car for three years" or the false "Corrente paid over $8,000 in late fees on his 4-unit at 1115 Greenwich Ave."), none of you anonymous cowards of critics had enough integrity to admit your accusations were lies. Talk about "trolls and perverts!" (your words). You were absolutely RIGHT when you said that "the internet brings out the worst in people." You are one of these fake-named "trolls and perverts" that would have to be much more truthful with their words if their identity were known. Their comments would be a lot more credible and "valid" as a result, and their safety wouldn't be in danger if they weren't lying. Like me, and the other real-named commenters, they would have nothing to hide from.

So YES, using my real name DOES make my words more valid. And YES, hiding behind your fake name makes your words "fake". If you don't want to feel "fake" or inferior, come out of the shadows. Become credible. It's easy. Just stop using a fake name. No one ever needs to know it was you repeating those dishonest comments using a fake name, "without so much as sending an e-mail to anyone ...for clarification beforehand". (again, your words)

Become credible, like me, or Bob Cushman, or Paul Huff or Danny Hall in this article. Think about it.

Happy Thanksgiving Cat2222.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

5 days ago
CrickeeRaven

Cat, I just checked my calendar -- it's not 2002 any more. People using screen names on websites is nothing new, nor does it mean anything as far as credibility it concerned, despite what the two-time election reject says.

In fact, he has so often, so willingly, and so consciously posted lies on this website that nothing he says can be trusted -- and, in fact, by putting his name to those lies, he ensured two overwhelming and humiliating losses at the polls for himself.

When he whines about "anonymous critics," what he's really doing is hiding from the truth that has been presented about him time and again.

For instance, his BANKRS registration was not active in Warwick from 2013 to 2015. This is not a lie, as he claims -- the facts are readily available on this website:

https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/MotorVehicle/Default.aspx

No "anonymous critic" put this information online -- the city of Warwick did.

The fact is, he is not credible. He can't complete a sentence without it being wrong somehow.

And to put himself in the same sentence as those others, who actually provide proof and evidence for their claims [while their conclusions may be debatable], is yet further proof of his delusional view of himself.

He demands apologies, yet has never apologized for all of his false accusations against the last two mayors -- both of whom thoroughly defeated him in back-to-back elections.

If the two-time election reject were credible, one would think he'd at least get more votes from one election to another -- but he didn't, because he isn't.

4 days ago
Cat2222

No RC, you are not more valid. You do not have more credibility either but you fail to realize it. A total non-starter. The "lies" you refer to are found in public record that are online for any person to review. Links have been provided and believe me, if screenshots were allowed here I would be posting it for all to see since you continue to claim they are not true. If they are lies then you should have gotten them corrected. They still stand today as public record so that means they aren't lies and you can't get them changed because they are true.

Get them corrected to reflect your statement or they remain as truth for all to see.

4 days ago
CrickeeRaven

Bob_Cushman, now that the two-time election reject has gushed about another of your ideas, do you think you could disavow him of his false accusation about the former Warwick chief of staff? I know you first made the careless off-hand comment in the heat of a disagreement way back in June, but the shameless liar and election failure has turned it into a months-long online campaign against him.

Given your past involvement with campaigns around here, I know you enjoy winding up people you view as simpletons and having them mindlessly repeat your talking points until they inevitably lose, while you lurk in the background, then skip off and look for the next candidate to latch onto. But this is getting ridiculous, even for the two-time election reject.

So, be the "smart" person he thinks you are, and tell him that he has no basis for his disgraceful conduct.

3 days ago
Justanidiot

Publius has a few words for you master mayer

3 days ago
richardcorrente

Dear CrickeeRaven,

If my car registration was NOT active in Warwick in the years 2013, 2014, and 2015, as you say, how come Kim Barbato from the Warwick Tax Collectors office (738-2000 ext.1) disagrees with you and says my car was properly registered and ALL TAXES PAID for the last ten years? Also, how could it POSSIBLY, be registered today if that were true??? She was nice enough to send me the full ten-year breakdown. I have the documents to prove it. You can call her or just give me an e-mail address to send them to. I'll even include explicit instructions as to where you can stick them.

This is why you're so afraid to use your real name (Mark Carruolo). You can lie repeatedly as long as you do it while hiding in the shadows. When I comment, I stand by my name. You don't even use yours.

You are the epitome of a coward.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

3 days ago
richardcorrente

Dear Cat2222,

I HAVE corrected the records and you, and all the others have those facts and even the contact lady at the Tax Collectors office to call to verify. (Kim Barbato 738-2000 ext. 1) Don't blame me if you choose to believe the "fake news". That's your problem. If you choose to repeat it, that shows a complete lack of integrity and honesty. Again, your problem. I exposed it as a lie several times. But, just for you, send me a neutral e-mail address OR send someone to my office (1609 Warwick Ave.) and I will give you all the proof you need to know that my car was never unregistered or taxes unpaid for ANY period. I will also give you, as a bonus, the entire escrow analysis of my investment property at 1115 Greenwich Ave. showing ZERO late payments for over 15 years and actually had a $418.88 overage which they sent back to me!!! I have a copy of the check. The money was spent with a smile on my face. Lastly I will show you (NOT give you) a copy of my credit report. It shows no bankruptcy as Rob Cote says, no late payments on ANYTHING, and my score is over 700. How's that? "Valid" enough Cat2222?

Happy Thanksgiving Cat2222.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

3 days ago
CrickeeRaven

Look at how desperately the two-time election reject continues to push his lies, Cat.

He clearly did not visit the city website that proves his BANKRS registration was not valid from 2013 to 2105.

Here it is again -- and I will continue to provide the link until he shows the slightest willingness or ability to use it and read the factual information it presents:

https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/MotorVehicle/Default.aspx

This is the exact information that Kim Barbato -- or anyone else, for that matter -- will find by using that link. Only in his delusional mind does that information not exist.

No one has to call someone at City Hall to see the truth, as he pathetically demands.

And no one needs to visit his office [and risk having to hear his lies in person] to know that he lost his prior residence to tax sale and was evicted from it.

But as honest, taxpaying voters know, as long as there's an opportunity for him to make more of an abject fool of himself, the two-time election reject will enthusiastically embrace it.

3 days ago
CrickeeRaven

P.S., Cat, looks like the two-time election reject is talking to himself again:

"You are the epitome of a coward."

3 days ago
Cat2222

RC, I went online to https://www.citizenselfservice.com/MSSProd/citizens/MotorVehicle/Browse.aspx again just now and searched under your license plate BANKRS. There is no public record of taxes being paid on that license plate for 2013, 2014 and 2015. Was your vehicle was registered in another location and you paid taxes in that location? What part of public record do you not understand. Please, go there and check it. Tax Collectors\Warwick Citizen Self-Service\Motor Vehicle. I am not lying nor am I repeating false information. You say it has been corrected. I can state quite firmly that it is not reflected on the public site record. You want me to believe in your word and then send me to someone that isn't allowed to give out private information on another persons vehicle other than what can be found online.

Until the record reflects what you say you have done, the record stands on its own.

3 days ago