Schools, city due to meet again in September

Posted

Originally scheduled to appear before the Warwick City Council during their Wednesday night meeting, the Warwick School Committee has requested that the appearance occur during the council’s meeting on Sept. 5 instead in order to continue discussions regarding the budgetary issues plaguing the department.

The committee requested the continuance last Thursday due to the impending release of two audits of the school department’s operations – one regarding the programmatic setup of the system and one regarding how efficiently the district operates financially. The committee believes it is in the best interest of both its own body and the City Council to wait until this information is available for review prior to continuing the conversation regarding the budget.

City Council President Steve Merolla granted the continuance and approved the school committee to appear during the Sept. 5 meeting.

“We appreciate how quickly the Council President responded to our request and, after further consideration, it makes the most sense to wait until we have all of the information regarding the program audit and financial audit before asking to be heard,” said School Committee Chairwoman Bethany Furtado on Monday in a text message.

Furtado said that the audits should be completed “in the next few weeks,” which would give both the School Committee and City Council some time to review the conclusions made by both consultants prior to the City Council’s meeting on Sept. 5. The council reverts back to a twice-monthly meeting schedule in September, so they will have an additional meeting on Sept. 17 as well.

The school department and city council – along with Mayor Joseph Solomon when he sat as Council President prior to becoming mayor this May – have been at odds in regards to what was originally a $8.1 million ask from the school department to offset rising costs and declining enrollment, combined with pension and salary expenses and lowered revenue from the state.

The City Council, during budgetary appropriations, provided $1.5 million of that ask after budget hearing where some members called into question the department’s integrity and ability to control their budget, leaving the schools to grapple with a $6.6 million deficit.

As a result, major cuts have been made that, the schools argue, has impacted their ability to deliver an education to the children of Warwick in line with the state’s Basic Educational Plan (BEP). These cuts have included the max number of teachers possible, 15 custodians and janitorial supplies, funding for programming such as Mentor Rhode Island and has forced the school administrators to send waivers to the state for certain mandates (which haven’t succeeded) and flirted with cutting funding for sports.

One possible route for the schools to receive more funding is a lawsuit. The auditors hired to prepare reports are necessary legwork for that to be possible. However, in response to this possible liability, the city has been seemingly open to negotiate with the schools to find a more amicable alternative. Last week they offered $1.75 million in additional funding to cut down some of the deficit, which they argue would amount to 40 percent of the $8.1 million ask – a figure Solomon maintains was completely unfeasible.

However, Superintendent Philip Thornton called this gesture merely a “good start,” but held firm that it doesn’t change the nature of the hole the school department finds themselves in. The next meeting between the two government bodies will set the tone for where this situation goes next.

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Justanidiot

Get rid of all of these idiots, both the city and the school department. There job is to make sure there is enough money to run the schools efficiently. The time for this back and forth and dithering passed a long time ago. School is three weeks away and they are millions short. Run government like this and you don't deserve to be reelected or rehired. There are plenty of smart people out there who could do this job.

Tuesday, August 14
richardcorrente

All sides are meeting. All sides are communicating. Only good can come from that. I applaud the progress although I wish it had come sooner. Much sooner. Please don't waste any time once you have the data. 80,000 taxpayers are paying for this. Please don't let them down.

Remember School Committee, those 80,000 taxpayers gave you over $163,000,000 to pay our teachers and maintain our school buildings. Both areas cost less today now that we have far fewer teachers and several fewer buildings. You never should have run out of money. Never.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, August 14
Justanidiot

dis iz why we needz to reerect master mayer. he wood fit rite in wif being a day late and a dolla short.

Tuesday, August 14
CrickeeRaven

Justanidiot, yet again you show far more wisdom and insight than the make-believe mayor.

Look at this ignorant and disgraceful statement, for example:

"You never should have run out of money. Never."

No one is saying the school department "ran out of money."

What the school administration is saying is that they spent the money provided to them every year -- as reported, to the dollar, in annual budget and audit documents published on the department's website -- and need more to meet its needs in FY19.

By that same "logic" [and I use that term very loosely when referring to the make-believe mayor's delusional ideas] one could say that the city council "ran out of money" because it had to raise taxes in FY19 to cover, among other things, the new contracts it approved.

As we know, though, the make-believe mayor would never say such a thing about his party's city council members.

Thousands of honest, taxpaying voters are eagerly looking forward to rejecting his pathetic candidacy again on Sept. 12.

Tuesday, August 14
Thecaptain

You should all know that now the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness, has made yet another claim to dumbness. His campaign signs now say at the bottom, "THE DEMOCRATS MAYOR".

Delusional at best!

Tuesday, August 14
Scal1024

Even his signs are full of poor attempts at deception. I cannot wait until this fraud is sent packing back to whatever residence he's currently not paying taxes in...

Tuesday, August 14
allent

Wait til Sept to grab the last of that $5 million for roads.

Tuesday, August 14
Justanidiot

This is all the greedy teacher's fault.

Wednesday, August 15
richardcorrente

Dear readers,

CrickeeRaven says the School Committee (SC) DID NOT run out of money when the SC openly admits they are $8.1 million short. He/she doesn't have a grasp on reality. That's sick.

And Rob Cote can't even read!

My signs DO NOT say "The Democrats Mayor". Not one. They say "The Taxpayers Democrat". Get your lies straight Cote! You're even lying to yourself! That's the worst kind of lie. Talk about "delusional".

And Scal1024 is BELIEVING COTE! Are you kidding me?? Scal! Stop drinking Cotes' Cool Aid! Scal is saying my signs are "full of poor attempts at deception". He/she is talking about Cote's lying statement, and trying to con the reader into believing Cote's lie, and then he/she hides behind a fake name. He/she is blindly believing in Rob Cote, of all people, who has admitted to stealing over 40 of my signs. He is a thief AND a liar. Yeah Scal, and I am the deceptive one. Right! If you HAVE to be a follower, Rob Cote is about the worst example to follow.

Fake news. Fake sources. Fake people. Fake names.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 15
Justanidiot

so is youse da tackspayers mayer like you signs your comments or da taxpayers democrap like youse says in yers comments? if youse is the tackspayers democrap youse should tink about higher orafice. you shoulds be erected govornor of the domininion of new engsland. den we could get's gooder education so's ours kids can larns at least how to use appostrophe's correctly

Wednesday, August 15
Thecaptain

I concede, i miss read the fake mayor's sign speeding by it. Either way, the signs are stupid. Keep accusing me of stealing Rick and you will have a major problem on your hands and will soon to be loser of 17 civil trials. Where did I admit to stealing? I have said this a hundred times. I lawfully removed 9 of your signs that were plastered on traffic control boxes throughout the city. Put another one on a traffic control box and I will remove it.

Wednesday, August 15
richardcorrente

Dear justanidiot,

I will let you in on a secret. Please don't tell anyone. I was the Endorsed Democrat in the 2016 election. All my hundreds of signs proudly said "Endorsed Democrat". I received over 14,000 votes and I will be forever grateful. This time around Joe Solomon got the endorsement, so I covered up the word "Endorsed" with the phrase "The Taxpayers". Now my recycled signs say "The Taxpayers Democrat".

Joe Solomon thanked the Warwick Democrats by not even putting "Democrat", let alone "Endorsed Democrat" on any of his signs that can be seen on city property, telephone poles, businesses, and trees. None of mine will ever be on those types of locations. I am very proud to be a Democrat. Apparently he feels differently.

The words "Democrat" or "Republican" have lost the significance they once had. Today the two new evolving labels appear to be "The Taxpayers" vs. "The Political Insiders". Justanidiot, I will always be a servant of that first group.

So, old friend, when I comment on these Warwick Beacon articles, I will refer to myself as "The Taxpayers Mayor" because I honestly feel that I am a servant of the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab. On my signs I say "The Taxpayers Democrat".

And now you know why, but again, please keep that just between us.

Happy August old friend. And I know when you said "This is all the greedy teacher's fault", I know you were just being sarcastic.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 15
Scal1024

I'm not sure what my comments have to do with Robs statement. Whether your sign says "The Democrats Mayor" or "The Taxpayers Democrat" both are poor attempts at deception by a FAILED candidate. After 4 years, and over $40,000 blown Rick Corrente has minimal support and $34 in the bank. Yet, this embarassment pretends he is some advocate for taxpayers.

A mayor that is for the taxpayers wouldn't propose cutting checks to new homebuyers. A vacant home is still having the property taxes paid by someone Rick, where is the gain by writing checks to new homebuyers? You are literally writing a check to the new homebuyer for taxes the city already collects. How does that represent the taxpayers that are already here? It doesn't. Its a foolish, non sensical talking point that Rick has repeated, when even 5 minutes of basic math shows the plan WILL NOT work, or create new revenue. It is a LOSS FOR THE TAXPAYER.

Rick Corrente has also proposed paying 50% of the car taxes for our seniors and veterans. I am all for seniors and veterans getting a tax break (most already are eligible) where applicable. 50% seems excessive, and not well thought out at all. Second, has Rick Corrente done any research into how many seniors/veterans would be eligible for this benefit? Without knowing how many taxpayers will receive this benefit, how does he know that this plan is sustainable? He doesn't. More empty promises from an empty suit with nothing but a list of the same talking points he's had for 4 years. If you are a taxpayer thats not a senior or a veteran how does Rick Correntes plan of paying 50% of their car taxes help you. Again, I am all for helping our seniors and our veterans. However ANY PLAN that proposes doing so better be well thought out so that its a positive benefit to all taxpayers. We are 2 proposals in and I'm sensing a pattern. All new spending programs. Will Rick Corrente raise taxes, slash services or borrow the money to pay for these things?

Finally, these proposals are important to examine because it gives us a window into the candidate and how they think. Rick Corrente is not much of a thinker. With $34 in his campaign bank account, its obvious taxpayers agree. Every proposal he comes up with involves spending more money the city simply DOES NOT HAVE. He has been asked what spending he would cut to pay for these things? After 4 years of running he is still unable to answer that most basic question. He cries about his signs because thats the only excuse he has left. When Rick Corrente gets embarassed once again this primary season he will have only himself, his lying and his tax depinquency to blame. Less than a month until this deadbeat is sent packing.

By the way......its KOOL-AID, dummy. Not COOL AID

Wednesday, August 15
CrickeeRaven

For someone who will soon turn 67 years old, the make-believe mayor insists on behaving like a child in desperately trying to prop up his pathetic candidacy.

"CrickeeRaven says the School Committee (SC) DID NOT run out of money when the SC openly admits they are $8.1 million short... That's sick."

Aside from his juvenile name-calling, the make-believe mayor fails to use logic beyond that of a child.

Requesting funds in a new budget, based on things like the higher teacher salaries that were negotiated between the school committee and WTU, does not meant the school committee "ran out of money."

The city council raised taxes in FY19 to cover new municipal and police contracts -- yet the make-believe mayor does not claim that this means the city "ran out of money."

This type of illogical, hypocritical behavior would barely be tolerated from a child, never mind from someone running for office.

As the rest of his comments prove, the make-believe mayor somehow believes that his repeated disgraceful behavior on this website, in service of a campaign for office, will actually help his chances this year.

He is wrong.

He is playing make-believe, as a child would, when he gives himself a fake title and calls himself a "servant" of taxpayers while losing a home to tax sale, not paying the car taxes on his BANKRS registration for three years, and paying office rent to the same person who previously paid the property taxes on his former residence.

Any serious, mature candidate would have understood that such behavior makes him unfit for any office.

Not the make-believe mayor, though.

Like a child who refuses to learn, he will make even more of a disgrace of himself every day, with every new comment, until he suffers another humiliating loss in this year's primary -- all the while blaming everyone except himself, just as a child would.

Honest, taxpaying, responsible, mature voters will overwhelmingly reject his candidacy again on Sept. 12.

Wednesday, August 15
Justanidiot

i am not sure that anyone who doesn't understand apostrophe's will understand sarcasm.

Wednesday, August 15
Thecaptain

He feels as though he is the servant of the taxpayer, but to date he has not accomplished one thing at all. He has not taken the microphone at city council meetings and addressed in detail one particular problem in the city. He has no reputation of any public stance showing any results whatsoever. He gets no media publicity whatsoever. He is a tax cheat, liar, child support cheat, chronic civil suit loser, tax defaulter, squatter, and suffers from grandiose delusions.

I'm sure that with his war chest of $34.13 he will do well in the primary.

Wednesday, August 15
patientman

If they scoop the entire $5,000,000 budgeted for roads will they just leave Buttonwoods ave scraped with a massive pothole for the winter? Idiots

Wednesday, August 15
richardcorrente

Hey CrickeeRaven,

Thanks for remembering my birthday.

Rick

Wednesday, August 15
richardcorrente

Thanks Scal.

I misspelled KOOL-AID. Thanks for the correction.

Rick

Wednesday, August 15
richardcorrente

Dear Scal1024,

Good question. (Where is the gain by writing checks to new homebuyers?) Although I have answered it many times, I am especially proud of it. Scal, if we increase the number of taxpayers, we reduce the amount we have to tax each individual taxpayer, just like Cranston did. You say that a Mayor that is FOR the taxpayers wouldn't propose cutting checks to new homebuyers. But you're wrong! The more new homebuyers we get the less Warwick needs from each new taxpayer. Scal, we lost 5,800 taxpayers in the last 10 years (according to the U.S. Census) and even though Warwick raised taxes EVERY YEAR THIS CENTURY, total tax revenue (TTR) went down! My plan is to get some of those taxpayers BACK! That will make TTR go UP! Up Scal. As in, we don't need as much per taxpayer because The Corrente Plan made TTR go UP!

Your comments went on and on and I don't have the energy to respond to it all but there was one part that I really did like. You said that "these proposals are important to examine" I wholeheartedly agree. They can be viewed at "correnteformayor.com". Read The Corrente Plan. If you agree...great. If you disagree...also great. Tell me what you would do to improve my "Corrente Plan". In either event you (even you Scal) have to admit that I, at least HAVE a plan. Joe Solomon doesn't. Which do you prefer?

Happy August Scal.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, August 15
Scal1024

What The Tax Delinquents Mayor fails to mention is:

1. His figure of Taxpayers lost in the City of Warwick is 100% inaccurate. This is a verifiable fact.

2. When a resident leaves a home, the property taxes are being paid on the property regardless if the home is vacant or not. This was actually a point I made that Corrente didn't bother to read.

3. You can visit his website. There are no specifics. He says things like "cut taxes, cut spending" . Using terms like TTR to create a perception he knows what he's talking about. He doesn't. That's why his website and comments have no specifics or substance. He is clueless.

Rick I would ask you and readers to visit citizenselfservice.com

Click "Warwick Citizen Service"

click on "Motor Vehicles"

Enter the License Plate "BANKRS" (Rick Correntes license plate).

Click "View Bill"

In the top right corner click "View payments and adjustments"

That is where Rick (and readers) will find YEARS OF DELINQUENT CAR TAX PAYMENTS from one RICHARD CORRENTE. Rick (and readers) will also notice that there are 3 years missing from those records (2013-2015) this is because Rick Corrente hid his car from the tax rolls to avoid paying taxes on it. The thing is had Rick told the truth when he was first asked about this, it wouldn't even be an issue. The fact that he lied about it with such conviction, calling myself and others ridiculous names, claiming we are "making this up". This is why it remains an issue. If someone can lie about something verifiable for so long with such conviction, what else would they lie about when they become Mayor?

Readers can do the same under real estate with his residence (as he claimed on his filing form) at 177 Grand View. There readers will see that 3 different parties have paid the property taxes on his home for him. Why does Rick Corrente continue to lie to voters? Readers can enter that information and see it for themselves, this isn't opinion THIS IS FACT. Rick Corrente is a liar who will say absolutely anything to get elected. Thank god voters recognize the unraveling of the Corrente campaign right before our eyes. With a whopping $34 in his campaign account, Rick is already blaming his loss on the "political insiders". When you have $34 in your campaign account, its not just the "political insiders" that aren't supporting you, Rick. You are about to learn that for the 2nd election in a row.

Wednesday, August 15
CrickeeRaven

Scal, I am so glad to be with you in witnessing the final disintegration of any chance the make-believe mayor has of being elected.

And he's done it all by himself by lying to voters, attacking users of someone else's website for using screen names, and otherwise making a complete disgrace of himself by repeating his delusional and juvenile statements.

It is a certainty that he will only succeed in further making a humiliating spectacle of himself.

Wednesday, August 15
PhillipDrummond

Hey Great Scal. What's your plate? How do we know you're not as delinquent as he is. You know that whole thing about glass houses and throwing stones and whatnot. Now I know what you're going say, "I'm not running for Mayor Phillip" and with that you're right. You would just rather sit back and be an anonymous armchair quarterback.

No doubt Corrente's ideas need to be fleshed out but they are by no means foreign. Paying people to move to a city has been done before to varying degrees. You guys like to harp on it as if it's never been done before. Warwick had a similar program when I first moved here and bought my house. It helped me move in as well as make improvements to the house. Funny enough the city then turned around and raised the value of my house after the improvements. Go figure. Not sure if they still have that program but Warwick essentially paid me to move here and it was a huge help.

Wednesday, August 15
Scal1024

Phillip, you are correct I am not running for Mayor. Therefore, I will be under the same scrutiny as every other voter not running for office this election season, ZERO. I never said the idea of rebate checks was foreign. The way the idea is being presented suggests an influx of new tax revenue coming into the city, based on those rebate checks, that is not the case. What year did you move here Phillip? I think that might provide context to the discussion. Was the city as cash strapped as it is currently? Were schools asking for over $5million extra from what was budgeted? Was the city proposing maximim tax increases at the time? There are so many factors that matter other than just stating you received a rebate check. I'm sorry but at a time when the city is putting forth maximum tax increases, we should not be looking at additional ways to spend money. Yes, home improvements can help with assesed home values for homeowners, but that is not the answer to creating new tax revenue in this economy.

The other problem Phillip is you CANNOT just spend money on rebate checks. The money has to be taken from a line item in the budget. We have asked Rick Corrente dozens of times where the money will come from? He has never provided an answer. You say his plans should be under scrutiny, yet you are more worried about a private citizens license plate, than you are about Rick Corrente bankrupting this city, and lying to your face while he does it. I'm glad your priorities are in order. How much will each rebate be worth? Once again, Rick Corrente says we'll worry about that later. If we are cutting checks to new homebuyers on the idea they will make home improvements and grow the tax base, wouldn't the check have to be a significant amount of money? Specifics in a campaign matter Phillip Drummond. You can try and defend the indefensible all you want, he's less than 30 days away from ending this flailing campaign.

Finally Phillip, my issue with Rick Corrente is not solely that he's made some late car and property tax payments. It is the ignorance and conviction he lies with that I find so offensive. Should we not expect more from our candidates for public office? I am asking that honestly. Are you not bothered by a candidate who blatantly lies about verifiable facts? Are you ok with a candidate thats run for Mayor for 4 years and can't answer basic questions? If you are ok with these things than I suggest you donate to the Corrente campaign. With $34 in the bank he could certainly use the help. I appreciate your comments Phillip, as well as your attempts to deflect away from The Tax Delinquents Mayor. Less than 1 month til primary day...

Thursday, August 16
sprawler47

Dump Thornton the cause of this mess...He has fewer students than at any time in over 50 years but his budget goes up. Why? Dump him and most other problems will vanish.

Thursday, August 16
Justanidiot

Dump them all. They are waiting this long to solve this problem? Talk about gross incompetence.

Thursday, August 16
CrickeeRaven

You know what's curious to me, Scal? It's how commenters like Phillip try to direct the conversation away from the make-believe mayor's many defects as a candidate and to discuss his disgrace of a campaign reasonably.

Problem is, there is no reasonable way to discuss the make-believe mayor's candidacy.

His "plans" are empty slogans with no substance.

His financial history is littered with delinquencies, lost court cases, and ethically questionable campaign finance activities, like paying campaign funds to rent an office from the same person who paid the taxes on his former residence.

He just filed a campaign finance report yesterday that shows $24.14 remaining, after paying $9.99 in bank fees since July 1 and collecting $0 in campaign contributions: https://bit.ly/2vORzye

This is not the sign of a reasonable candidate, 28 days before a primary.

By comparison, acting Mayor Solomon raised another $38,380 in individual contributions and spent nearly $21,000 on his campaign, leaving him with $232,245: https://bit.ly/2MxrPjx

Even Gerald Carbone, a first-time candidate, leads the make-believe mayor in funding with $5,573.

[Vincent Ferla filed an exemption stating that he will neither raise nor spend more than $100 on his campaign.]

All the make-believe mayor has done, in reality, is recycle the claims and slogans that he used in his losing 2016 bid, as if they will somehow end in a different result this year.

As is typical for him, he is wrong. His 2018 campaign is just a cheaper copy of his 2016 run that will result in exactly the same kind of overwhelming loss that he suffered two years ago.

Thursday, August 16
PhillipDrummond

For starters, this has nothing to do with Corrente. I can give 2 craps about him he had a chance to show his leadership skills but instead he chose to stand on street corners waving at everybody, if you had chosen to be more active Mr. Corrente, you would probably be taken more seriously. Corrente however has put forth ideas, yes I know, they are devoid of real information and facts about how they would impact the city and because of that he's going to lose this primary. I know it, he knows it, the whole city knows it. My issue is with the know -it- alls on this board who criticize but have ZERO solutions. I take that back, your one solution is to promote the guy who had a hand in creating the problem. In the real world a guy like Solomon would have been fired from his job but only in government could a person who is derelict in his duty get a promotion and raise. He was in a position to provide checks and balances and he failed miserably and now him and the council talk of needing to fix the problem. LMAO they are such a joke.

Secondly I moved to Warwick over ten years ago. Whether the city was flush with cash I have no idea but I imagine it was before Avedisian and Solomon ruined the city. It wasn't a rebate check per se. It was a program designed to help homebuyers move in and fix their homes, the city controlled the money and gave me a list of people we could use. I chose Warwick because I have friends here and they suggested it because of the school system which is what I care about. mostly which is why now I say that parents should do whatever they can to get their kids out of the Warwick school system because they don't care about our kids well being and safety. Money is what these people care about most and losing it makes people sit up and take notice. The teachers "strike" was the final straw. My kids wasted a school year with that work to rule nonsense. Thank God we found an alternative to Warwick. I love the fact that Warwick has to pay other districts to teach our kids and its only going to get worse as parents find these programs and pull their kids.

Warwick is a great city with great people but it has incompetent people running it. It may not sound like it but I believe in and support unions. I still think they are needed in todays society but like every thing they need to be put in check from time to time otherwise you get a mess like this and having 2 mayors in a row who are willing to bend to the union's will is not good for this city. Avedisian failed this city and in my opinion Solomon could do the same. I guess we'll have to wait and see what plans he puts forth after the primary.

Thursday, August 16
CrickeeRaven

Phillip, it sounds like you're referring to the Community Development Block Grant program that provides low- or no-interest loans to new homeowners for repairs. It's administered by the city but funded by federal money. If that's the case, you didn't receive city funds, making your comparison to the make-believe mayor's giveaway scheme incorrect.

Also, it's not exactly true to say your viewpoint has "nothing to do" with the make-believe mayor after half of your prior comment was about him -- and then a new comment complimented him on his "ideas" while agreeing that they are devoid of substance.

And as for other commenters having "zero solutions," that's wrong -- our solution, all along, has been to ensure that the make-believe mayor never gets elected. And we're 1-0 so far, soon to be 2-0.

However bad you think Solomon and the city council are doing -- and I've been criticizing them for, among other things, passing the level tax rate and unrealistic 99-percent collection rate in FY18 since they approved that budget -- it's nothing compared to the kind of fiscal disaster that the make-believe mayor would inflict on the city.

And as I've said before, if you're getting tired of reading comments that disprove his statements and show his ideas to be delusional, tell him to stop running his campaign on someone else's website. It's not our fault that he's treating this website as a free platform for his political advertising, or that he can't restrain himself from repeating objectively false statements.

I will gladly accept the credit, though, for making sure that he doesn't go unchallenged.

Thursday, August 16
Cat2222

Fake news. Fake sources. Fake people. Fake names.

Happy August everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

RC you forgot - FAKE MAYOR

Thursday, August 16