April 16, 2009  Regular City Council Meeting

 

 

CITY OF PROVIDENCE

RHODE ISLAND

CITY COUNCIL

JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS

 

No. 8 City Council Regular Meeting, Thursday, April 16, 2009, 7:00 o’clock P.M. (E.D.T)

 

PRESIDING

 

COUNCIL PRESIDENT

PETER S. MANCINI

 

ROLL CALL

 

PRESENT:              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI, COUNCILMEN APONTE, DELUCA, COUNCILWOMAN DIRUZZO, COUNCILMEN HASSETT, IGLIOZZI, JACKSON, LOMBARDI, LUNA, SOLOMON, WOOD and YURDIN – 12.

 

ABSENT:              COUNCILMEN NARDUCCI, TEJADA and COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG – 3.

 

              (SUBSEQUENTLY COUNCILMEN NARDUCCI, and COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG JOIN THE MEETING)

 

ALSO PRESENT:              Anna M. Stetson, City Clerk, Lori L. Hagen, Second Deputy City Clerk, Sheri A. Petronio, Assistant Clerk and Adrienne G. Southgate, Deputy City Solicitor.

 

 

INVOCATION

 

              The Invocation is given by COUNCILMAN MICHAEL A. SOLOMON.

             

                           

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG

OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

 

              COUNCILMAN JOHN J. LOMBARDI Leads the Members of the City Council and the Assemblage in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN NARDUCCI JOINS THE MEETING.

 

 

APPROVAL OF RECORDS

 

              Journal of Proceedings No. 23 of the Regular Meeting of the City Council held October 2, 2008 and Journal of Proceedings No. 24 of the Regular Meeting of the City Council held October 16, 2008, are approved as printed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN

              DELUCA.

 

 

APPOINTMENTS BY HIS HONOR THE MAYOR

 

              Communication dated April 3, 2009, Informing the Honorable Members of the City Council that pursuant to Section 302(b) of the Providence Home Rule Charter of 1980, as amended, and Section 2 of Chapter 332 of the Public Laws, 1981, he is this day re-appointing Mr. Guy Abelson of 314 Benefit Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02906, as a member of the Capital Center Commission for a term to expire on June 30, 2012.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Receives the foregoing Communication.

 

 

PRESENTATION OF ORDINANCES

 

              COUNCILMAN IGLIOZZI:

 

              An Ordinance in Amendment of the Providence Code of Ordinances, Chapter 15 “Motor Vehicles and Traffic”, Article XI, “Motorized Vehicles”, Section 131, “Motorized Devices.”

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Ordinance to the Committee on Ordinances.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN LOMBARDI:

 

              An Ordinance Relating to Article IV, Chapter 17, Section 17-189(5) of the Code of Ordinances. (Disability Waiver Request)

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Ordinance to the Committee on Finance.

             

 

              COUNCILMAN WOOD:

 

              An Ordinance Amending Chapter 4 of the Code of Ordinances Entitled: “Animals and Fowl”.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Ordinance to the Committee on Ordinances.

 

 

PRESENTATION OF RESOLUTIONS

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI, COUNCILMEN APONTE, DELUCA, COUNCILWOMAN DIRUZZO, COUNCILMEN HASSETT, IGLIOZZI, JACKSON, LOMBARDI, LUNA, NARDUCCI, SOLOMON, TEJADA, WOOD, COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG and COUNCILMAN YURDIN:

 

              Resolution Celebrating Municipal Clerks Week, May 3, 2009 through May 9, 2009.

                

              Read and Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI, COUNCILMEN APONTE, DELUCA, COUNCILWOMAN DIRUZZO, COUNCILMEN HASSETT, IGLIOZZI, JACKSON, LUNA, NARDUCCI, SOLOMON, TEJADA, WOOD, COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG and COUNCILMAN YURDIN:

 

              Resolution Extending Sincere Best Wishes for a Happy Birthday to Councilman John J. Lombardi on April 30, 2009.

               

              Read and Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN APONTE:

 

              Resolution Requesting the Traffic Engineer to prohibit motor vehicle traffic along Shipyard Street, from Ernest Street to Harbourside Boulevard, on Sunday, May 3, 2009, between the hours of 8:00 o’clock a.m. to 6:00 o’clock p.m., to accommodate the “Twenty-Fourth (24th) Annual Motorcycle Blessing.”  The event will take place at L. Russo Trucking, 5 Shipyard Street, Providence, Rhode Island between the hours of 8:00 o’clock a.m. to 6:00 o’clock p.m.

               

              Read and Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

             

              COUNCILMEN HASSETT, IGLIOZZI, NARDUCCI, COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI, COUNCILMEN APONTE, DELUCA, COUNCILWOMAN DIRUZZO, COUNCILMEN JACKSON, LOMBARDI, LUNA, SOLOMON, TEJADA, WOOD, COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG and COUNCILMAN YURDIN:

 

              Resolution Endorsing House Bill 5238 introduced in the 2009 session of the General Assembly and hereby urges passage of the act to add the City of Providence to the list of municipalities that can charge interest on unpaid quarterly local tax bills and thereby reducing the amount of interest to be accrued.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Resolution to the Special Committee on State Legislation.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN JACKSON:

 

              Resolution Requesting that Olney Street, from North Main Street to Hope Street, be designated as the “Jeffrey Osborne Way”.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Resolution to the Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal and Planning.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN LOMBARDI:

 

              Resolution Rescinding Resolution No. 120, Approved March 16, 2009, and amending said resolution to read:

 

              Resolution Requesting the Traffic Engineer to establish “Two-Hour Parking” on the easterly side of Bradford Street, between Broadway and Federal Street.

               

              Read and Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN LUNA, COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI, COUNCILMEN HASSETT, IGLIOZZI, JACKSON, LOMBARDI, NARDUCCI, TEJADA, YURDIN, COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG, COUNCILMEN SOLOMON and WOOD:

 

              Resolution Requesting the Creation of a Special Committee of the City Council, Entitled: “Special Committee to Study and make amendments to PERA”.

               

              Read and Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

 

              COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG JOINS THE MEETING.

 

 

PERSONAL EXPRESSION

 

              COUNCILMAN LOMBARDI Requests the Privilege of the floor to speak on a Point of Personal Expression and states:

 

              “This is in regard to the lobbyist that was hired from a Washington firm, Perk, Madigan, Jones & Stuart.  It was a total of $135,000.00 over nine months including some work already done before the Board of Contract and Supply.  I have in front of me a memo or questionnaire of the questions that were sent to the Solicitor and cc’d to the Chief of Staff, Finance Director and the Director of Administration on two separate concerns.  This administration continues to violate the spirit, the tenor and the interpretation of the Board of Contract and Supply as well as the various ordinances, two separate violations that I saw. 

All projects costing more than $5,000.00 must go out to bid.

“…It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Contract and Supply to make all contracts for purchase of materials, supplies, services, equipment, the price or consideration of which shall exceed $5,000.00 on the basis of sealed bids solicited through the public advertisement in the newspaper or general circulation in Providence…” Section 1007(c) of the Home Rule Charter. 

Then part two.  Reserve funds. “… surplus revenues go back into the General Fund..” and are to be directed by the City Council.  “…Any surplus resulting from access revenue, receipts or estimates and unencumbered balances of appropriations at the end of any fiscal year shall revert to the General Fund.  Current operating surplus shall be subject to such reservations of other disposition as the City Council may direct…”  Section 808. 

And finally under Section 810:   The Mayor may authorize a transfer of the portion provided that no transfer shall exceed $5,000.00 in the aggregate within one fiscal year and provided further that the Mayor shall notify the City Council of the transfer, , if the amount to be transferred exceeds $5,000.00 it shall be the duty of the Mayor to submit the proposal in writing to the City Council for approval or rejection before such transferred is accomplished. 

Now I don’t see permissive language, I see mandatory language and it’s happened ad infinitum.  I just want to remind my colleagues that you swore to uphold the constitution, you swore to uphold Rhode Island General Laws and you swore to uphold the Charter, and this administration continues to flaunt it and at what point are we going to stop this.  By the way, I can name a myriad of people who can easily monitor this, and with our substantial contacts in Washington, i.e. Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jim Langevin and Congressman Kennedy, I’m sure that they could assign somebody to do it.  I made a recommendation that someone in the Council Office would gladly do this for maybe $75,000.00.  Imagine that’s you’re only job.  All of you who multi-task all day long just think about that.  How would you like to have this job for $135,000.000 and all you have to do is monitor it.  Don’t forget, this was the administration that called, we had a meeting that said we’re going to talk about the stimulus money.  When they were asked a very simple question, “what are the rules of engagement”?  I don’t know.  “How much is one and one”?  I don’t know.  “How much is two and two”?  I don’t know and nobody knows.  I think that it’s incumbent upon us, especially many people who are going to be running for re-election.  I think if you’re violating the Charter and violating the ordinances, I think you better really think about this.  We need to step up and it’s not okay.  They had the time.  I provided you with a letter when I submitted my proposal, a letter upgrading all the lighting on Atwells Avenue, dated in December of 2008 that this money was available to the executive branch of government.  It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming down the pipe.  We should be ready.  We should be application ready.  We should be ready to go.  What’s so hard about this?  This is important.  This is a significant amount of money.  We should be embracing this.  We qualify, this city qualifies.  So goes the City, so goes the State of Rhode Island.  I think that at some point we’ve got some explaining to do somewhere.  We did it with the $200,000.00 audit and we continue to do it.  We just continue to do this.  You can’t do it.  It’s in violation of the Charter.  You know once again, I offer this to the administration.  If they need a quick 101 lesson on how to read the Charter it takes a couple of hours.  It’s not hard stuff.  It’s really not hard stuff.  I offer my services.  Thank you very much.

 

              COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG Requests the Privilege of the floor to speak on a Point of Personal Expression and states:

 

              “I wanted to talk a little bit about PERA.  I won’t be that long.  I’m sorry I was late.  As you know how difficult it was to get PERA started and it took a lot of effort on the part of community groups, community organizations and this Council to finally pass PERA and there was a lot of road blocks put in PERA’s path.  Unfortunately, that has come back again.  It was a coordinated and ongoing and consistent attempt to dismantle PERA, that’s what this is all about.  There are forces out there that doesn’t like what PERA is doing and they really haven’t done much and it’s not because they haven’t tried, but there are forces out there that feel threatened and intimidated by PERA.  We need PERA more than we’ve ever known.  Part of what PERA was supposed to do was to make sure that if there are any civilian complaints against the Providence Police there will be an independent body to investigate that.  Not to attack police officers who are doing their work and doing it diligently and honestly, but for those 1% or 2% that may from time to time be out of control and do things that are illegal or criminal in nature, PERA was to be the partner that would hopefully keep them in line.  There is fear of PERA.  We know there was legal challenges against PERA which is why it took them a lot longer to begin their work.  People did not want PERA to exist and they still don’t.  They still don’t want it to exist.  All PERA wants to do is do it’s work.  These people are volunteers, they don’t get paid any money.  They volunteer their time to make sure that we have an honest, hard working Police Department which everyone wants and when you have people that really work hard and do the good deeds for the City of Providence as police officers it makes all of us safe.  It makes the good ones look good and it helps eliminate the bad ones.  PERA is necessary.  They’re not spending any more money then what they were spending.  In fact, they’re spending a lot less money because every year their budget gets cut.  Lately there has been an attempt to move them.  Move them where?  Downtown to a new bus line.  How are people going to get to PERA’s office if it’s Downtown Providence and there is not bus line.  We outfitted an office for them in Planning and Development which many years ago we said they had too much space to begin with and now they’re trying to fill it up because they have these leases that are outrageous.  We should be moving Planning and Development into the neighborhood and into a building with PERA, not the opposite.  Most of these departments should be in neighborhoods and because PERA is in my neighborhood that’s all well and good, it doesn’t have to be there.  Joan, if you want it in your neighborhood or somebody else wants it I will support you, but it needs to be in a neighborhood on a bus line where people can get to it where they have privacy and not in a cubical.  There is no privacy there, your information will be given out, there is no confidentially there and they’re buzzed into the area.  This is a farce to move them out of their location without consulting the Board of PERA.  It’s like just do this.  They’re holding up their money and they’re not able to operate the department effectively.  This is an attempt to dismantle that organization and we as Council members who supported this ought to ban together and stop this nonsense and say cease and desist, enough is enough.  Let that agency do their job.  How dare anyone interfere with PERA?  They’ve been under attack for a while now and I’ve had it and my community has too.  PERA needs to be able to function effectively like any city department and do their job.  If there are no cases of police brutality or abuse wonderful.  That’s perfect.  We don’t want to see this.  We don’t want to have cases that go through, but if there are there is some entity out there that can challenge them and it can’t be the City Council or the Mayor.  It needs to be an independent body who has independent actions.  Someone wants to put the chokehold on them and stop what they’re doing, that has to stop.  If we really look into what’s been happening to PERA these last couple of years we would be horrified.  Slowly but steadily there are those forces out there who don’t want it to exist and we should really know that’s it’s needed more than ever.  When someone doesn’t want a body like that who they claim is not doing anything then there is a reason why they want to dismantle it or make it harder for people to make their complaints.  You try getting to Downtown Providence without an automobile.  You try to get a bus to Planning and Development.  So my thing is we need to allow PERA to do their work and if there is a resolution or something and I’m glad we have this committee because we will be digging into what’s really going on at PERA and be able to name names of those people who are trying to abolish this organization.  Names and who is at the top of all of this.  If someone doesn’t want PERA to exist that’s just too bad.  It’s an ordinance, it’s law.  We voted for it.  If there comes a time when we don’t need PERA that’s wonderful, but now it’s not the time.  Thank you very much.” 

 

 

              COUNCILMAN NARDUCCI:

 

              Resolution Requesting the Chief Electrical Inspector to cause the replacement of street lights located in various areas of the Fourth Ward.

               

              Read and Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

 

              COUNCILMAN SOLOMON:

 

              Resolution Requesting the Traffic Engineer to cause the feasibility of a traffic study for Mount Pleasant Avenue, in a northerly and southerly direction, from Smith Street to Chalkstone Avenue for traffic calming.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Resolution to the Committee on Public Works.

 

              Resolution Requesting the Traffic Engineer to cause the implementation of a Traffic Study to make Isabella Avenue a “One-Way”, from Sharon Street to Gentian Avenue.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Resolution to the Committee on Public Works.

 

 

 

REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES

 

COMMITTEE ON CLAIMS AND PENDING SUITS

COUNCILMAN NICHOLAS J. NARDUCCI, JR., Chairman

 

              Transmits the Following with Recommendation the Same be Severally Approved:

 

              Certificates from City Assessor (7N and 8N), recommending the same be severally cancelled pursuant to the provisions of Sections 14 and 15 of Title 44, Chapter 7 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, As Amended.

 

              Certificates from City Assessor (9N and 10N), recommending the same be severally cancelled pursuant to the provisions of Sections 14 and 15 of Title 44, Chapter 7 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, As Amended.

 

              COUNCILMAN HASSETT Moves to Dispense with the Reading of the foregoing matters and Moves Passage of the Several Certificates, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA, by the following Roll Call Vote:

 

AYES:              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI, COUNCILMAN APONTE, DELUCA, COUNCILWOMAN DIRUZZO, COUNCILMEN HASSETT, IGLIOZZI, JACKSON, LUNA, NARDUCCI, SOLOMON, COUNCILWOMAN YOUNG and COUNCILMAN YURDIN – 12.

 

NAYES:              NONE.

 

ABSENT:              COUNCILMEN LOMBARDI, TEJADA and WOOD – 3.

 

              The Motion for Passage of the Several Certificates is Sustained.

 

             

COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS

 

              Construction and Maintenance Agreement for 1R Improvements to Atwells Avenue, Contract 2, Valley Street to Service Road 7.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Communication to the Committee on Public Works.

             

 

              Communication from Councilman Joseph DeLuca, dated April 19, 2009, Informing the City Clerk that he is this day re-appointing Mr. Angel R. Madera of 193 Amherst Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02909, to the Providence External Review Authority (PERA).

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Receives the foregoing Communication.

 

 

FROM THE CLERK’S DESK

 

              Certificates from City Assessor (11N and 12N), recommending the same be severally cancelled pursuant to the provisions of Sections 14 and 15 of Title 44, Chapter 7 of the General Laws of Rhode Island, As Amended.

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Several Certificates to the Committee on Claims and Pending Suits.

 

 

              Petitions for Compensation for Injuries and Damages, viz:

 

Jennifer Bandy

Diusell Ismee and Mary Gerard-Poliicienne

   (Robert V. Russo, Esquire)

John D. Hearn

Viola Martinez

Barbara Furia

Ernest Rowe

Nina Baccala

Jason Thompson

Citizens-Union Insurance Agency, LLC

   a/s/o Gerald and Habbauba Assad

Nina McPherson

Kevin A. Ramirez

   (Charles J. Vucci, Esquire)

Alisha Varner

Marianne Krapf

Melissa Cardona

John Tuttobene

Rosario Peralta

   (Joseph J. Voccola, Esquire)

Thomas Sebastiao

One Beacon Insurance

   a/s/o Dawn M. Hall

Megan Thompson

Aris Garro

MAT, Inc.

Andrea Izzo

Deana Marzocchi Borkman

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI Refers the Several Petitions to the Committee on Claims and Pending Suits.

 

 

PRESENTATION OF RESOLUTIONS “IN CONGRATULATIONS”

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI and MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL:

 

              Resolution Extending Congratulations. 

             

              Severally Read and Collectively Passed, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

PRESENTATION OF RESOLUTIONS “IN MEMORIAM”

 

              COUNCIL PRESIDENT MANCINI and MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL:

 

              Resolution Extending Sympathy.  

             

              Severally Read and Collectively Passed, by a Unanimous Rising Vote, on Motion of COUNCILMAN DELUCA, seconded by COUNCILMAN HASSETT.

 

              The Motion for Passage is Sustained.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

              There being no further business, on Motion of COUNCILMAN HASSETT, seconded by COUNCILMAN DELUCA, it is voted to adjourn at 7:45 o’clock P.M. (E.D.T.), to meet again THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2009 at 7:00 o’clock P.M. (E.D.T.)

 

 

 

ANNA M.  STETSON

CITY CLERK