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While council say he’s qualified, it denies Pisaturo’s appointment to sewer board

Despite his qualifications, former Ward 5 Councilman Carlo Pisaturo Jr. was denied a seat on the Warwick Sewer Authority Board by a 4-5 vote during Monday’s council meeting. Those voting against the appointment were Council President Bruce Place, Ward 1 Councilman Steven Colantuono, Ward 3 Councilwoman Camille Vella-Wilkinson, Ward 6 Councilwoman Donna Travis and Ward 8 Councilman Ray Gallucci, had various reservations about approving the appointment.

One of the issues for Gallucci, along with Vella-Wilkinson and Travis, is that if Pisaturo had been appointment, there would have been multiple members from the same ward.

The board, which is comprised of five members, already has a person representing Ward 5 in Peter Ginaitt. The remaining members are Steven Sylven of Ward 4, Gary Jarvis and Aaron Guckian, both of Ward 1, and Fred Sullivan of Ward 2, who Pisaturo would have replaced.

If Pisaturo currently lived in Ward 7, 8 or 9, said Gallucci, he would have backed him.

“The Sewer Plant is in Ward 8,” Gallucci said. “In 2010 we got devastated [by the historic floods]. I was there for the people of Ward 8 and I believe somebody should be appointed who has the same qualifications Carlo has from either Ward 7, 8 or 9. That is my only objection.”

Ward 4 Councilman Joseph Solomon disagreed.

“Mr. Gallucci, with all due respect, there is another appointment in Ward 5 – Peter Ginaitt,” said Solomon. “What I find ironic here this evening is that I look around to my colleagues on the council and, for the most part, I’ve seen each and every council member here vote for confirmation on boards and commissions with individuals from the same ward and to change horses this evening. I wonder how genuine they’re being here [and] if that is an adequate excuse.”

Solomon went on to say that while Vella-Wilkinson recently introduced legislation that aims to avoid appointing multiple people from the same ward to boards and commissions, the council voted Monday to reappoint three members who all live in Ward 1 to the Juvenile Hearing Board. Vella-Wilkinson was the sole member to oppose the appointments.

Solomon added, “I think [Pisaturo] possesses the tools and would be an excellent candidate.”

Ward 5 Councilman John DelGiudice shared Solomon’s sentiments. He noted that the members of the Sewer Authority represent the entire city, not just the areas they reside.

DelGiudice also said Pisaturo would have been the best person for the position due to his experience in the field, as Pisaturo was employed by Garofalo & Associates from April 1999 to July 2011 as a resident engineer and construction inspector. There, he worked on sewer and water systems in areas in Rhode Island, including Cranston, Providence and North Providence, as well as Fall River, Mass. He oversaw construction, adhered to specifications and materials in construction.

Further, he’s worked on bridges, streets, sidewalks and city parks.

“Carlo has the qualifications…and I think it would be a shame to let someone like Carlo slip by without making use of the assets he could bring to the table simply because he comes from Ward 5,” said DelGiudice. “He would be a strong advocate for sewers throughout the city.”

Further, said DelGiudice, Pisaturo, who was elected to in 1992 where he served for 12 years, proposed a $130 million bond issue relative to the initiation of sewer development in the City of Warwick in 1994.

“He led the charge on that and was largely responsible for the passage of the $130 million bond issue,” said DelGiudice. “He can bring all that knowledge to the table and share it with the members of the Sewer Authority Board and move the board forward in the future.”

Vella-Wilkinson, a member of the Appointments Committee, as well as Colantuono, found Pisaturo’s résumé to be extremely impressive. However, they had issues that there would be potential conflicts of interest because of Pisaturo’s previous work with some of the vendors.

In that case, said Vella-Wilkinson, he would have to excuse himself from certain votes, which, in essence, would ultimately leave the seat empty.

Colantuono said while he’s not worried about what ward Pisaturo resides in, he’s more interested in possible conflicts of interest.

“I’m concerned about that,” he said.

As far as the issue of a conflict of interest, Pisaturo originally retired earlier this year but went back to work for the company temporarily. He plans to retire again from his position within the month.

Additionally, DelGiudice said that if the council intends to disqualify people who have worked in the industry because they may or may not have a deal with someone they previously worked with, it would be nearly impossible to find a candidate who is uniquely qualified.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” said DelGiudice. “We need people who have worked in that field. [He] has all of the qualifications, and I don’t believe there is anyone more qualified than Carlo.”

Vella-Wilkinson raised another concern. She expressed frustration that she was never given an opportunity to seek someone in her own ward who is uniquely qualified to serve on the board. Ward 9 Councilman Steven Merolla said he was amused by the entire debate.

“I’m kind of chuckling here as I listen to everybody because it was only about a year ago that we all voted to disband the Warwick Sewer Authority,” he said. “Remember why? Because it was so badly mismanaged.”

He also recalled Pisaturo’s positive impacts on the council in the 12 years he served.

“Carlo always had an opinion and was never afraid to voice it,” Merolla said. “Looking at that Sewer Authority, that’s a very refreshing change. You really need an independent voice.”

But by the end of the discussion, the majority ruled and it was decided that Pisaturo would not be appointed. Before the meeting adjourned, Pisaturo was able to voice his opinion via the 15-minute period that allows people to share their thoughts.

He said while personal conflicts always exit, he was able to put aside his feelings when he served in the council and would have done the same as a member of the Sewer Authority.

“I feel my knowledge and expertise could have been a big asset to the Sewer Authority, but I guess some of the members of the council didn’t feel that way,” he said. “To the people who voted for me, I thank you.”

18 comments on this item

Colantuono said while he’s not worried about what ward Pisaturo resides in, he’s more interested in possible conflicts of interest. “I’m concerned about that,” he said.

According to the story in Tuesday paper Colantuono voted in 2009 to allow for him to be the last elected city council member to get lifetime health-care after serving only 6 years in office. "AND HE'S CONCERNED ABOUT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST". Look in the mirror M

What a joke. Vella Wilkinson is on the appointments committee....how frightening...the stupid questions she asks and ideas she promotes are laughable. Coluntuano asking about conflict of interest....how about Stevie voting for his own lifetime healthcare.

I guess they will now put forward Don Torres....ex=firefighter with no construction experience...there will be a fight on that appointment.

Hey Fedup can you check paper for me, anything on sale at Dave's or stop n shop?

Steve D....up late...thought you would be asleep at the firehouse implementing the min. manning provision in your contract. That rip off cost the taxpayers millions....privatize the dept.

Yes minimum manning is here in Warwick we are operating at a MINIMUM LEVEL. 3 on an engine 2 on a ladder can't get much more minimum than that. You still never fail to tell me how privitizing the dept would work? Maybe you haven't heard NO ONE WANTS TO VOLUNTEER ANYMORE. You gonna use robots to handle 18000 calls a year? Florida called they need you!!!!

Steve D.....you don't even know what min. manning means....not surprising....warwick firemen are the greediest city workers we have....they always comlplain how much they work....just leave because you weren't drafted....the 18000 calls figure sounds like a lot but brake it down by days and number of firehouses and deduct sending a truck with resue squard and so how many do they actually do fighting fires and how many trips to Dave's?

Hey FedUp....I'm gonna say this again to you...this time real slow so you understand....if you really cared about Warwick then you should've run for office or maybe tried to get on a committee!!! So guess you really don't want to make a difference after all...but only want to try and tear down those that are trying to better this great city of ours!! Take SteveD's recommendation and move out buddy!! No one wants you here anymore!! You are just a trouble maker...


You have to love it...Stevie and his buddies can't take the heat....they know we have the facts re: the fire dept ripping off the city with pensions and benefits...why don't they leave and give us a fire dept without all the fringes and my taxes will drop greatly.

Hey Stevie D: As a Warwick Firefighter what are your thoughts regarding your hero Councilman Colantuono voting to give himself lifetime health-care after only 6 years in office. How does it feel not to get a raise for the next three years? I wouldn't be happy especially after Stevie C voted that you shouldn't get any raise and then when asked to justify voting for lifetime healthcare for himself says the question doesn't dignify an answer. You supported this guy and now this guy is screwing you along with the mayor. Did you know about the multi million dollar surplus before you accepted three years without a raise?

Bottom line is that Avedisan, Colantuono and his other cronies on the council really don't care about you and your family. If they did they wouldn't line their pockets with benefits that no one else in the city can get for working a part time. job. And you support these guys - pathetic. Years from now when the house of crds come tumbling down you will be asking "how did this happen". Take a look at Cranston. The only thing that separates Warwick from Cranston is the huge commercial base that props up taxes and that revenue still isn't enough to allow you to receive cost of living raises.

Don't you understand something is seriously wrong and who is to blame?

Fedup, let me see your breakdown. The reporting system is a national system we don't make it up. If you are half as smart as you think you are you know why we send a engine with a rescue "SQUARD". I haven't seen anyone complain about work. You sound like mittens Romney with all those lies.

That's right Stevie....I'm not as bright as you....all I did is going into private industry and fend for myself and not rely on a greedy fire union to do my thinking and bankrupt the taxpayers with my benefits.

It's true Romney sees America as it once was.... the envy of the world and not the pandering no accountability Obama nation.

You are the smartest person alive Fedup. Wish I could be like you some day..... Your the one crying, not me...

it would have been nice to see jarvis sitting beside carlo when jarvis was chair for the dems he said he wanted carlo head on a plate. think back people who play in this city. Soon i.ll be comeing out in 2014 been sitting on my ass for to long . Please stop crying we all need a strong fire & police dept at any cost.

Steve D, why no comment on Councilman Colantuono? Not speaking up to expose an injustice, justifies it. Is that your position?

Honestly I've never met him. Don't feel the need to comment on it. He hasn't done anything for me.

I will say you should have to work for the city for at least 20 years to collect any benefit

no comments from joyce winstead? wow, she's all of a sudden.....let's say....at a loss for words?

I live now in AZ . I can't believe all the political issues that have been involved with sewers.We all know of the sweetheart deals with retirements from the state and city systems....I Just missed the" golden parachute job" at the State..but I really am thankful that the union (that I Still belong to), fought for the common man.Whom pays all the taxes, fights all the wars, and raised their kids to the best of their abilities.Even Now as I write this letter my daughter is still waiting for these "hanger on political people" to FIX the situation near the airport that involves my 5 generation family. Yes ,I am thankful that I have been retired 16 years,and I am just really curious as to When and IF the sewers have been completed ? For I was a Draftsman at Maguire Associates in 1974 ON the Warwick sewers, and cannot believe the mess that it still involves. They can say what they want about AZ,but when they start a job they.....they finish it...What is a good thing to see is the co-operation that went down with the Station Memorial ,and that my beloved old Rocky Point is making progress.Kudos on those involved

.As my Zen Master would say..."Keep clear mind and just DO IT"

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