Beach fees put on hold for the summer

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Acting Mayor Joseph Solomon announced on Thursday afternoon that he would be suspending the approved plan to reinstitute beach fees at Warwick’s public beach facilities for the upcoming season.

“Our beaches are some of Warwick’s best recreational and environmental assets,” Solomon said in a press release. “My ultimate goal is to ensure that our beaches are clean for the enjoyment of our residents and out-of-town guests and to keep litter from polluting the Bay, without putting a possibly undue financial burden on beachgoers. Putting this program on hold will enable us to get a better grasp of any causal factors related to the litter that’s being generated and address the problem in a fiscally-responsible, effective, and multi-faceted way.”

The release indicates that Solomon made the decision partly due to “recent concerns expressed by residents over the initiative” and due to the fact that the FY19 budget recently submitted by former Mayor Scott Avedisian did not project revenues or expenditures related to the fee program.

“I cannot in good faith move forward with this program without definitive budget information,” Solomon said.

The release indicates that, in lieu of the fee program, the city will be looking at “restructuring of certain departmental functions and an analysis of how to streamline some municipal services is underway,” which “could likely free up additional resources for this purpose than have traditionally been allocated.”

The beach fees program was originally proposed last August by Ward 6 Councilwoman Donna Travis and was finalized and approved by a unanimous vote of the Warwick City Council back in December. It would have imposed fees at $20 per car for a season pass for Warwick residents and $40 per car for nonresidents, with senior discounts halving those amounts. Single visit fees would have been $5 for Warwick residents and $10 for nonresidents, again with senior discounts available.

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richardcorrente

The beach fees were supposed to go directly to the improvement of Oakland Beach. It would improve our beach and attract new visitors who might become new homeowners reducing the tax burden on the rest of us. The bill was unanimously approved by the Warwick City Council, including President Joe Solomon. The reason that Mayor Avedisian's budget didn't "project revenues or expenditures related to the fee program", is because there aren't any additional expenditures or revenue.

To put this idea on hold until Mayor Solomon gets "a better grasp of any casual factors related to the litter that's being generated and address the problem in a fiscally-responsible, effective, and multi-faceted way" (those were his exact words) sounds wrong to me. He voted on it! He said "Yes" in December 2017. Now he's saying "No"??I don't understand it. I don't understand that AT ALL. It sounds like the words of a used car dealer. What "definitive budget information" does Mayor Solomon need for an item that doesn't effect the budget?

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, May 17
CrickeeRaven

"To put this idea on hold... sounds wrong to me."

Yes, taking time to deliberate and study the imposition of parking fees sounds wrong to the make-believe mayor, who has shown no ability to restrain himself from repeatedly making delusional and false statements.

"It sounds like the words of a used car dealer."

Yes, the words of the make-believe mayor do sound like someone who is attempting to fool people, from his false statements about how the FY19 budget was passed, to his repeated lies about changes in the business sector in Warwick, to his lies about his own tax delinquency, to his recent attacks on Acting Mayor Solomon when he previously praised him.

But honest, taxpaying voters will not be fooled when they overwhelmingly reject the make-believe mayor's candidacy again.

Thursday, May 17
Scal1024

Rick, once again get your notebook out. Its time to go to school...

What a disingenuous liar!

Councilman Solomon did vote yes on the original bill. Then something happened...he was hearing from constituents concerned about the cost of using the beach this summer.

I'm not surprised you have this all backwards. You think charging people is going to attract MORE people to use the beach this summer? Attract homeowners? Get real. I will grant you the cost will help with SOME litter. However, the original reason they did away with this program was that it cost more to pay employees to collect the fees, than it was actually generating in revenue at the time. Rushing into this program without knowing the right amount (a fair fee amount that covers the cost of employees, but also beach cleanup). Otherwise we are jumping the gun, chasing our tail over a couple bucks in revenue

I applaud Mayor Solomon for getting ahead of the problem. This would've done nothing other than deter people from using the beach, cause people to flood the parking lots of Iggys and Top of the Bay, and likely not generate much in revenue.

This was NOT a business friendly fee and certainly not a "taxpayer friendly fee".

How can someone say they represent the taxpayers when they want to charge local residents a fee to use the beach? The simple answer is, THEY CANNOT!

Thursday, May 17
richardcorrente

Dear Scal1024,

You didn't major in economics did you?

Let me explain. If you want to take notes please do. The research on the beach fees was done WELL BEFORE the bill was presented to the Warwick City Council. It showed that the beach fees would cost far less than revenue received. THEN revenue received would be spent ONLY to make the beach cleaner and more attractive. THEN we would attract new visitors some of which would become new homebuyers paying new taxes reducing the tax needs on the rest of us. All those questions were asked and answered BEFORE the bill was voted on and THEN the City Council including Council President Joe Solomon unanimously voted to approve it! That was only 5 months ago Scal.

For Joe to change his mind now is to be indecisive at best or dishonest at worst. The 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab have a right to know what their Mayor is doing and they don't. It's basic economics Scal. That bill created value for our beach. It would have made visitors respect our beach, just like the state beaches in southern R.I. and at a lower cost. It would make them more aware of Oakland Beach. It would make them want to visit Oakland Beach and perhaps want to live here in Warwick, and if only one family moved in, that would generate thousands of tax dollars that Warwick doesn't have today. I went to school Scal. I took economics in high school and also at Bryant College. It isn't me that needs to take notes.

I'll give you a couple of examples of how this works.

In Cranston, Mayor Fung lowered taxes and their population increased creating MORE total tax revenue due to the MORE taxpayers causing LESS need for taxes-per-person Here in Warwick, Mayor Avedisian raised taxes for 17 years in a row and 5,800 taxpayers moved out in the last ten years alone (according to the U.S, Census) creating MORE need for MORE taxes-per-person.

In Florida then Gov. Charlie Crist raised taxes (in 2006) by $500,000,000 and Florida lost 832,000 jobs (and the taxpayers that went with them). THEN Rick Scott became governor, LOWERED TAXES by $500,000,000 (same amount) and, are you getting this Scal, jobs INCREASED by 600,000. So did the number of taxpayers. So did total tax revenue. Think of it this way: If a store has a sale, they make less profit-per-item but they sell many more items so total profit goes UP!

So here is the economic lesson of the day. "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending". It worked in Cranston. It worked in Florida. It works for stores. It will work in Warwick.

Happy Spring Scal1024

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, May 17
Scal1024

Rick, you are great at telling me what other cities and states have done. What you fail at each and every time is to tell me what YOU will do, and not just "cut taxes cut spending". You say your programs will be paid for by new residents moving to Warwick. However, they won't be moving here day 1 so that up front cost is passed on to taxpayers. You cannot answer even estimate the cost of your giveaway programs such as buy a house get a check. Just 1 small example. You also cannot answer similar questions on car taxes which you claim you will cut for seniors and veterans. No idea on how many seniors or veterans are in Warwick. You have no idea how many Warwick residents will be seniors in the next 3-5 years yet you make these false claims about affordability. Its dishonest, disingenuous and below the office of mayor. You are simply not qualified to run for this office.

You must not have majored in economics because your personal finances are an abomination, and you're a mortgage guy who had his home foreclosed...on top of not being bright you don't understand that saying "cut taxes" is not a tax cut. You also live in this fairytale land where people walk on a beach and say "I'm going to move here." You also seem to neglect the people you say you "work for". You are fighting to raise fees on the very taxpayers you falsely claim to represent. Taxpayers weren't happy with paying parking fees for a beach most locals don't use.

This is a clear study in what a reckless mayor Rick Corrente would be. Rather than listen to constituents and study the legislation first, he would rather have us rush into something while RAISING FEES on EVERY DRIVING Warwick Resident, not taxpayer EVERY DRIVING RESIDENT. In this campaign so far 1 candidate has proposed raising fees on taxpayers and that is Richard Corrente. He continues to argue in favor of RAISING FEES.

This man has the audacity to call himself the "taxpayers" mayor. "Cut Taxes, Cut Spending" unless it comes to beach fees because of course Rick Corrente wants to raise those. I'm sure he can't wait to raise plenty of more fees and taxes to help pay for his giveaways and new spending programs that he's not smart enough to tell you the cost of. There is no limit to his hypocrisy and arrogance. Imagine having the stones to tell someone "you must not have majored in economics" while claiming you will "cut taxes" while arguing in favor of raising them. I'm glad Mayor Solomon is looking out for taxpayers because Rick Corrente isn't smart enough, or qualified enough to.

Thursday, May 17
CrickeeRaven

Scal, let's not forget how shamelessly the make-believe mayor continues to lie: "5,800 taxpayers moved out in the last ten years..."

This is a lie. Here is the actual data:

U.S. Census data for 2010 through 2017 shows a reduction from 82,670 to 81,579, or 1,091 -- not 5,800.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/warwickcityrhodeisland/PST045216

This is actually what "according to the U.S. Census" means -- that the real information is provided online, and easily found in barely 15 seconds.

Instead, the make-believe mayor continues to put effort into repeating his lies about Warwick's population AND Cranston's past tax increases (which I also thoroughly exposed as a lie in thr comments on this page: http://warwickonline.com/stories/pilgrim-political-club-quizes-fung-on-school-safety-state-issues,133829?#comments )

Like you, I cannot wait for the first opportunity to join thousands of honest, taxpaying voters in rejecting the make-believe mayor's lie-filled campaign.

Thursday, May 17
richardcorrente

Dear CrickeeRaven,

You are wrong...again.

According to the U.S. Census, verified by The Warwick Beacon, 5,800 people moved OUT of Warwick in the last ten years. How else would you explain how our student population crashed from 17,000 to 8,500?

Warwick NEEDS to re-populate. I have a plan. Feel free to disagree with it if you like but then tell us all what you would do instead. Otherwise, even you will have to admit that my plan is the best plan.

Happy Spring CR.

Happy Spring everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, May 18
Scal1024

Again, CrickeeRaven provides a link disproving this dope and he continues to blabber on without acknowledging that Crickee is right.

Scal1024 plan:

If I were mayor unlike you Rick I'd have a plan to share with voters.

- I would start with a cap on pensions at 150% of state median household income. This will be done until ALL city pension plans are properly funded. We're not going to have someone work 30 years to find out there is no pension for them when they retire.

-Freeze COLAS across ALL city government and use that money to fund future health care liabilities (which you have no idea how to even begin to deal with). This is a small start to a large problem. A large problem that is currently 0% funded.

-I would ask ALL city employees (I'd likely exempt WFD due to the risks involved but would study ways ie health insurance payment incentives to keep them healthy as possible) to pay more toward their share of health insurance. Not many places are offering what Warwick is, its time to address these costs. If a plan is $30,000 and a standard city employee pays 10% or even 15-20% that is a HUGE remaining cost on taxpayers. Rick Corrente has no answer for this problem. The goal with health incentives, wellness checks is to lower the $30,000 cost, while increasing the % paid by the employee. THAT is how you reduce spending in a big way.

- I would ask every city department to turn in budgets with and without a 5% & 10% reduction in spending to see what is truly needed. I wouldn't penalize departments that overspend like fake mayor Corrente has suggested

- I would waive beach fees for ALL city residents. There are employees who are supposed to clean the beach regularly. I would increase the amount of workers at OB and Conimicut locations, and increase time spent cleaning our beaches.

With reasonable spending caps, as well as smarter purchasing, increased health insurance share responsibilities we are lessoning the burden on taxpayers. Rick Correntes plan will blow the budget up completely, forcing him to raise TAXES AND BEACH FEES to help pay for his giveaways. I have laid out proposals and how much they will cost, BUT also explained the cost.

This is only to show the fake mayor that I did more in 1 post than he's done in 2+ years with OVER $40,000. He's had over 2 years and he still can't tell you how to pay for anything, where the money would come from or how much ANYTHING WILL COST. This isn't the time for a learn on the fly buffoon like Rick Corrente. Warwick taxpayers are smarter than the "mortgage guy" who had his home foreclosed on and they will show it this election season.

Friday, May 18
CrickeeRaven

"According to the U.S. Census, verified by The Warwick Beacon..."

This erroneous figure by the make-believe mayor was never "verified" by the Beacon; it was attributed to the make-believe mayor but never confirmed independently by the newspaper.

"5,800 people moved OUT of Warwick in the last ten years."

As the information provided in a comment above proves, this is a false statement. Here is the link -- again -- that shows a reduction in Warwick's population from 82,670 to 81,579 between 2010 and 2017, or 1,091 -- not 5,800:

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/warwickcityrhodeisland/PST045216

"How else would you explain how our student population crashed from 17,000 to 8,500?"

The numbers presented by the make-believe mayor are false on many counts.

First, that change, from 17,000 to 8,500, would equate to a population drop of 8,500 -- not 5,800.

Second, the school population has not fallen by half in 10 years -- that drop occurred over 40+ years:

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170312/aging-population-leaves-warwick-mulling-plans-for-empty-schools

Here is the relevant quote from that article: "In the early 1970s Warwick enrolled about 19,000 students in its public schools, said School Supt. Philip Thornton. Today [2017] they number less than 9,000, he said."

Third, the figure of 8,500 provided by the make-believe mayor is factually incorrect. According to the RI Department of Education, the district has a current enrollment of 9,124: http://infoworks.ride.ri.gov/district/warwick

"[T]ell us all what you would do instead."

I and thousands of honest, taxpaying voters in Warwick will overwhelmingly reject the make-believe mayor's lie-filled campaign.

Friday, May 18
CrickeeRaven

Scal, it's really pathetic how easy the make-believe mayor's comments can be disproven. And in reply, all he does is say "you're wrong" and simply repeat his lies.

After reading your well-thought-out and detailed plan, it's even clearer how completely unfit for office the make-believe mayor is.

He has no grasp of basic facts; he does not understand how budgets work; his "plan" is a sham with no details; and he contradicts his own statements, as in the example you cite, where he claims to be against taxes but supports increasing parking fees at Warwick's beaches.

Like you, I give Warwick voters far more credit than the make-believe mayor does. He thinks he can mislead them and get their votes. You and I know that they will easily see through his false statements in overwhelmingly rejecting his second futile campaign and rightfully making him a minor footnote in Warwick election history.

Friday, May 18
Kammy

Richard, can you please provide the source for your numbers? That may clear up any understanding.

I have cited the US Census Statistics as CrickeeRaven. I have also used DataUS.IO and warwick.areaconnect.com/statiscis.htm.

Friday, May 18
CrickeeRaven

Kammy:

Like you, I would like to see an actual source for something -- anything -- that the make-believe mayor says, for once.

As we know, he previously made a claim about the changes in the Warwick business sector that was based on a completely erroneous comparison of federal and state data.

The make-believe mayor admitted to the Beacon that "he [was] comparing data from two different sources," and "didn’t have more current census or more historic secretary of state figures that would have given comparisons."

Here is the article from May 31, 2016 that includes this admission by the make-believe mayor: http://warwickonline.com/stories/corrente-gop-chair-differ-over-meaning-of-the-numbers,113096?#comments

He later stopped making that claim, after it was exposed as a lie.

[I am sure you remember this article that correctly reviewed business data and found the make-believe mayor's claims to be wrong: https://warwickpost.com/numbers-game-corrente-claims-of-lost-businesses-dont-add-up/ ]

And now, he is repeating a false claim about the city's population that similarly has no basis in objective fact, yet he claims that he has information from the U.S. Census. Given that he twisted and misused Census information for his prior false claim, it's clear that he believes he should be able to do that again with population data.

Instead of providing any source of fact, the make-believe mayor instead presents a false premise as true, and then demands that other people provide information to support it. This is the definition of the term "intellectually dishonest."

So, while I share your interest in seeing the proof behind the make-believe mayor's claim, I think we've seen enough of his past behavior to know that he has none.

Friday, May 18
CrickeeRaven

... And here it is, three days later, and has the make-believe mayor replied with a verifiable, factual source for his claims?

As is typical for him, no, he has not. If he did, he would have been as quick to provide it as he has been to simply tell others that they are wrong. This exposes yet another defect in the make-believe mayor's character, that he thinks he can disprove facts simply by ignoring them and shouting down others.

What he has so often failed to acknowledge is that the data and facts presented on numerous occasions are true. They are no less true because he doesn't like what they prove about him: That many of his statements are false.

Honest, taxpaying voters will reject his candidacy again at the first opportunity.

Monday, May 21