Corrente, Carbone face off in mayoral forum


Last Thursday, Democratic mayoral candidates Gerald “Ged” Carbone and Richard Corrente sat down in front of panelists from the Warwick Beacon and cameras from PEG-RI public access television in Providence to provide insights into why they would make a good candidate for mayor of Warwick, with only about a week to go until the Democratic Primary on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Although two candidates – Vincent Ferla, owner of C&L Auto Sales in Warwick, and current Mayor Joseph Solomon – did not ultimately attend the forum, Carbone and Corrente discussed current issues in Warwick and expressed their positions for about an hour. The forum aired for the first time on Monday night at 8 p.m. on Channel 17 for Cox customers and Channel 37 for Verizon customers. It will air on these dates proceeding:

l Monday, Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.

l Tuesday, Sept. 4 and Sept. 11 at 8 p.m.

l Wednesday, Sept. 5 and Sept. 12 at 12 p.m. (noon)

l Sunday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m.

While Corrente is known around the city for his motto of “Cut taxes, cut spending,” and his proclivity to stand at busy intersections and wave to residents, Carbone took time from his opening statements to outline a core component of his own campaign – maintaining a more subtle presence.

“I am an outlier in this field, and I think that’s one of my strengths,” said Carbone. “I have a different way of analyzing and solving problems.”

Corrente, however, feels as though his visibility will help him at the ballot box.

“I believe I’m the most recognizable candidate,” he said. “I was the endorsed Democrat for mayor in the last election and I received over 14,000 votes.”

While the 14,000 votes were not enough to unseat Republican stalwart Scott Avedisian – who has since gone on to become CEO of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority in May – Corrente still believes his rallying cry of tax relief will resonate with Warwick voters later this month.

With Corrente, taxes are the bottom line. He cites high taxes as the number one issue on his platform and believes that they are the reason why, “We’ve lost 5,800 taxpayers in the last 10 years,” although that number is closer to 2,000 in the last seven years and 5,000 in the last 17 years. Corrente criticized Solomon for introducing the highest tax increase possible this budget season and credited himself with rallying taxpayers to lobby their city councilmen and women to reject tax increases a year ago.

“I didn’t make the actual vote but it was my rally that caused it. I rallied the 80,000 taxpayers. They told their city council people loudly that they were not going to tolerate it,” he said. “I take great pride in whatever portion of that you credit me for.”

Carbone, however, disagrees with Corrente on the notion that raising taxes is inherently bad.

“I like Mr. Corrente and I have a lot of respect for him, but it seems like he’s taking claim for more than you maybe could, to be honest. I think this idea of cut taxes as public policy is actually unrealistic,” he said. “Nobody likes the property tax. It’s really a regressive tax…[But] I can’t sit here and promise you I’m not going to raise taxes when you look at the next year’s budget.”

Carbone pointed to expenses coming down the line for the city that may necessitate incremental tax increases, such as pay raises for city employees. He also specifically mentioned the fire department needing updated apparatuses to replace aging units in their fleet as being an investment the city should be making.

“We need to stop responding to crisis and we need to start proactively managing to avoid crisis,” Carbone said. “I understand your distaste for property taxes, but I cannot sit here and promise you that they’re never going up. That’s unrealistic.”

On schools

The two candidates clashed on the ongoing school crisis, in which the Warwick School Department has come up millions short of balancing their budget and has been forced to make painful cuts to make up for lost state revenue and declining enrollment that hasn’t been balanced by the consolidation of schools.

Carbone, citing the Warwick City Council’s decision to allocate $5 million for road repaving in the budget this year while only allocating $1.5 million in additional funding towards the schools (who were level funded under the “maintenance budget” that Avedisian left with Solomon and needed about $8 million from the city), said that schools should have received a higher priority.

“If it comes to asphalt or education, I am going to put the emphasis on education,” he said. “I would take most of that $5 million – four of it – and apply it to the schools. We’re lay down some pavement this year and then plan proactively and begin to develop a program to systemically address the paving of our roads rather than just try to dump $5 million all at once.”

Solomon has recently offered $1.75 million more to the schools, which he said would come from the road paving funds allocated in the budget. That offer has not been officially denied or accepted at this time.

“I respectfully disagree with Mr. Carbone,” Corrente said. “I wouldn’t give them [the Warwick School Department] another dime until they are more accountable than they are.”

Corrente questioned the authenticity of a recent school program audit released that backed up the school department’s assessed need for significantly more funding from the city. The report indicated the need (without the $1.75 million in additional funds from the city) to be $4 million. However, Corrente said that this audit should have been chosen by an entity besides the school committee and school department, and questions the objectivity of it.

“Problem is that we don’t have a home rule charter,” Corrente said, later stating that he is not “completely trusting” of the school committee. “What I want to do is find out clearly what they’re doing with taxpayer money before we give them another dime.”

Carbone didn’t share these concerns.

“You have a reputable, professional auditing organization that is hired, frankly it’s kind of insulting to their integrity to say they would doctor their results to meet the [needs of the] school committee,” he said. “They’re going to do a professional audit, otherwise they’d be put out of business.”

On the fire department

Both candidates didn’t see much smoke when it comes to recent reports that the city’s fire department had miscalculated sick time payouts to its rank and file, potentially due to record keeping practices that include handwritten ledgers of every firefighter and administrator in the department.

These alleged misappropriations have reportedly led to an ongoing internal investigation of the department by the city’s auditing firm, YKSM, and have been calculated by independent sources to amount to nearly $250,000 over the last three years.

“There are definitely axes to grind from people that are complaining about that sick day policy,” said Carbone. “It is, by standards of private businesses, a very generous sick day policy and people tend to take advantage of generous programs. I would be very interested in seeing the results of that audit before I pounce on any accusations of fraud. I don’t think it’s there.”

“I’ve met with a lot of them; retired and present, I’ve met with the union leaders and rookie firefighters. They all agree and I agree that there is a system in place and that system needs to be tightened up a bit,’ Corrente said. “I think the small irregularities that have happened have been blown out of proportion. Yeah, I think we have a system that needs to be improved a bit but I would not nearly go toward the word ‘fraud.’”

On the airport

Carbone didn’t mince words when it came the presence and overall effect the airport has had on the city.

“If there was no airport there and somebody came to us and said, ‘I have a great idea, let’s insert an airport right in the middle of the city of Warwick,’ we’d tell them to get lost,” he said. “The airport is a real inconvenience, a real headache, to the city of Warwick. It just is. Whatever tax benefits it may or may not spawn through development off to the side does not overcome the inconvenience of what those families have been going through."

Carbone referenced the “eerie” feeling of large swaths of land that once housed hundreds of residents which were bought by the airport and cleared away to make room for its runway expansion.

“I think you need to find some creative ways of dealing with that space, such as leasing it to farmers who could use it as hay and cornfields. We really need to study that space,” he said. “I think we need to work with the people living near that airport and help them improve the quality of life by rethinking and re-envisioning that space.”

The expansion has allowed the airport to flourish with new carriers and an expansion of offerings, but both candidates questioned at what cost?

“It’s beneficial to the state of Rhode Island. All the citizens of the state of Rhode Island got a much better airport, but at the cost of the people in Warwick,” Corrente said, proposing to enact a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program with the airport to help mitigate some of the environmental harm – Corrente lists air pollution, soil pollution, noise pollution and water pollution – that accompanies the airport.

“They’ve improved their attitude greatly over the last two years,” Corrente said. “They truly want to be a better neighbor. I want to help them become a better neighbor.”

On issues around Warwick

Both Corrente and Carbone supported mandatory sewer hookups for residents receiving sewer lines in their neighborhoods. Carbone said he was open to having the city as a whole pay for repaving of the roads in new sewer installations, which would lessen the burden on those residents and the assessments they’d have to pay.

The two differed on beach fees. Corrente criticized Solomon for “flip flopping” on the issue, as he supported it while he was City Council President and then issued an executive order to repeal the fee program within the first month of being mayor. Carbone said he felt that placing barriers on people who want to enjoy the local beaches was a bad idea.

Both candidates felt that trying to promote a “downtown” area through City Centre Warwick – an area of industrial and travel-commerce, mixed-use properties located near the T.F. Green Commuter Rail station – was disingenuous to the true heart and soul of the city.

“I think City Centre is an attempt to install an artificial heart into Warwick,” Carbone said. “Residents are never going to think of the airport and City Centre as our downtown. It’s not our heart. We have a heart, and our heart is in our villages.”

Corrente agreed, saying that Warwick is suburban and not “downtown Providence.” He pledged to bring back small businesses and residents through tax rebate programs, without specifying how these rebates would be paid for.

Carbone, on the other hand, felt that tax rebates were a step too far to re-encourage growth in the city.

 “We can get people to come here because we are a good place to live and work and raise a family. We don’t need to pay people to do that,” he said, transitioning to the need for more affordable renting units in the city. “I do think we need to help with affordable housing on the rental side. Our single-family housing, I think, is very moderately priced, particularly by the standards of Southern New England.”

Corrente, once more, brought up high taxes as a deterrent from people moving to Warwick.

“We’ve dropped in population,” he said. “Warwick is number three [third most populous city in Rhode Island] and that bothers me. I want to bring people back to Warwick and the taxes that we have just don’t do it.”


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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

You're right, Justanidiot -- it sure is boring to read the make-believe mayor's recycled [and false] campaign statements, yet again.

- “We’ve lost 5,800 taxpayers in the last 10 years,” although that number is closer to 2,000 in the last seven years and 5,000 in the last 17 years. [Good job by the Beacon writer in calling out this falsehood.]

- “I didn’t make the actual vote but it was my rally that caused it. I rallied the 80,000 taxpayers. They told their city council people loudly that they were not going to tolerate it,” [the make-believe mayor] said.

This is a lie, for many reasons. There was no "rally" led by the make-believe mayor. There are not 80,000 taxpayers in Warwick. And the FY18 budget resulted in a $4.2 million deficit, which means that the make-believe mayor would rather run a deficit budget than a balanced one.

Just eight days remain until honest, taxpaying voters reject the make-believe mayor's candidacy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dear CrickeeRaven,

When I made the claim "Warwick has lost 5,800 taxpayers in the last ten years", I showed John Howell, Editor in Chief of the Warwick Beacon the U.S. Census numbers and the name and phone number of the guy I spoke to that walked me through it. If you don't accept those numbers, I don't care. They were accurate. How can you explain the huge loss of students if not? How can you explain the closings of so many schools if not? How can you explain all the vacant storefronts if not? The exact number changes every day but even you have to admit that Warwick has lost a HUGE amount of population. I want to get them back. All you do is criticize my efforts. That only hurts Warwick. Why don't you help?

As far as my rally, I campaigned for over 700 days in a row (almost 1,000 to date), spent over $40,000 of my own money and spoke to thousands of Warwick taxpayers. Whatever effect I had on them is what I describe as "a rally" and every City Council member told me their constituents repeated my "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" message loud and clear and they all credited me (in varying degrees) for getting the taxpayers to demand that their elected officials "just say NO" to any new tax requests, and CrickeeRaven, that's exactly what they did. 29 times! You can call it just one HUGE coincidence (you probably will) that never happened in 18 years and just coincidentally happened right after my 700 day campaign, but the 80,000 taxpayers that are paying the tab know better. They must be a whole lot smarter than you Mark.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Corrente cant tell the truth from fiction to save his life. Next week is coming fast...

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

sews, we wants to erect a mayer who pounds $40,000 into a rats whole? seems likes he understands how to running a city bankrupt easlily which would solve many of are problems

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Thank you again, WwkVoter, for voicing the exact sentiment that thousands of honest, taxpaying voters know about the make-believe mayor and will base their decision upon next week when they overwhelmingly reject his candidacy.

Take this statement, which at best can be termed as misleading: "If you don't accept those numbers, I don't care. They were accurate."

First, the statement was not that I don't accept his fake numbers -- it is that the Beacon writer, in the article above, shows them to be false. My statement, therefore, was true.

And saying his numbers "were" accurate when he first invented them two years ago only compounds his attempt to fool voters -- because, as I'm sure you know from the factual information being presented to him time and again, those numbers were not correct then, and they are not correct now.

Whatever he claims about showing information to John Howell, it does not somehow make his claim true.

It is not. Right up until the last day, he is trying to lie to people.

And he just keeps proving that's his intent, by repeating this pile of falsehoods:

"[T]hey all credited me (in varying degrees) for getting the taxpayers to demand that their elected officials 'just say NO' to any new tax requests, and... they did. 29 times!"

This is a lie. No city councilor ever said the make-believe mayor was responsible for their vote in FY18 to raise the tax collection rate to paper over the $6.5 million in increase spending -- which failed. And those 29 votes were not on "new tax requests," they were amendments submitted and passed by the city council to reduce the budget by $750,000.

All of this information has been presented to the make-believe mayor, and he just keeps repeating his lies.

"They must be a whole lot smarter than you Mark."

The make-believe mayor suggests that he knows the person who is using this screen name. He is wrong, and repeating his claim does not make it any less false.

As you say WwkVoter, next week is approaching quickly -- along with the end of the make-believe mayor's candidacy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dear Mayor Dumbness,

You never once took the podium and addressed any issues to the city council in depth, and with official documentation. You had ZERO effect on the council and still do to this day. You are considered a buffoon. Here is what an effect looks like. After I collected official documents, did the analysis, had it checked by 2 independent sources and an attorney, I then sat with 5 members of the council privately to discuss the findings. The result was that the findings are so supportive to my claims, that a CFE/CPA was hired.

You do nothing but make foolish comments that have no merit, no bearing, and no thought to them. I do have to say, you got big balls. To run for office after being delinquent and not paying your taxes to the tune of $27000+ and then running for office claiming cut taxes cut spending, that takes balls. Which could also be confused with lack of brains rather than a set of big ones.

Nevertheless, you claims and the way you comport yourself are feckless indeed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dear Readers,

The last time Rob Cote told that lie I "only" owed $8,000 in alleged unpaid taxes. Now, apparently he claims I owe over $27,000. Why doesn't someone turn me in? I'm easy to find, and for that amount of "alleged" taxes due, there MUST be a reward! For that matter, why doesn't the City go after me? Why doesn't acting Mayor Solomon? The answer is simple. I don't owe any taxes. Rob Cote is lying...again.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Dear Mayor Buffoonery,

The total of your unpaid taxes which caused your home at 177 Grand View to go into tax sale and subsequent foreclosure was $29,314.29. Your unpaid utility bill was $500.80 which was paid by the individual who assumed the property from Redstick Acquisitions.

Must we go over this again and again and continue to humiliate you with your lies and attempts to deceive? The next thing out of the mouth of Mayor Dumbness will be " I sued my lender AND WON". And won? That's why the water front piece of property was ripped out from under you and you were forcibly removed by the police. All of this information and the documents are on line at the court house, and naturally, I have copies of it all.

You are going to get so completely pummeled in the primary. My guess is that the next day he will be posting that since one person voted for him he is a winner. He will most likely declare to run again the nest day. What a joker.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Yes Richard,

You don't owe any taxes. That is what happens when you lose your house to tax sale. Another person pays the taxes and if you are unable to pay that person back with interest the property is turned over to them. That is exactly what happened.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

If there's one thing we've learned about the make-believe mayor, Thecaptain, it's that he's incapable of doing anything except humiliating himself with every new comment.

There is easily verifiable, public information that proves your point -- that he lost his prior residence to tax sale because he did not pay the taxes he owed the city.

When he says "I don't owe any taxes," he neglects to mention that it's because -- and again, this is easily verifiable, public information -- other parties have paid the taxes on that property since 2015.

He's a tax delinquent, plain and simple.

For all his false claims about Mayor Solomon's tax assessments, Mayor Solomon never failed to pay his taxes in the same way that the make-believe mayor failed to pay his.

Of course, the make-believe mayor isn't satisfied with simply lying -- he then compounds his lie with this delusional statement: "Why doesn't someone turn me in?"

I'm sure you know the answer: As long as the city was receiving taxes for the property -- regardless of who was paying them -- there was no reason to turn anyone in.

You also rightly point out what is, perhaps, the clearest sign yet of the make-believe mayor's denial of his unraveling campaign: That he will somehow claim victory despite what will certainly be an overwhelming loss.

That is the consequence of his tax delinquency and repeated attempts to lie about it -- not some imaginary penalty from the city, but the rejection that thousands of honest, taxpaying voters are about to give his candidacy.

But because he's already gone so far in denying and lying about these facts about him, it makes a kind of perverse sense that he would refuse to believe that his tax delinquency will actually cost him the election.

Seven days remain until the make-believe mayor's second futile attempt at getting elected is defeated.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Here is an odd reason for not voting for Rick Corrente ---

This week he was pulling out of the parking lot of Dave's Market at Hoxie and rather than wait for the busy afternoon traffic to allow him a chance to turn into traffic he stopped short with half his car sticking out into traffic. As if he just figured people should stop for him. It came across as entitled and priggish.

So I will not vote for him because he is not a respectful or safe driver, I believe that shows more of his character than any ad, debate, or interview.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Dear VoWarwick2017,

I remember that moment. The car in the first lane motioned me to enter Airport Rd. so I moved forward and waited for another kind driver to let me pass by the second lane. In a few seconds, someone did. I thanked both drivers and went on my way, but I do have to agree with something you said. Your complaint certainly is "an odd reason for not voting" for me. Sorry you didn't see that traffic the way it really was VoWarwick2017. For the rest of Warwick voters, I hope you make it to the polls on Wednesday, Sept 12th. I deeply appreciate your support.

Happy September everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, September 7, 2018

what laws lets drivers dictate whose can cum and go? if youse donts know the laws of the road, hows is you eben going to comprehand how budgets work.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Thank you, VoWarwick2017, for adding yet another reason to the long, long list of reasons that honest, taxpaying, responsible voters already have [because of his own behavior] for rejecting the make-believe mayor's candidacy again next Tuesday.

You also successfully proved his complete lack of restraint in humiliating himself with his comments on this website.

Responsible drivers knows that when pulling out into a two-lane road, one is supposed to wait until both lanes are clear before proceeding into the roadway -- NOT enter the first lane while waiting for the other to clear, whether another driver has directed them there or not.

Whatever the make-believe mayor's excuse for his unsafe driving -- which seems to be "I got away with it" -- your original point remains that it does [and should] disqualify him as a candidate because of what it indicates about his character.

Five days remain until the make-believe mayor's latest campaign ends in humiliating defeat.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Dear CrickeeRaven,

The primary is WEDNESDAY Sept. 12th. You would know that if you didn't live in West Warwick, wouldn't you Mark.

Happy primary (on Wednesday!) everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Monday, September 10, 2018

I, for one, will be thrilled to not see "80,000 taxpayers" over and over and over again.

The US Census Bureau estimates that as of July 17, 2017, approximately 80,871 citizens live in Warwick. 18% of 80,871 are under the age of 18. If we chose to go by the approximate number, there are only 66,314 taxpayers in Warwick. I believe the number may even be lower considering the average age that a child leaves to live on their own is mid-twenties.

Considering there were only 40,501 total votes for the Mayoral race in 2016, you can see the actual number of voting taxpayers is half what RC states in just about every comment. If you want to be even more factual, RC only represent 14,086 taxpayers that voted in 2016. That is quite the gap between made up facts and reality.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Cat, for the benefit of our honest, taxpaying neighbors, I offer the following information so that within approximately 20 minutes, they will have a clearer picture of the failed 2016 candidate and his intent to fool voters into supporting him.

- He began his 2016 campaign by issuing claims about his property evaluations:,115119

These claims were investigated by a local news website and found to be untrue:

- Also during the 2016 campaign, he issued false claims that Warwick “lost 4,666 businesses” over 10 years:,113096

Once again, his claims were reviewed and found to be false:

These two claims were central to his 2016 campaign — and they were both lies. And yet he continued to repeat them until his eventual 65-to-35% loss.

- A Nov. 3, 2016 article in the Beacon reported that he had, in fact, lost his former residence to tax sale. To quote: “Corrente continues to live in a house that was sold in a tax sale for taxes due the city.”,119296?

In spite of his own admission, the make-believe mayor continued to not only claim the opposite, but also claim his mortgage lender was to blame and that he had “won” a court case — yet he moved from that residence in 2018, indicating that he did not “win.”

City records, accessible at the following website, show that three different parties have paid the property taxes on his former residence since 2015. Enter “177 Grand View” to see this information:

For the 2018 campaign, he has again been twisting facts and making claims that are later proven to be untrue:

- He has frequently claimed that the Warwick school population has fallen by half, from 17,000 to 8,500, “in the last 10 years” — but the actual figures show nothing of the kind. As shown on the following website, Warwick’s school population in 2007-8 was 11,139 and in 2017-18 was 8,953 — a drop of 2,186, not half:

- He paid for a political advertisement that claimed his losing 2016 campaign led the Warwick City Council to cut taxes and spending for the FY18 budget, and that former Mayor Avedisian submitted “29 tax-increasing amendments” to the budget among other claims — that were all found to be untrue:

- He failed to report that advertisement in his campaign finance report for the 4th quarter of 2017, and has refused to answer why he is paying office rent to the same individual who previously paid the property taxes on his residence:

- On his new campaign website, he at first claimed that he was an “Endorsed Democrat for Mayor” — before the local Democratic Party had endorsed any candidates in the 2018 campaign. He lost his bid for the endorsement, forcing him to remove that false claim from his website.

This is the person calling himself “the taxpayers [sic] mayor” — someone who has admitted that he lost his home due to tax delinquency, repeatedly made false claims about the school population and business community in Warwick, refused to answer questions about his ethically questionable campaign finance activities, and claimed an endorsement that he did not have.

Please join me and thousands of honest, taxpaying voters in rejecting the make-believe mayor’s candidacy again on Sept. 12.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Well, here is yet another example of complete lack of factual statements, hypotheses, and knowledge by the fake mayor, Mayor Dumbness Corrente.

He refers to Crick as "Mark" meaning Mark Carruolo the former COS and planning director. Mark has lived at 18 Hendricken Court in Warwick which is geographically located between Stanfield St. and Woguagonet. (across from Bishop Hendricken)

But then again, why should he begin now to make accurate statements? It never ceases to amaze me how dumb this guy really is.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Thank you, Thecaptain. The soon-to-lose-again candidate got that idea from another commenter, who was similarly wrong in that assertion.

So, it wasn't even an original idea on his part.

He also made an accusation that is totally false.

In each of my prior comments, I note the number of days until the vote on Sept. 12 -- last Tuesday, 9/4 is was eight days; on Wednesday, 9/5 it was seven days; on Friday, 9/7 it was five days [the Beacon's calendar counts the current day as the first day, so "four days ago" is actually 9/7].

I'm sure you've noticed that he hasn't had a single legitimate response to any of the main points I made -- that he's an irresponsible driver, that he lied about the change in the city's population, that he lied about his influence on the city council, that he's a tax delinquent, among many others.

That's because, in the end, he has none. He can't deny these facts with anything approaching the truth so he engages in name-calling and more false accusations while ignoring the bulk of easily verifiable information that proves his complete unfitness for office.

As you rightly suggest, honest, taxpaying voters in Warwick are far smarter than he is -- and they will prove it by rejecting his candidacy again in two days, on Sept. 12.

Monday, September 10, 2018