City Council candidates answer questions

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City Council candidates, whether they faced a challenger or not, were asked the following questions in a yes/no format:

  • Do you favor additional school funding for the current budget?
  • Do you support giving schools the power of taxation through a change in the City Charter?
  • Should the city should pay for repaving of roads impacted by new sewer construction?
  • Is enough being done to investigate claims of abuse of the firefighter unused sick time system?
  • Would you be in favor of imposing beach fees?
  • Should the mayor be elected for a 4-year term?
  • Should there be term limits for the mayor?

Candidates were then given two additional open-response questions:

  • What is the most pressing issue in your ward and how do you plan to address it if elected? (100 words or less)
  • How should the city dispose of, and what types of uses, would you     favor for five excess city buildings? (50 words or less)

*Note - There is a chart attached to this page (above) marking yes/no answers given by the candidates. However, not all candidates gave yes/no answers for all questions, as marked by an “N/A” on the chart. If a candidate expanded on their answer more, it is reflected in the larger body of responses.

WARD 1 – RICHARD CORLEY V. PATRICK MALONEY

RICK CORLEY (D)

Most pressing issues

Change Sewer Authority installation charges for Governor Francis Phase III project, Reopen John Brown Francis as an Elementary School and build a new centrally located Warwick Early Elementary Center designed specifically for 3, 4, 5 year old students with educational special needs programs.

Excess city properties

Put them out to competitive bidding. Sell if price is right or re-purpose for City use if bids are too low.

Bio information:

Name: Rick Corley

Address: 550 Algonquin Drive

Age: 62

Party affiliation: Democrat

Education: 1974 WVMHS, 1978 B.S. Northeastern University, 1982 J.D. George Washington University

Employment: Self-employed Attorney

Time lived in Warwick: 62 years

Government experience: Warwick Zoning Board, Legislatve Counsel to RI Senate Judiciary Committee since aprox. 2004, Staff trial attorney RI Public Defender Office 1984-1989.

PATRICK MALONEY (I)

Sewer paving costs

YES. The city should also work with the utility companies who cut into the road and try to coordinate repaving.

Fire department

No. Private citizens have been investigating. Recently a possible side deal was discovered. Transparency is important and there should be no issue with an investigation.

Mayoral term limit

YES I would be in favor of looking at this. I would prefer a mayor more focused on issues than on being re-elected.

Most pressing issues

The most pressing issue in my Ward seems to be the cost of sewers. Phase 3 families will pay up to $20,000 for sewer assessments while nearby residents who connected during phase 1 paid $82 per linear foot and the difference will be approximately $12,000 or more in some cases. The Sewer Authority is often over budget, has no direct oversight and often doesn’t even answer questions posed by the city council. The sewer authority needs an overhaul and I would like to review the membership and get people in who are accountable and can be within budget.

Excess city properties

The buildings sit on prime real estate and have easy accessibility. Trade schools, like NE Tech or Johnson and Wales or even CCRI might be interested in holding classes in the larger buildings. The buildings could also be remodeled into apartments or offices for professionals looking to start businesses.

Bio information:

Name: Patrick E Maloney Jr

Address: 11 Dawson Ave Warwick RI 02888

Age: 47

Party affiliation: Independent

Education: Graduate of University of Alaska, Anchorage

Employment: IT Consultant and Small Business Owner, DrDesktop and Game On! Time lived in Warwick: 17 Years

Government experience: Served on Warwick School Committee from 2008-2012

WARD 2 – JEREMY RIX (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

School funding

I agree with Mayor Solomon’s suggested increase in funding by $1.75 million to settle the dispute.

Sewer paving costs

I am reserving my opinion until specific legislation is introduced and discussed. 

Fire department

I support completing the City’s ongoing investigation. I’ll support any investigation needed to get the whole truth.

Beach fees

I am reserving my opinion until specific legislation is introduced and discussed.

Most pressing issues

Mayor Solomon and I are working together on options for Rhodes and Aldrich. These properties are surrounded on three sides by single-family houses: any use must complement the neighborhood. The real estate market is hot: I am optimistic that we can get a fair price while protecting the neighborhood.

Excess city buildings

First, I will listen to the Councilor who represents the neighborhood. The people living nearby – those who are most affected by the change – must be heard. However, as scary as change can be, neighbors should be mindful that the alternative to change is blight.

Bio information:

Name: Jeremy Michael Rix

Address: 152 Pettaconsett Avenue

Age: 32

Party affiliation: Democratic

Education: Warwick Schools K-12 & Pilgrim HS Class of 2004, B.A. cum laude from RIC in Secondary Education History; J.D. magna cum laude from RWU Law

Employment: The Law Offices of Jeremy M. Rix

Time lived in Warwick: 29 years

Government experience: Warwick City Council, 2017 – Present

WARD 3 – TIMOTHY HOWE (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

School funding

I voted with my colleagues to increase the funding $1.5 Million more than the 0% proposed by the previous administration. I will not answer this open question until I see how the school department is spending the money. I did not agree with extending the current administrations contract. I also don't understand how a school department can close schools, impose massive layoffs and still need more money.

Fire department

Can not comment at this time due to investigation.

Beach fees

Yes. Our beaches are visited by mostly non-Warwick residents. The Warwick taxpayers shouldn't bare the full cost. I support Non-resident fees.

Most pressing issues

Continue working with RIAC in addressing the following:

1) Increasing noise abatement timelines.

2) Upkeep of RIAC property in the Ward

Excess city properties

I will withhold decision upon this issue until the recommendations are proposed and reasons made by the school and city.

Bio information:

Name: Timothy Howe

Address: 33 Elite Dr

Age: 47

Party affiliation: Democrat

Education: RI Secondary Education Certification, Providence College '04; BS Business Administration, HR/Accounting, University of Wisconsin, Green Bay'01;  AAS Ethnic Studies, UW Sheboygan '99. 

Employment: High School Math Teacher, Pawtucket, RI

Time lived in Warwick: 16 years

Government experience: US Army 1988-1998, Infantry NCO.

Warwick City Council 2017-Present: (Chairman - Health, Education & Welfare Committee; Chairman - Ordnance Committee; Member - Finance Committee; Member - Public Safety Committee

WARD 4 – JAMES MCELROY V. MICHAEL PENTA

JAMES MCELROY (D)

School funding

I believe Mayor Solomon has already suggested, and which I would agree with, that he would be open to giving the schools an additional $1.75 million and talks between the Mayor and the school department are ongoing. Hopefully the two sides will be able to come to an agreement that benefits everyone.

Sewer paving costs

The city should pay for the repaving of their roads impacted by sewer construction and any new sewer construction should be coordinated with road repaving.

Fire department

Yes, enough is being done at this time, as an audit of the firefighter sick time system is being conducted. After that audit is completed, additional actions may need to be taken.

Pressing issues

The most pressing issues in my ward and the entire city are to hold the line on taxes while delivering a quality education for our children; to insure that the schools and the city are safe for our children and all of our residents; and to make our city business friendly. I plan to address these issues by scrutinizing the entire city budget to see that all expenditures are made wisely.

Excess city properties

All vacant buildings should be evaluated to determine their condition and possible uses. Some possible uses might be housing for seniors, professional office space, or offices for city departments. Buildings should not be allowed to sit vacant and deteriorate.

Bio information:

Address: 130 Waterman Ave. Warwick

Resident of Warwick for 42 years

Education: BS, BA Bryant University; MA Rhode Island College; JD University of Massachusetts School of Law

Government experience: Tax examiner for the Rhode Island Division of Taxation; Management analyst for the Rhode Island Supreme Court; Attorney in the Office of Legislative Council - Legislative Council's principal activity is the drafting of legislation for individual members.

Part affiliation: Democrat

Employment: Retired

MICHAEL PENTA (I)

Most pressing issues 

Hike in taxes, roads and our schools. I have been working effortlessly on ideas to bring in additional funds into the city (perhaps millions) and give the taxpayers the relief they deserve. Will work to make sure our schools get the proper funding so our children can continue with after-school activities, keep our schools cleaner and safer. And will make sure that our tax dollars end up going into the infrastructure of this city. Work on empty storefronts and bring small businesses into the city creating tax income and employment. Most important, let the people of Warwick know that they matter.

Excess city properties

The schools should go out for bid and be sold allowing all new residential homes to be put in their place, bringing in additional tax revenue, creating local jobs and replacing homes and revenue lost to airport growth.

Bio information:

Name: Michael Penta

Address: 30 Dayton Ave.

Affiliation: Independent

Education: High School

Employment: MC Renovations Inc. (26 years); Gels Kitchen (7 years); Mike & Gels Pizza (18 months)

Time lived in Warwick: 42 years

Political experience: Ran for city council in 2012, ran for State Rep. in 2016

WARD 5 – ED LADOUCEUR (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

School funding

Once I have received all the financial information, I will make an informed and responsible decision.

Fire department

I can not comment on this while active and ongoing investigations are taking place.

Beach fees

I will need to see how the fees are going to be applied, if at all.

Mayoral term limits

Undecided at this time

Most pressing issues

Many people in my ward have been denied sewers for over 25 years. The previous administration simply continued to kick the can down the road while my constituents lost the 60% federal funding, lost the benefit of General Obligation Bonds etc.. I will continue to do all I can to get the sewers to my constituents who desperately need them and do so as painlessly as possible. This political football has been kicked down the street for far to many years.

Excess city properties

Once I receive all the financial information necessary, I will work with my colleagues on the City Council and with Mayor Solomon got the best value for these properties and to attain a sustaining tax revenue stream for the Citizens of Warwick.

Bio information:

Name: Ed Ladouceur

Address: 106 Channel View # 2

Age: 67

Party affiliation: Democrat

Education: High School Grad. Employment: StormTite Company Inc.

Time lived in Warwick: 38 years

Government experience: I will be entering my 4th term on the City Council. I served as Vice Chair of the Contractors Registration Board for 22 years and as Chair for two years. I have been serving on 2 Boards at the Dept of Labor for approx 10 or more years

WARD 6 – DONNA TRAVIS (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

Most pressing issues

Quality of life issues and the concerns of my constituents, including paving, tree trimming, speeding, more police presence and Minimum Housing concerns. Yes or No answers do not effectively cover all the asked questions. How much school funding? Can’t have a blank check. City and contractors should jointly share cost of paving. Firefighter issue is on-going investigation. Running every two years is a hardship that takes the incumbent away from the tasks at hand. Perhaps four years for everybody. I will work directly with all city departments to address all concerns.

Excess city properties

Ideally, we should sell them and get them on the tax rolls to make up for lost tax revenue from airport expansion. If we can’t sell them all, perhaps some could be re-purposed for affordable housing or razed to create new housing or businesses.

Bio information:

Name: Donna M. Travis

Address: 733 Oakland Beach Avenue

Age: 69

Party affiliation: Democrat

Education: G.E.D.

Employment: Senior Clerk – RI Traffic Tribunal

Time lived in Warwick: 62 Years

Government experience: 12 terms on the City Council, including 2 terms as President. I have served on every Council Committee. Mayor’s Comprehensive Task Force, Chair of the Youth Advisory and Substance Abuse Task Force, member of the Community Education Outreach Committee and the Charter Review Commission.

WARD 7 – STEPHEN MCALLISTER (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

School funding

I’ve voted to increase the school budget both years I’ve served on the Council. I’m waiting to receive all the financial information from the School Department so I can make an informed decision about whether or not to support another budget increase.

Sewer paving costs

I would support an infrastructure bond to address paving issues across the entire City.

Fire department

The council has an audit ongoing reviewing the numbers. Once that audit is completed we will have a clearer picture of this issue.

Beach fees

Yes, for non-Warwick residents.

Most pressing issues

Reopening the Buttonwoods Community Center remains a top priority for me. I’m proud to report that through my work with Mayor Solomon and the entire council, and through donations from a community business, the roof is being repaired and the building will be reopened soon. Continuing to support our schools so our students have the best educational experience possible, maintaining and fixing our roads, and improving our business environment in the City are also top priorities.

Excess city properties

After a market study is completed, I would support new housing projects or certain businesses using these sites. Each project would have to be a good fit for the neighborhood and residents should have the opportunity to weigh in on any proposal.

Bio information:

Name: Stephen P. McAllister

Address: 58 Viewesta Road

Age: 39

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Education: Warwick Public Schools; BA from Saint Anselm College; Master’s Degree in Public

Administration from University of New Hampshire.

Employment: Senior Manager Eastern Region United States Chamber of Commerce

Time Lived in Warwick: 27 years

Government Experience: Elected Warwick City Council in 2016. Board of Commissioners

Rhode Island Housing, State of Rhode Island Office of the Governor, United States Senate.

WARD 8 – ANTHONY SINAPI (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

School funding

I am in favor of properly funding the school department, however, whether it needs additional funding will remain unclear until a proper audit is completed.

Fire department

I support the City’s current investigation and would support further investigation should it be necessary.

Beach fees

Potentially, if a system could be properly implemented that would be fair to the citizens of Warwick.

Most pressing issues

The most pressing issue in Ward 8 and the City is the rising taxes and fees that residents are facing. However, that issue is a symptom of a larger problem: inefficient operations and an outdated infrastructure that is in disrepair. I plan to address this by meeting with each department and discussing how we can modernize operations, spend more efficiently, and increase productivity. Next, I would meet with the Mayor, and then with the Council, in order to finalize and then implement new strategies and practices. I’ve already started this process and I plan to continue it in earnest.

Excess city properties

The City should dispose of excess buildings in a manner that would benefit the citizens of Warwick and the types of uses I would favor would be those that benefit the surrounding neighborhoods.

Bio information:

Name: Anthony E. Sinapi

Address: 37 Cedar Pond Drive, Apartment 7, Warwick RI 02886

Age: 29

Party affiliation: Democrat

Education: Roger Williams University, School of Justice Studies, Bristol, RI - Master of Science in Cybersecurity, summa cum laude, 2015; Roger Williams University School of Law, Bristol, RI - Juris Doctor, cum laude, 2015; University of Rhode Island, May 2011 - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Psychology; Bachelor of Science in Sociology – Criminology & Criminal Justice; Minors in Chinese Studies, Comparative Politics & Economics, Power & Ethics

Employment: Sinapi Law Associates, Ltd.

Time lived in Warwick: 29 years

Government experience: None

WARD 9 – STEVE MEROLLA (D) (NO CHALLENGER)

School funding 

I support Mayor Solomon's recommendation that we pay the principal and interest on the school bonds, but, I reserve my opinion on anything further, as I am awaiting the School Department's final audited budget for the previous fiscal year.

Sewer paving costs

Enterprise funds for sewer and water should be sufficient to cover these costs as they always have been.

Most pressing issues

The most pressing issues within my ward are the conditions of roads and school buildings. The past administration had, at times, only funded road resurfacing at $100,000 total for a fiscal year. This year the City Council allocated $5 million for road resurfacing and I will continue to support appropriate funding. I also supported and voted for the $40 million school bond referendum and encourage voters to approve it this November. This investment will help repair our aging buildings and should have a positive impact on the fair market values of our properties.

Excess city properties

The City should go out for bids on these properties and examine proposals that are consistent with land uses in the neighborhood where the property is located. Any bid which is accepted should be consistent with the appraisals performed by the City regarding the fair market value of each property.

Bio information:

Name: Steve Merolla

Address: 229 Castle Rocks Road

Age: 53

Party affiliation: Democratic

Education: Tollgate HS, 1983; Wesleyann University, B.A. 1987; Catholic University, J.D. 1991.

Employment: Managing Partner, Merolla, Accetturo & Lough.

Time lived in Warwick: 51 years

Government experience: City Council President, 2018-Present; City Councilor, 1999-Present; Criminal Prosecutor for the Town of New Shoreham 2006-Present; Legal Counsel for the RI Secretary of State for 8 years; Constituent Liaison for Senator Claiborne Pell, 1987-1988.

Comments

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richardcorrente

On a related topic, it is sad to see that there are so few challengers in the City Council election. On the one hand, it shows how good the present Council is (and I honestly believe this is the best council we've had this century). On the other hand it shows apathy from the electorate. I'm not sure which one it is, but I hope that we have an enormous number of voters this election.

Happy elections everyone.

PLEASE VOTE!

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, November 1, 2018
CrickeeRaven

"I honestly believe this is the best council we've had this century..."

This is the complete opposite of what the two-time election reject has been saying about the city council after the FY19 budget was passed, accusing them of being "tax and spend political insiders."

Honest, taxpaying voters will have a happy election knowing that the two-time election reject and flip-flopper is not on the ballot.

Thursday, November 1, 2018
richardcorrente

Dear CrickeeRaven,

I'll explain it so that even you will understand.

I feel that the present City Council is still too much of a "tax-and-spend" group. I also feel that they are not as bad as every other council Warwick has had since 2000.

Therefore, (and this is the part that I want you to REALY concentrate on), both of my comments are 100% accurate while yours are 100% anonymous as always. Got that Mark?

You anonymous coward of a critic.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, November 1, 2018
CrickeeRaven

All the two-time election reject's "explanation" proves is that he thinks he can say two entirely contradictory things and have them both be true.

He's wrong, as always.

His lies are still lies, whether or not others use screen names.

Thursday, November 1, 2018
Cat2222

RC

"both of my comments are 100% accurate while yours are 100% anonymous as always"

You do know that accuracy isn't contingent on not being anonymous and vice versa, right?

One doesn't cancel the other out.

You can be anonymous and be 100% accurate.

You can also be known and not be 100% accurate.

Friday, November 2, 2018
Thecaptain

Yet the half wit Corrent still cannot point to a single line item in the budget that he could reduce.

THE simpleton will surely announce that he is running for office again. My guess he will do so on the day after the swearing in of Solomon.

Saturday, November 3, 2018
CrickeeRaven

Cat, that's been the two-time election reject's premise from the beginning, that people using screen names (which is allowed by the owners of the site) are somehow less credible than his use of the website for political advertising (which isn't). He ignores this clear evidence that counts against him, of course.

And the fact remains that his earlier comment is false; he can not both call the council "tax and spend political insiders" in a paid advertisement and also say "this is the best council we've had this century."

Such glaring and obvious contradictions are, as we know, typical for him.

We can have another happy election knowing that we are among the thousands of honest, taxpaying voters who saw through his lies and rejected his candidacy again in September, rightfully keeping him off the ballot.

Saturday, November 3, 2018