Custodian, city nurse positions go unfilled as mayor reviews budget

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Before writing a check, Mayor Joseph Solomon said Tuesday he wants to ensure the money is in the account even though it could mean two positions – a janitor at the Warwick Public Library and the city nurse – will go unfulfilled for an indefinite period.

Both the library and the Human Services division that provides office space for the nurse in the Pilgrim Senior Center have made do while the positions have gone unfilled.

Meg Underwood, director of senior services, said she has found herself in unfamiliar territory ordering medical supplies. But it’s the seniors who feel at a loss without a nurse.

“There’s always someone who has a physical problem,” said Gail Felix, who has been a center regular for the last 10 years. She said within the last week a senior fell and cut their face, a situation that the nurse would have handled.

“They need someone they can talk to,” said Felix. On average, Felix said she talked to the nurse once or twice a week.

“They need someone to talk to without paying a $50 co-pay to go to their primary,” she said. “Of all things to not have a nurse at a senior center.”

Of primary concern at the library are cleanly restrooms.

“We have no one to clean the restrooms,” library director Christopher LaRoux reported yesterday. “We stock the paper, but we’re not allowed to clean restrooms.”

LaRoux said cleaning the restrooms as well as the rest of the building at the main library and its branches has been a challenge since the lead custodian left in May, officially retiring as of June 1. That left two other custodians, one who works days and the other at nights.

On Wednesday, the day custodian was out and the night custodian couldn’t fill in. LaRoux put in calls to the Department of Public Works that has been about on a part-time basis, usually four hours, to divert a custodian to the library.

Richard Crenca, director of Public Works, said his crews have been able to fill in on a temporary basis with overtime costs incurred being billed to the library.

It’s not like vacancy came as a surprise.

City nurse Pat Seltzer retired, moving to Oregon. Both positions were posted and LaRoux said the library was prepared to start interviewing candidates when told there would be a delay. In addition, three part-time shelving positions have likewise gone unfilled.

LaRoux said he has not been given an explanation or talked to the mayor about the situation. He said if the mayor is seeking to realign positions he would welcome working with him.

So, is there a citywide job freeze?

Solomon was rankled by the term “job freeze.” That’s not what’s happening, he said in an interview Tuesday.

“There might be a lot of unfilled positions, but I cannot fill a position that I know I may have to eliminate in a few months. That’s not fair to the person I’m giving the position, and I’m not going to buy something if I don’t have the money to pay for it,” Solomon said.

Does that mean he doesn’t trust the budget numbers as approved by the City Council, which he later signed?

“We had schools looking for eight million dollars, we had raises that had to be paid that weren’t accounted for in the budget. We had $4 million or $5 million in raises to the school department, and they were level funded, so where was that to come from? These are the cards the council had to deal with. To do anything that would be irresponsible, there was nothing irresponsible or over-taxing on behalf of the council addressing the former mayor’s budget,” Solomon answered.

LaRoux said the lead custodian position was budgeted and he has no reason to think that the money wouldn’t be available. The position is budgeted for $58,473.

As for the three part-time shelving positions, LaRoux said library staff have been covering those jobs, but it’s become increasingly difficult.

“It’s tough in the summer; it’s very busy,” he said.

City Personnel Director Jean Bouchard said the deadline for applications for the nurse wellness coordinator that comes under the department of Human Services was April 26. The deadline for the custodial position was April 19.

Bouchard did not have a total of unfilled city positions, adding, “There’s quite a lot.” She said positions are being filled with the most recent one being last week.

Comments

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richardcorrente

I have stated many times that, as Mayor, I would institute a hiring freeze to secure the jobs of current employees and to Cut Spending" by not replacing staff when they retire or resign unless the position is a necessary one. A nurse for our seniors IS A NECESSARY POSITION. We need to hire a city nurse IMMEDIATELY, even if it is a temporary, on call, independent contractor, or other low-cost fill-in nurse until a permanent replacement is hired. Our seniors deserve it. They've never been without one. The acting Mayor had plenty of notice that Pat Seltzer was retiring. We need a city nurse and we need him/her NOW.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, July 12
Justanidiot

only sicks people needs a nurse. we dont wants sick people in ours town. build a wall master mayer

Thursday, July 12
Scal1024

If Rick Corrente actually gave a damn about our seniors, don't you think he would've found a way to contribute to giving seniors a better life by hmm I don't know maybe PAYING HIS TAXES? This is what makes this man a complete and total fraud. He flaps his gums like he's some big advocate for our students and our seniors. You know how a regular citizen can contribite every year to our schools and our seniors? PAYING TAXES. How dare Rick Corrente EVER criticize the state of our schools or our senior centers. He was skipping water and sewer bill payments while loaning his campaign $40,000 and allowing his unpaid tax bills to pile up. You start to see where this mans priorities are when you think about a candidate who claims to represent "taxpayers", but NEVER PAYS THEIR TAXES!!! Lie, cheat and steal no matter what, and say anything to get elected. THIS IS THE TRUE CORRENTE PLAN AND IT IS A COMPLETE AND TOTAL EMBARASSMENT!

Rick Corrente can flap his gums about being "the taxpayers mayor", when his behavior has proven to be that of "the deadbeats mayor". Under the Beacon article on Corrente from Tuesday, I copied the data of his LATE car tax payments. He was late paying in 2009, and then skipped payments in 2010 and 2011. It wasn't until 2012 when he wasn't allowed to register his car that he found it neccessary to pay his fair share. It is no coincidence after owing the city so much $, and being told he couldn't register his car in 2012 in true miracle fashion: FROM 2013-2015 RICK CORRENTES SAME CAR DISAPPEARED FROM THE TAX ROLLS. He still CANNOT ANSWER for where his car was registered those years. Meaning if the car wasn't registered to any city HE CHEATED THE CITY OUT OF TAXES FOR 3 MORE YEARS. This doesn't even document his delinquent property taxes that he repeatedly needed to be bailed out on, or the home he lost to foreclosure. Rick Corrente can SPARE ME any talk about improving care for our seniors or bettering schools for our students. When he's been asked to pay his fair share of taxes, he has FAILED.

Thursday, July 12
CrickeeRaven

Pathetic, isn't it, Scal, that the tax delinquent make-believe mayor is demanding a position to be filled NOW when he has shown no such urgency in paying his taxes -- or correcting his many false statements?

Sept. 12, primary day, can not come quickly enough.

Thursday, July 12
richardcorrente

Dear Scal1024,

I pay my taxes. I have always paid my taxes. Just because your mentor Rob Cote says I didn't, doesn't make it so. He lies. Just ask the City of Warwick Tax Collector. While you're at it, come into my office unannounced and I will show you records of taxes paid, car registrations paid and a letter from my mortgage holder that says they have ALWAYS paid my taxes on time. No late fees, much less the $8,000+ that the lying thief Cote claims. Unless you're afraid.

Now on to the seniors. Yes Scal, I do give a damn about them and as Mayor I would NEVER LET A DAY GO BY without having a nurse on duty. Anyone who does is letting our seniors down. I noticed you aren't complaining about acting Mayor Joe Solomon for doing just that. You are his henchman Scal1024, aren't you? I also proposed (in The Corrente Plan) to ELIMINATE the car tax for seniors and also to provide free transportation to and from grocery shopping for our seniors AT NO COST TO THE TAXPAYERS! So yes, Scal, I do care about Warwick's' Seniors. Do you? You anonymous coward.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers (and Seniors) Mayor

Friday, July 13
Scal1024

You do not pay your taxes on time. The links and data have been provided. Why does 177 Grand View list 2 different people as having paid taxes and water/sewer bills? Why don't you go on the website and look it up yourself. You seem to.be the only person who doesn't recognize YOUR OWN TAX DELINQUENCY. You are either a pathological liar or mentally unstable. Which one is it Rick?

Nice try dragging Robs name into it Rick. Rob and I disagree way more than we agree. But guess what, Rick? Rob and I both agree 100% that you are a lying, deadbeat, tax delinquent who lies out of every corner of his mouth and that you would be an absolute trainwreck for the City of Warwick. It says alot that you cannot admit your own tax delinquency. Even you recognize it is shameful to campaign on the state of our schools and social services, while not paying your fair share of taxes.

The information is PUBLIC Rick. Why do I need you to show me information that is already available to the public? Under the Beacon story on you I highlighted all of your years of delinquent car taxes. 2009, 2010 and 2011. You finally paid those taxes late on 1/25/12 when you were no longer able to registwr the car. After 1 more year of late payments your car DISAPPEARED from the tax rolls 2013-2015. You haven't been able to state WHAT CITY/TOWN YOUR CAR WAS REGISTERED FROM 2013-2015? You cannot spin your way out of this. Its there for anyone to look up. You are a disgrace to Warwick politics and you should be embarrassed for the garbage and lies that come out of your mouth.

Friday, July 13
CrickeeRaven

Scal, it speaks volumes about the make-believe mayor that he can not produce the same kind of factual, verifiable public information that many commenters have provided that definitively proves his tax delinquency -- and yet he insists that information is not true.

He is a liar, a tax delinquent, and a soon-to-be twice failed candidate. We can be sure that honest, taxpaying voters will overwhelmingly reject his candidacy on Sept. 12, putting an end to his pathetic campaign.

5 days ago
WwkVoter

"and a letter from my mortgage holder that says they have ALWAYS paid my taxes on time"

Don't I recall a couple years ago the Corrente excuse that his mortgage holder DIDNT pay his taxes, wasnt his fault, he sued them, and won? Or something like that...

5 days ago
CrickeeRaven

Scal and WwkVoter, maybe you've noticed, as I have, that the make-believe mayor demands that other people "ask the tax collector" as a way to cast doubt on the public information that the tax collector posts online -- while at the same time demanding that he should be taken seriously as a candidate for the comments he posts online.

This is yet another central defect in his candidacy, one that will end in another humiliating rejection by honest, taxpaying voters on Sept. 12.

5 days ago
Scal1024

I think it speaks volumes that "the tax delinquents mayor" is always offering "proof", just not on the City Tax Assessors website where basic proof is found. Corrente is used to lying and manipulating whoever he wants inside his VERY SMALL circle of friends. This is how he's blown off house payments, property taxes, car taxes and water/sewer bills. It really frustrates Rick that he can't just lie and manipulate his way out of his rampant tax delinquency, because he clearly feels he can talk his way out of anything. Now that honest, hardworking, ACTUAL TAXPAYERS have called him out he's realizing that not every person will fall victim to his manipulation. The truth is, voters are much smarter than Rick Corrente, no matter how many distorted lies he tells them.

What is truly baffling to me is that had Rick Corrente taken this issue on head on last election and was honest with voters about it, it most likely wouldn't have been raised as a campaign issue AT ALL. Its the constant lying and "that wasn't my fault" or "call my bank they'll tell you what happened" or "I always pay my bills on time" even though EVERY FACT SUPPORTS THE OPPOSITE. The information is public on the City Tax Assessors website. Their voters can see your delinquent car taxes from 2009-2011. It wasn't until 2012 when Corrente was told his car COULD NO LONGER BE REGISTERED that Rick found the decency to contribute car/property taxes to OUR SENIORS AND OUR STUDENTS.

Once again, Rick Corrente can spare me the lectures on how he cares about our seniors. He didn't give a damn from 2009-2011 when he was willingly skipping car tax payments. He didn't give a damn about our seniors from 2013-2015 when his car mysteriously disappeared from the Warwick tax rolls (conveniently 1 year after he was forced to pay back taxes or would be unable to register his car.) Rick Corrente has had YEARS to answer for where his car was registered from 2013-2015, and he has failed to do so. The problem with this is if the car was never registered to a city/town for 3 YEARS, then he was NEVER PAYING CAR TAXES from 2013-2015 on top of the 3 years he was behind previously. You CANNOT complain about our Senior Centers closing when you weren't contributing a damn thing to make sure it remained open. What a pathetic, sorry excuse of a man. A deadbeat would be a more accurate description of someone who complains about city services, or lack thereof out of one side of their mouth, while they are blatantly ignoring their responsibilities as a TAXPAYER. Once again, "the taxpayers Mayor" might want to try actually paying HIS OWN TAXES FOR ONCE. One thing for certain...Corrente will never max out on the level of embarrassment he has caused himself and his business.

PS: Keep in mind while reading this, at the same time he was delinquent on his taxes (that would help our seniors and our students) Rick Corrente was loaning his campaign $40,000. Is this the behavior of somebody who gives a damn about our seniors? 100% unequivocally NO!

5 days ago
Thecaptain

Lets not forget:

From the court records:

" Further evidence that Plaintifff Corrente believed the order to be inequitable at its issuance is found in past court records from previous court appearances. The computation of Corrente's income has been the central focus of the past nine years of litigation.

Corrente has continually urged in past court appearances before different judges, that the Family Court's method of computing his income is inequitable because the court has not subtracted what he considers to be legitimate business expenses from his gross earnings. Appearing before Justice Michael Forte in the same matter on March 12, 1997, Justice Forte asks Corrente, "What's your annual income?" (Record, 3/12/97, page 12, line 7) Corrente responded , "Under $7000 per year, and I can prove that to you. My gross earnings is (sic) one issue. What I live off is a fraction of that, Yor Honor." (Record, 3/12/97, pg 12, lines 8-11) In the same court appearance, Justice Forte asked Corrente, "I'm asking you what your willing to pay temporarily until I can resolve this. If you're a good father - and I'm sure you're going to stand there and tell me that you are - then you're willing to pay something. How much?" (Record 3/12/97, pg 11, lines 8-13) Corrente responded - " I don't want to set a precedence (sic) Ten dollars a week is about what I can afford." (Record 3/12/97, pg 11, lines 14-16) to clarify Corrente's response, Justice Forte later asked,

The Court - "You're telling me, you can only pay ten dollars a week?"

Mr. Corrente - "Yes sir"

The Court - " You're telling me that on the record?"

Mr. Corrente - "Yes sir, I'll stand by that"

Mr. Watson - There is a W2 form that declares $40,000 in income in 1995

The Court - "What happened to that?"

Mr. Corrente - "Gross earnings, Your Honor, He's neglected to tell you the $25,000 that it cost me to make that, Your Honor."

The Court - " Well, we're going to have to wait. We'll deal with it at the hearing".

Mr. Corrente - "You cant look at gross receipts and consider them earnings, I wish you could."

In a court appearance before Justice Forte on January 28,1997, to determine his income for child support payments, Corrente stated on the record, "He (defendants attorney) does not know what my income is. All he know's is my gross receipts , and he's trying to manipulate this Court into believing that my gross receipts is my income." (Record, 1/28/97, pg 3 lines 22-25)

This small sample of on the record statements demonstrates plaintiff's concern with the court's computation of his income - specifically his contention that certain business and/or personal living expenses should be deducted from his gross earnings. It also shows the amount of money that Corrente believed he could afford to pay for child support: $10.00 per week. Corrente was aware at the time of the issuance of the May 27th court order that the court had not deducted the amounts from his gross earnings thathe had wished. He was also aware the the court order stated he must pay $223.15 per week for child support payments: $213.15 more than he stated on the record he could afford. It is hard to imagine how this order could ever have been considered "equitable" by Corrente in light of his previous testimony. His statement on the may 27th record confirms this theory. "

3 days ago