Reval fuels fears of higher taxes

Posted

Donna and Rob Spencer went back to school Tuesday. They reported to Randall Holden School at 12:15 just as instructed.

They were anxious to learn how their home on Betsy Williams Drive, valued at $160,600 three years ago, could possibly be assessed at $205,100 today, an increase of $44,500, or 28 percent.

“I was in shock,” Rob said as he prepared to enter the school that closed last June and was reopened in December when a burst pipe forced the closure of St. Kevin School. St. Kevin has since reopened. Usually, hearings following a citywide revaluation are conducted in Council Chambers in City Hall. However, restoration work following a burst sprinkler is nearing completion and Randall Holden was available.

The Spencers have lived in their home for about 45 years. They want to stay but they are concerned the dramatic increase in assessment will translate into increased taxes although, at this point, the mayor has not finalized a budget for 2019-20 and until that process is completed the tax rate is unknown.

Donna, who is retired, worries. “I’m on a fixed income right now.”

She’s not alone.

Jay Buongiovanni of Riverview turned to Nextdoor, a social media platform to voice his concern.

“Waking up to the horrors of our revaluations of our properties doesn’t start our days the way we need them to start,” he writes in an April 3 post that went to 13 nearby neighborhoods, reaching 2,149 neighbors. He goes on to assure readers they are going to see an increase in their taxes.

“When our property value is INCREASED by 40% or more even if tax formula remains the same and isn’t increased we are PAYING OUR TAXES ON AN INFLATED VALUE AND THEREIN LIES OUR INCREASES!!! From this day forward we will all pay tax increases on higher valued property,” he asserts.

Buongiovanni has formed the Warwick Tax Crisis Committee and, using the Nextdoor platform, is inviting people to a meeting Wednesday, April 17 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Warwick Public Library.

A number of homeowners responded to Buongiovanni’s post likewise voicing their apprehension over increased assessments and what that might mean to taxes.

In a telephone interview yesterday Buongiovanni, who described himself as a facilitator, said, “I took the bull by the horns basically.” He described next Wednesday’s meeting as a “brainstorming session” and an opportunity for the group to develop a mission statement as well as hear former Councilman Robert Cushman talk about the city’s current fiscal situation and the long-range implications of pension and other post employment benefits (OPEB) costs.

“There are massive consequences we’re going to face,” he said, citing unfunded pension and OPEB costs not to mention a deficit in the current budget and demands on next year’s budget.

“What is life going to be like?” he questioned.

Buongiovanni sees the group as working to help the administration address the city’s fiscal challenges and providing taxpayers information on the issue.

“We want to give support instead of being obstructionists,” he said.

There appears to be no set percentage increase in assessment values resulting from the revaluation.

A random review of property assessments using the city’s website conducted by the Beacon found a few property values declined but most increasing and some by as much as 39 percent. The most dramatic increases were seen in homes valued at less than $200,000 three years ago. Many of those houses are now assessed in the low or mid-$200,000 range.

Mayor Solomon’s property on Warwick Neck went down in value, from $535,600 in 2016 to $497,200 in 2019. However, so did other houses on that same stretch of waterfront properties along Crawford Avenue. Meanwhile, multiple houses not on the water on the even-numbered side of Crawford Avenue saw significant increases in the $40,000 range.

What the revaluation reflects in the opinion of Dean deTonnancourt, president of the Rhode Island Realtors Association, is the state’s strong seller’s market has driven prices up and depleted inventory of lower priced and what are considered “starter homes.”

Unlike a full revaluation, which by state law is required every nine years, the recently completed statistical revaluation did not involve a visit to each of the city’s 41,000 properties. Rather, using recent sales on comparable homes and neighborhoods, Vision Government Solutions, which completed the revaluation, arrived at the current assessment. In the case of Warwick, more homes sold in the range of $200,000 to $300,000 in the past three years than any other price group. That gave Vision more sales to base its valuations than, say, homes selling for $500,000.

In a letter accompanying notice of assessments, city Tax Assessor Neal Dupuis cautions property owners not to attempt to calculate their tax bills.

“The intent of a revaluation is not to raise taxes, but to provide updated information relative to the value of your property,” reads the letter.

Dupuis said Tuesday that he projected three to five percent of the city’s 41,000 property owners would request a hearing with Vision to review their assessments. As of this time, he said about two percent of property owners have scheduled appointments. The deadline for scheduling an appointment is April 16. The number to call is 888-844-4300.

Dupuis had not heard of the Warwick Tax Crisis Committee or knew of the April 17 meeting. If welcome, he offered to attend and answer questions.

And how did the Spencers make out?

“They might come out and look the house over,” Rob reported Wednesday.

Donna said Vision provided some answers as to why their home is valued at $7,000 more than their neighbor’s that is identical. She said their property is 200 feet larger and she was told homes in her neighborhood were selling for $200,000 and more.

“I don’t see that that has anything to do with my assessment,” she said.

There was more to the story. During the microburst storm four years ago, a tree fell on the roof of the house and the garage. After battling with the insurance company, the garage roof was repaired and the home roof replaced. The new roof enhanced the value of the house.

Donna feels they are now being penalized for the upkeep of their property. But for the Spencers the bigger issue is Warwick taxes and the cost of schools and the Fire Department.

“If it keeps going up,” she said of taxes, “you’re forcing me out of here.”

She points to the demand to fix schools that have fallen into disrepair, higher teacher salaries and firefighter overtime and pension costs. To address those problems, she fears a dramatic increase in taxes.

“You’re going to fix the problem by forcing us out of here,” she said.

Comments

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ruger

Time to sell and get out of this crooked city

Thursday, April 11
wwkvoter

"Buongiovanni has formed the Warwick Tax Crisis Committee"

LOL These same self-interested people ignored the contracts and their costs for TWELVE YEARS while it was in the news again and again and again. Including Cushman's column right here in the excellent and well-circulated Warwick Beacon newspaper. Where were they? More concerned about going to Arruba, buying a new snow blower, having a BBQ. ANYTHING except mind their civic duty.

Guess what people, enjoy your barbecue because the ink is dry on those contracts and the only thing left is to pay the bill. It was agreed while you ignored it, which is basically the same as you signing off on it year after year. I wouldnt want to take one dime away from these workers who showed up and advocated while Warwick's taxpayers had something better to do. Almost all of these whiners don't know who their councilman is, who is on the finance committee, or ever attended a single meeting.

An agreement is an agreement. Anyone whining now just looks stupid, in my opinion. Keep quiet and get out your checkbook.

Thursday, April 11
davebarry

If you are NOW paying attention, the fire departments in this state are very organized and own the general assembly. The recent bill that passed the house will pass the senate, dooming us to higher taxes for the foreseeable future. In short, we are screwed so that the fire fighters can sleep while working and then spend their 3 days off at their other job.

Thursday, April 11
Hepdog

Decaying city only benefits the politicians and public sector unions.

Thursday, April 11
wwkvoter

davebarry, how much do FF's make in salary, how much is the pension, and how old do they have to be to collect the pension? just the basics. maybe it's not as "sweet" as you think?

yes I've known many firemen who worked other side jobs. But lots of others do that as well. As far as sleeping, I see and hear a lot of runs in this city so not sure how much sleep they are really consistently getting. I wouldnt want a disrupted sleep schedule thats for sure.

Thursday, April 11
warwick10

Property taxes are too high! Pensions are causing too much pressure on the city budgets -- start there!

Friday, April 12
Tom Hobson

This is very unfair to all.however we have been paying too little in taxes for too long.now we are faced with sticker shock.our government has failed us.find a way to fix the problem.if you think selling and moving is the answer good luck.you could end up paying more.the city needs to start over.get a handle on expenses and revenue and come up with a long term plan.please for the sake of all our residents.

Friday, April 12
FastFred Ward 4

If you don,t like it Put your home on the market will be sold under 75days . Then were do you go. Good luck in life. were is Scotty

Friday, April 12
RI Schadenfreude

Last year my mother was blessed to be able to sell at the peak of the market and get out of RI...the slide to bankruptcy continues. So glad I left Warwick & RI.

Friday, April 12
igor1113

The only choice we have is to get out: “You’re going to fix the problem by forcing us out of here,” she said.

Friday, April 12
Thecaptain

This is what you are paying for. Here is the base salaries of WFD as of 2013. This does not include overtime, unused sick time, uniform allowance etc... Starting wage now is $69,235.17 It will never be enough. They do not care about the impact to the taxpayers especially those on fixed income. Just keep writing the checks. Every member of the Warwick delegation is against the taxpayer including Solomon's son.

Uniformed Fire Services ARMSTRONG EDMUND Chief 122,691

Uniformed Fire Services COOLEY BRUCE Assistant Chief 113,604

Uniformed Fire Services MEEGAN GARY Deputy Chief of Training 106,801

Uniformed Fire Services MOAN MICHAEL Superintendent Fire Alarm 106,801

Uniformed Rescue Services PERRY JOHN Rescue Coordinator 101,874

Uniformed Fire Services MARIETTI PETER Fire Marshall 105,816

Uniformed Fire Services COLANTONIO FRANCIS Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services GREENWELL JOSEPH Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services HORNBY JOHN Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services KENNEY JAMES Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services MAYMON THOMAS Battalion Chief 86,734

Uniformed Fire Services MCLAUGHLIN JAMES Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services MORSE DAVID Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services TRUDELL FREDERICK Battalion Chief 99,074

Uniformed Fire Services BELLAVANCE RICHARD Captain 86,180

Uniformed Fire Services CARBERRY GEORGE Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services CLARK MICHAEL Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services FAY STEPHEN Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services HANNON EDWARD Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services JESSOP THOMAS Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services JORDAN JAMES Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services MAHONEY DAVID Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services MAXFIELD JAMES Captain 86,180

Uniformed Fire Services PARMENTER ROBERT Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services SINOTTE THOMAS Captain 86,180

Uniformed Fire Services SISSON PETER Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services STEERE MILES Captain 86,983

Uniformed Fire Services SUGRUE THOMAS Captain 86,983

Uniformed Rescue Services HART DAVID Rescue Captain 86,983

Uniformed Rescue Services MELLO ANTHONY Rescue Captain 86,180

Uniformed Rescue Services OWENS BRYAN Rescue Captain 86,983

Uniformed Rescue Services UMBENHAUER JASON Rescue Captain 83,773

Uniformed Fire Services MATTESON MICHAEL Assistant Fire Marshall 83,773

Uniformed Fire Services AHLQUIST MARK Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services ARMSTRONG KEVIN Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services BARLOW BRYAN Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services BRADLEY DANIEL Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services BRADLEY THOMAS Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services BROWN KEITH Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services BUBAR ROBERT Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services CAMPAGNONE STEPHEN Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services CAMPBELL JAMES Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services CAPWELL SCOTT Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services CIESYNSKI MICHAEL Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services COBB BRIAN Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services DRISCOLL RONALD Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services ERBAN JASON Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services FONTENAULT MARCEL Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services FURY JASON Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services GOUVEIA ALAN Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services HALL JEFFREY Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services HALLORAN JOHN Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services HANDY STEVEN Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services LAFLEUR BARRY Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services LAMIROY MARC Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services LECLAIR CHRISTOPHER Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services LETOURNEAU PAUL Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services MANCHESTER WILLIAM Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services MAYMON THOMAS Lieutenant 70,561

Uniformed Fire Services MCGUIRE JEFFREY Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services MERNICK FREDERICK Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services OATLEY GARY Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services O'NEILL JOSEPH Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services PACKHEM TIMOTHY Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services PECCHIA CARL Lieutenant 79,112

Uniformed Fire Services SAVARIA MARC Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Fire Services SHEA MICHAEL Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services SULLIVAN E JOSEPH Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services TYLER WILLIAM Lieutenant 79,856

Uniformed Fire Services VINER STEVEN Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services WILLIAMS JOHN Lieutenant 80,600

Uniformed Fire Services WILSON WILLIAM Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Rescue Services BEECHER JEREMY Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services BINGHAM ROBERT Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services BRAGG PATRICK Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services CAMPBELL JOHN Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services CARREIRO MICHAEL Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services DUNLAEVY HENRIK Rescue Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Rescue Services FAUCHER JONATHAN Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services PELLICCIO GARY Rescue Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Rescue Services RICHARD DEREK Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services RIVET KEVIN Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Rescue Services SALISBURY JAMES Rescue Lieutenant 77,625

Uniformed Rescue Services WINNES CHRISTOPHER Rescue Lieutenant 76,882

Uniformed Fire Services O'DONNELL MATTHEW Inspector-Fire Prevention 76,882

Uniformed Fire Services ALBRO CHRISTOPHER Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services ALSFELD EDWARD Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ALSFELD WILLIAM Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services ANDERSEN ERIK Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services ANDERSEN ERIK Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services ANDREWS DANIEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ANDREWS DAVID Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services ANDREWS ETHAN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ANGILLY DAVID Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ANGILLY PETER Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ANGILLY PETER Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ANTONELLI RAYMOND Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,039

Uniformed Fire Services BERTHIAUME TODD Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services BINGHAM ROBERT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services BONN KASH Firefighter (Grade 1) 72,374

Uniformed Fire Services BONN KASH Firefighter (Grade 1) 72,374

Uniformed Fire Services BOYNTON SR. MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services BRADY THOMAS Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,039

Uniformed Fire Services CABRAL MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services CAHOON STEVEN Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,706

Uniformed Fire Services CAMPAGNA VINCENT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services CEMBOR ROBERT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services CHACE THOMAS Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,706

Uniformed Fire Services CHARPENTIER JASON Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services CONLEY JAMES Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,706

Uniformed Fire Services CONLEY KYLE Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services CRAVEN NOAH Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services CROWLEY PATRICK Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services CULLEN STEVEN Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,039

Uniformed Fire Services DANELLA DAVID Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DANELLA ROBERT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DEFUSCO MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DELBONIS MATTHEW Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DELPOZZO ANTHONY Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DEROBBIO DANIEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DIMUCCIO STEPHEN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services DOAR PHILIP Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services DUCKWORTH BRIAN Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,706

Uniformed Fire Services ECCLES JUSTIN Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services ERKKINEN ANDREW Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services FARIAS MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services FRANCIS SETH Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services FRENCH KYLE Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services GIBLIN THOMAS Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services GRASSI BRIAN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services GREENWELL JOSEPH Firefighter (Grade 1) 72,374

Uniformed Fire Services HENRIKSON CHRISTIAN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services HORNBY JOHN Firefighter (Grade 1) 72,374

Uniformed Fire Services IAMARONE SCOTT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services INGEGNERI BRANDON Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services JENSEN SCOTT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services KAPALKA STEVEN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services KING DAVID Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services LEMAY NORMAND Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services LIBRIZZI CHRISTOPHER Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services LLOYD WILLIAM Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services LOYO MARCELO Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services LOYO MARCELO Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services MADISON MANTON Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services MAGNAN STEPHEN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services MARRIOTT KENNETH Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services MAYMON THOMAS Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services MCALLISTER MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services MERNICK FREDERICK Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,039

Uniformed Fire Services MONTECALVO GREGORY Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services MORETTI MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services MORLOCK CARL Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services NARODOWY GLENN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services PELLA JOHN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services PERRY JOHN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services PICARD TIMOTHY Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services PRATA TIMOTHY Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services REYNOLDS JESSE Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services RICCI CHRISTOPHER Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services RICHARD DEREK Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ROCHA JUSTIN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services RUSSELL RANDY Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,039

Uniformed Fire Services SCALZO MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services SCHMIDT MICHAEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services SCRIBNER KEVIN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services SILVA KEVIN Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services SISSON PETER Firefighter (Grade 1) 72,374

Uniformed Fire Services SQUEO KRISTINE Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,706

Uniformed Fire Services SULLIVAN CHRISTOPHER Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services SULLIVAN KYLE Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services SUTTON ANDREW Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services TITUS TRACY Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services TURCO DANIEL Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,703

Uniformed Fire Services VAIL JUSTIN Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services VALLELY ROBERT Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services VARRAS NICHOLAS Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services WALSH PETER Firefighter (Grade 1) 63,360

Uniformed Fire Services WATERMAN JASON Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services WATERMAN JASON Firefighter (Grade 1) 69,036

Uniformed Fire Services ZUBA STANLEY Firefighter (Grade 1) 71,039

Uniformed Rescue Services CARVALHO MICHAEL Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services CHAMPAGNE STEPHEN Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services COONEY RICHARD Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services GINAITT BRADFORD Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services HEROUX MICHAEL Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services JOHNSON ROBERT Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services KRETCHMAN MICHAEL Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services LAVOIE GARY Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services MARAIA MATTHEW Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services MARTUFI BRIAN Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services MCDERMOTT JAMES Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services MILEY KEVIN Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services MONTEIRO MICHAEL Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services MORSE DAVID Rescue Driver 75,993

Uniformed Rescue Services PALUMBO ROBERT Rescue Driver 66,528

Uniformed Rescue Services SISSON ANDREW Rescue Driver 66,528

Friday, April 12
TaxedOutTheWazoo

What a Sad State of Affairs!

How greed and corruption can bring a City Down... Welcome to Warwick! We as Taxpayers should be outraged by our Political Leadership. In the end "We the people of Warwick" pay for all of this - and the city still looks like a DUMP! Hopefully the Feds can step in and do some desperately needed house cleaning.

Friday, April 12
Samuel

Cote shouldn't you be out capturing poodles that pee on your weed infested lawn?

Friday, April 12
Honestinfo

Robbie Killer of small animals,

Minister of misinformation, please give us a current picture of salaries throughout the city. Your fixation on the FF is not the full story. Kind of like you only killed a few small animals not all the ones you claimed.

Saturday, April 13
Jimmy

Never in my life have I seen someone so obsessed with Firefighters. It’s not healthy. Captain, your best bud Merolla has the Audit, why won’t he release it. Surly if it proved the firefighters owed the city millions as you claim they would want to get that out. Why isn’t it being released? I think they realized there is nothing there and you cost them tons of money by making all the crap claims. When are you going to realize the fire department is well run, with many dedicated people?

Saturday, April 13
wwkvoter

Rob was found innocent on the yard pest controversy.

The city, however, remains under investigation. According to the mayor and council president. Lets not forget that.

Maybe that's why the fire department audit is not released. Otherwise under APRA and general open government, it definitely absolutely should be public, under the law as it is a public record.

Saturday, April 13
Jimmy

Wwkvoter,

The city is not under investigation. Your officials are lying right tonyiur face. Sorry to break that too you.

Saturday, April 13
Jimmy

It’s not hard to see what happened there. Rob convinced the city council that the department was scheming millions. They hired YKSM (Merollas buddy) then got the Audit back. The same documents that the unions firm used to do their audit. It showed NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG. Now they are trying to figure out what to do with this report. You can thank Mr. Cote for the $30,000 audit bill that proved nothing. They then make up a phony claim about the FBI to disctact everyone. There is a absolutely no FBI investigation into the Fire Department.

Saturday, April 13
wwkvoter

We'll see. But 30k for an audit against a 300 million city budget is well worth it for finding the facts, either way it comes out. It's bizarre to me that it's being held back, especially IF the assertion is true that there's no Feds in Warwick. But we'll all know eventually wont we...

Saturday, April 13
Jimmy

Wwkvoter,

No, I don’t think we will see the Audit. I think Merolla is doing all he can to hide it. Why in God’s green earth would it take months and months longer than the other audit? We can only hope that we we will

See it.

Saturday, April 13
Jimmy

Wwkvoter,

Not one person retired or currently employed by the city gas been contacted by the FBI. NONE. There is no investigation.

Saturday, April 13
Warwickbeautiful

Mr. Cote-With your extensive criminal record and arrests for making crank, obscene, and threatening phone calls and for dumping gasoline into a public sewer nearly blowing up an entire neighborhood, you barely have a shred of credibility with your comments. Add to that the fact that you stood in front of the entire city council and bragged about illegally trapping and killing hundreds of defenseless animals on video tape, that tiny shred of credibility that you think you may have had is gone. And to put a cherry on top of the ice cream sundae, you recently had the audacity to show up at a funeral uninvited and trespassed on private property, where you proceeded to harass a grieving family who was trying to give their loved one a proper and decent funeral. Have you no shame or decency Mr. Cote? With a documented criminal record and long history of sick and twisted behavior, you would think a sociopath such as you would keep to himself, and not bring any more shame to you and your family, but for some reason, you seem to crave attention. By all means, please keep up with your sick and twisted behavior, as it clearly shows the residents of the city your disturbed and deranged personality.

Saturday, April 13
Thecaptain

Can you please post any of the allegations that you suggest. They are easily obtainable on the RI Judiciary web site. Such as this example:

RICHARD S COLE

Location:

Kent County Superior Court

Filed on:

08/31/1994

Case Information

Case Type: Felony

Case Status:

11/14/1994 Closed

Offense Statute Deg Date

Jurisdiction: Warwick Police Department

1.

SIMPLE ASSAULT/BATTERY

11-5-3(a)

M

08/19/1994

Offense Reporting Agency:

Warwick Police Department

99 Veterans Memorial Drive

Warwick, RI 02886

Filed As: FEL ASSLT/DANGEROUS WEAPON/SUB

Deg

F

Date

8/31/1994

Arrest:

08/19/1994

2.

MALICIOUS DESTRUCTION PROPERTY

CONV

M

08/19/1994

Offense Reporting Agency:

Warwick Police Department

99 Veterans Memorial Drive

Warwick, RI 02886

Arrest:

08/19/1994

Related Cases

K219940589A (Related Case Number)

Saturday, April 13
Warwickbeautiful

Here you are Mr. Cote, bringing more embarrassment to yourself. And to disparage a deceased man and his family is the absolute epitome of classless:

Cote charged with harassing phone calls, claims he’s the victim

Posted Thursday, July 5, 2012 1:00 pm

Jessica Botelho

Warwick Police have charged Rob Cote, leader of last summer’s Car Tax Revolt, for making harassing phone calls on the basis of a complaint by Terry DiPetrillo, an employee of the Department of Public Works.

But Cote, who was notified Tuesday morning by police of the complaint and appeared at the station later in the day, says he’s the one being harassed.

In an email exchange, he says he feels the situation “is politically motivated against me for leading the charge in the Car Tax Revolt and for helping Channel 12 News uncover the gross mismanagement of the Warwick DPW and the attempt to cover up the theft by DPW workers at the city yard, and for being vocal in my community.”

Cote continued, “I have made numerous complaints to the Warwick Police about being harassed by city workers, including Mr. DiPetrillo, at council meetings and in public, and I have written letters to the mayor and his administration about this, all of which have gone unanswered with no investigations. This shows a pattern of behavior by the DPW and the administration for speaking out against what is obviously wrong in this city, in yet another attempt to sequester an opposing political dialogue.”

Cote also showed a Warwick Beacon reporter emails confirming proof of at least six complaints.

He emailed the reporter a post on craigslist.org that was sent to him by a member of the Car Tax Revolt. The post was dated May 13 of this year and reads, “your [sic] crossing a bridge into dangerous territory. I understand your [sic] upset with the way city employee's [sic] conduct their daily work (or lack of it in some isolated cases) but what your [sic] doing now is becoming VERY personal to many. I'm not threatening you in any way just trying to help. When you cause a man to lose his job You give that man nothing else to lose. Sometimes you have to throw in the towel before the war gets ugly, no harm no foul. What are you really going to gain? You've put yourself in a position where the police really aren't even going to rush to your aid...Think about it.”

In a phone interview Tuesday, Captain Robert Nelson said DiPetrillo filed the complaint as a result of an investigation involving harassing phone calls allegedly made by Cote.

According to Cote, he attempted to contact DiPetrillo numerous times after an incident that occurred June 28. At first, Cote said DiPetrillo’s phone was busy, but he ended up speaking to DiPetrillo twice for a timeframe of less than two minutes.

They then had a “heated” verbal argument immediately after the incident.

Cote, along with his friend from Massachusetts, Phil Cottone, had just returned from a fishing trip at Point Judith and were traveling east on West Shore Road in Cote’s truck, his boat in tow, June 28.

At first, said Cote, he didn’t see or hear DiPetrillo, who had pulled up to the right side of Cote’s vehicle.

Cottone then got Cote’s attention, as Cottone said Dipetrillo was yelling profanities and pointing at Cote while making obscene gestures. Cote said he was taken by surprise because he said he has been friends with DiPetrillo for more than 20 years and called him as a means to find out why DiPetrillo was behaving in such a manner.

“There was a large pickup truck that pulled up to the right side of us and a guy with a shaved head looked over at Rob and flipped him off,” said Cottone, who has known Cote for nearly a decade. “There was an exchange back and forth and Rob asked him to pull over a number of times so they could talk.”

After that, Cottone said, he and Cote went to Cote’s home and had dinner. A day or two later, Cottone received a call from the WPD.

“I told them the other individual initiated the inappropriate gesture,” Cottone said. “I’ve known Rob long enough to know that if something is wrong, he wants it fixed. Rob is uncovering some stuff and he’s speaking out against people that aren’t working. It’s about time someone stands up.”

Yet, Nelson said DiPetrillo did not mention anything about the alleged exchange on Post Road. Rather, DiPetrillo said Cote made a series of phone calls to his city cell phone in consecutive order and left vulgar messages within a 30-minute time frame.

“He did not explain to the police officer what happened in the previous driving incident,” said Nelson of DiPetrillo. “He said, ‘This person will not stop calling and he has left several messages.’ At such time when the police officer did hear the messages, it was enough to be considered harassing phone calls. The obscenities are illegal.”

DiPetrillo was contacted for comment but did not reply in time for press.

Cote said he would contest the charge in court.

News Release

RI Department of Environmental Management

235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908

(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: June 5, 1998

Contact: Bob Ballou 222-4700 ext. 4420

Martin Cappelli 222-6768

DEM ARRESTS WARWICK MAN FOR ILLEGAL DISPOSAL OF GASOLINE IN SEPTIC SYSTEM

PROVIDENCE: A Warwick man was arrested today for allegedly disposing of gasoline by pouring it down the drain at his business. Robert Cote, 39, of 12 Social Drive in Warwick, was arrested by DEM Officers at his place of business and arraigned before Judge Walter Gorman in 6th Division District Court in Warwick. He was charged with a single count of unlawfully disposing of hazardous waste. Cote entered no plea, as typically occurs in felony cases. He was released on $5,000 personal recognizance and faces an arraignment in Superior Court on August 14. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. The RI Attorney General's Office will be prosecuting the case.

According to Sr. Agent Giusto Iannelli, of DEM's Office of Criminal Investigation, the Warwick Fire Department was called to Cote's business, the Pro Divers Shop at 2442 West Shore Road, on April 30 after a neighbor in an adjacent strip mall heard an explosion and observed smoke coming from the dive shop. The fire department responded and extinguished the fire, but an officer at the scene noticed a heavy smell of gasoline coming from the facility. Cote admitted to placing a container with less than a gallon of gasoline in a sink to see if the gasoline was contaminated. Cote claimed that the fumes from the gasoline were ignited by a spark from a hot water heater.

The fire officer at the scene called DEM to determine if there was a remaining hazard. John Leo, a Sanitary Engineer with DEM's Emergency Response Unit, responded and found that a considerable amount of gasoline was present in the septic system. Leo determined that the situation constituted a threat to public safety and the environment, and he immediately called CYN Environmental to come to pump out the septic system.

Subsequent lab tests indicated that there was at least 20 and perhaps as much as 30 gallons of gasoline in the septic system, enough to pose a significant danger of a major explosion. Leo noted that if the fumes had backed up overnight in the pipes and vents associated with the septic system, the result could have been disastrous.

In addition to today's arrest, DEM officers, assisted by officers from the Warwick Police Department, executed a search warrant and removed evidence from the scene.

Sunday, April 14
John Stark

It would appear that Mr. Cote's fact-based analysis has some rather angry. Many personal attacks, but little to nothing in the way of disputing his data. Warwick taxpayers should look at their tax bill and loudly question whether they are receiving city services proportional to what they are paying. If you have a child in public school, the answer is a resounding "Yes". Per pupil expenditures in Warwick (yes, I'll say it again) are $19,000 per student. That's the input. So if your kid is in public school and unless you're paying over $19k in property taxes you're getting a bargain. That said, I'll leave it up to taxpayers to determine the quality of the output, or rather the "investment". Hint: Fewer than 1 in 4 Warwick high school kids is deemed to be competent in Math. As for the firefighters, my experience is that ANY question pertaining to salary, benefits, and schedule is deemed to be "bashing" and met with 'how dare you' vitriol. That said, I wade in gently to some simple questions of the department:

How many fires were put out in 2018 by the WFD?

What, specifically, is the contracted schedule of WFD members? Is it 4 on 1 off...? 3 on 1 off? I really don't know.

How many years on the job does a firefighter need to accrue in order to receive full pension benefits?

How is the pension calculated? Again, don't know.

How many active firefighters are there in the WFD? How does this compare, as a percent of the city's population, to other areas of the country? And has this number remained steady or decreased as the city's population has decreased?

What percent of the rank and file are EMT's?

Sunday, April 14
Cole Family Member

Mr Cote,

Why is that every single time Warwick Beautiful brings up your record or past you bring up my fathers police record from many years ago? Warwick Beautiful is not a member of our family, as a matter of fact we have literally no idea who it is. Keep my fathers name out of your mouth and out of your writing. You are pushing your luck. Leave my fathers name out of your scumbag mouth. Last warning. This is a monster you don't want to poke, trust me. You have an issue with "warwick beautiful" figure out who it is and deal with them specifically. Its not any of richard coles children or family members.

Instead of trying to slander a deceased man (who is TEN TIMES THE MAN YOU WILL EVER BE) why don't you speak to allegations directly? Your lies and narcissism are the reason you are the most hated man in the city. I am asking you nicely, leave my father out of your bullshit. I will not continue to ask nicely. You are trying to provoke my family for no reason. Enough is enough.

I cant wait to run into some day Mr. COTE.

Sunday, April 14
EMP

Thanks for posting those fire fighter salaries. They earn every penny!

Mr. Captain you are a despicable person. Didn't you say your were leaving Warwick? What are you waiting for? We will all throw a huge party when you do!

Becareful Mr. "Captain" some one might come along and sink your ship someday.

Sunday, April 14
Samuel

John Stark his "data" has never been proved correct. And if you want all that information about the fire department go and get it. And what kind of a stupid question is "how many fires did they put out in 2018"? Are you trying to say we should cut back on the department? I'm not sure how many battles the army won last year. Should we make it smaller?

Cote does nothing but make a lot of noise and spout a lot of nonsense. He made a fool of himself bragging about all the animals he trapped, it was an absolute clown show. Nothing he has ever done has ever accomplished anything, or Cushman, or Stacia who is actually trying to take advantage of the high property values in our fair city and has her house on the market for twice what it's worth. The populace doesn't listen to what they say because we don't care what they say. We didn't elect them, they don't represent anyone but themselves. They are attention whores. They cry the sky is falling and this is happening and that is happening. But the one thing they can never offer is any viable solutions to the problems.

Sunday, April 14
Honestinfo

Let’ summarizes,

Looks like the audit will reveal minor bookkeeping errors, no crime.

Merrola looks like a fool, and fraud backing Cote .(Has anyone paid for records yet)

Cote killed small animals.

FBI is not involved.

This was all a bunch of nothing, similar to two other frauds, Corrigan and Suzy Cienki.

Now we wait for the rest of the story.

Sunday, April 14
Jimmy

John Stark,

Do some basic investigating before spouting off your mouth. All the data is there for you to see. EVERY warwick Firefighter is an EMT Cardiac, all 180 of us. Yes the city budgeted for 212. So they saved millions by not hiring this year. And no warwick Firefighter can get a FULL pension is a percentage of your salary. Depending on your time. 20 years you get %50, 30 years you get %7O. The department does 17000 plus calls a year. 75% are EMS calls. The rest are fire calls. We put our all fires to answer your questions.

Sunday, April 14
Louise

I just went online to book my appointment and there were literally 5 appointment slots available for the next three months. They are not seeing anyone past June. Seems many more households are questioning their increases ($44,500) in my case) - all I can say is what the !!! "Two percent of property owners have scheduled appointments as of this time" my ass.

Monday, April 15
Ben Dover

I'm curious....If Cote's numbers are all WRONG, and they were gathered from a city personnel supplement, then that means the city's numbers are wrong, or different? Is this what is being looked at? I also wonder who Cote has retained as an attorney because some of the comments here walk right up to the line of defamation, slander and libel...Jus' sayin' words sometimes can have Draconian consequences...

As for the reval, My house jumped $70K in assessed value and the real estate comps. don't seem to bear that out...If you appeal, do your homework first.

Monday, April 15
Samuel

Bendover every word said here about Coye is a matter of public record so you don't know what you're talking about.

Monday, April 15
DH

Ben i wonder if the Cole family has retained an attorney. Cote is copying and pasting information from the RI court connect system and using it in a way that is a direct violation of the terms and conditions of the site. Go ahead and read it. It specifically states that anyone who uses the information for reasons other then what's outlined is subject to criminal and civil action against them.

As far as the other stuff posted (about him), its copied from news articles that aren't protected in the same way. Its public information that can be shared in any way, unlike the court connect records he is using in an abusive way against a man who never did a thing to him. I really hope the Coles get a lawyer. He has harrassed them enough!

Monday, April 15
wwkvoter

Criminal records are public information. Maybe it's not in good taste to discuss very old arrests that are irrelevant to the issue at hand, but it is public.

Tuesday, April 16
DH

It is public, however copying and pasting the information and using it to harass a dead mans grieving family is in violation of the terms and conditions. It states it right on the site. The information is public but you can not copy directly from the site and use that information in this way. They really should look into a lawyer.

Its poor taste and its a deflection. That guy isn't even alive. What kind of lowlife scumbag does that? Cote is assuming "warwickbeautiful" is a member of Mr. Coles family...well they aren't. Its not a stretch to say Mr. Cote has MANY MANY MANY haters. Slandering a man who is recently deceased is a low life scumbag move. He isn't here to defend himself (not that he would have to). What a coward Cote is. Key board warrior. Speaks to Cote's character IMMENSELY. i wouldnt believe a word that came out of his mouth. I don't know anyone who would.

Tuesday, April 16
Cat

The former administration pandered to the unions. Well, let's face it, the entire state panders to the unions because they are the ones that pay to get politicians elected. They aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them, so the citizens are the ones to deal with the fall out. We are obligated to pay out for salary and pensions that we can't afford. It does no good to blame the employee or unionized worker for the pit we find ourselves in today. They signed a contract and worked in good faith. However, when the city no longer has the capacity to pay, it should be expected that things will change.

Contracts must be renegotiated. Pension reform must be enacted. Costs need to be cut. Everyone is going to have to feel a bit of a pinch. The city must downsize because we can’t afford to run as we did when there were more taxpayers and businesses in Warwick. We are already facing the reality of much higher taxes for the long haul. The only way we can get out of the hole is to ensure that the current leadership is working to protect the citizens of the city instead of themselves. The irony is that the current leadership is also the former leadership.

We need to keep the current administration honest and transparent. That goes for union leadership as well. The employees that work for the city have it pretty good. They are paid well for their services. We appreciate all they do for the city, but Warwick isn't Stop & Shop's parent company. There were no 2Billion dollars profit last year!!!

For nearly 20 years the citizens have been conned into believing everything was great and there were no financial worries on the horizon. Except for a handful of people who kept trying to sound the alarm, most citizens were very comfortable with turning a blind eye and disparaging the words of the few watchdogs. And yet, here we are. Watching and waiting to see what comes next for our city.

Some of the most negative consequences of social media keep playing out in the comment section of the Beacon. I have stayed away because it was just too much. Personal attacks and disparaging remarks that are completely off topic of the actual article. Everyone has facts. Facts that prove their comment is correct and another is not. Facts should be concrete, but they often turn subjective based on the angle of light shed on it.

We, as citizens, can behave with integrity towards one another. We can be respectful of one another. We can agree to disagree. It doesn't cost a dime to be kind. I hope that we can see the end to the personal attacks.

Wednesday, April 17
wwkvoter

Cat said: "The city must downsize because we can’t afford to run as we did when there were more taxpayers and businesses in Warwick"

I disagree that the issue is that. While the population is around the same, we have HALF the students we once had. At 19k per child, just imagine trying to pay for double the students. I also see a LOT of businesses in Warwick, especially compared to some outlying bedroom communities (who interestingly have more or less comparable tax rates).

We are spending too much, and have deferred maintenance on the schools, roads, and now, apparently, the water system as well.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few years.

3 days ago
Patient Man

Tom Hobson wrote "This is very unfair to all.however we have been paying too little in taxes for too long".

Rhode Island has the 6th highest property taxes in the country behind NJ, CT, NY, NH & MA. We are not under taxed.

You can pretty much take NH out of the list since there is no income or sales tax.

Yesterday at 10:08 AM