School Dept. reverts to $85M bond for building repairs

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The Warwick School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to return to the original $85,045,000 for a bond request to repair the direst needs at the city’s public school buildings, after the School Building came to their own unanimous conclusion that seeking an additional $33 million to satisfy differing state requirements for additional elementary school space was unfeasible.

Along with the recommendation, School Budget Officer Anthony Ferrucci provided the committee and the public with a comprehensive roster of what would be included in that $85 million number in regards to real projects, right down to the total number of exterior doors at each school that would need to be replaced, and the costs associated with each element.

The $85 million request is only about 38 percent of the total $225 million in deficiencies that were identified by the state Department of Education’s Jacobs Report. Of those $225 million, $178 million were listed as “current” deficiencies, with the remainder of the deficiencies estimated to come into need within five years.

Ferrucci said that the $85 million, which is 47 percent of the current need identified by Jacobs, is only to repair the most crucial fixes needed at the schools – things like $2 million in fire safety systems, $800,000 in asbestos abatement, $9 million in roofing repairs and about $5 million in electrical work.

“Everything in this package does affect instruction,” Ferrucci said. “It was unanimous [among the School Building Committee] that we seek the $85 million and have the folks realize how severe a need that $85 million is – these are our Priority 1s.”

School Committee member David Testa voiced his support for re-concentrating efforts on the $85 million bond number.

“What we have here is a picture of neglect, a picture of neglect that took place long before anybody up here was on this stage and long before anybody down there,” Testa said. “I would say it’s been a stain on the community for letting it get to the point where it got to, but we have to fix it. I have no problem with the $85 million…I think we need every penny of it to really make an impact.”

Other committee members, like Karen Bachus, were suspicious of the ability to hold the School Committee accountable for the funds – cautious about a potential for them to use the bond funds for uses outside of the proposed projects.

Ferrucci said that there will be a level of oversight in the process that would make this simply unfeasible, and that only a certain amount of the bond funds are released each fiscal year, and only for certain projects, which also must be approved by votes from the school committee.

“The generation of the budget priority roster is what we’re planning on living and dying on. So we’ll be reporting to the community against that approved roster,” he said. “If it’s the whole $85 million, we would take each category and you have a breakdown of each project at each building and we can be held accountable… Given the sensitivity and the expectation of this community, I think it’s going to be held to a high level of scrutiny.”

The updated, targeted bond request will now have to go before the Warwick City Council, and a bond request would require a resolution from them as well as the approval of the state legislature. This would need to be wrapped up by the deadline for the Stage 2 application for reimbursement set by RIDE, which is Feb. 1.

Should those steps happen, the bond would appear on a referendum for the November 2018 election. With a 40 percent reimbursement from RIDE for each dollar spent on school repairs and construction, as is expected for Warwick, the actualized impact on the taxpaying community would be $52 million. 

The additional $33 million that was formerly accepted by the School Committee to address the state's "aspirational capacity" standards regarding elementary education was explored, in part, to show due diligence on the part of the School Department and display to RIDE that, while the district explored the possibility of addressing the standard, it turned out to not be affordable.

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CrickeeRaven

"[O]nly a certain amount of the bond funds are released each fiscal year, and only for certain projects," according to Mr. Ferrucci. "[Y]ou have a breakdown of each project at each building and we can be held accountable."

Anyone claiming otherwise, like the fake "mayor" who has claimed the school department would receive $85 million in bond funds without any oversight, is wrong.

Thursday, December 14, 2017
richardcorrente

Readers,

Please read my comments under the article "Teachers Decry School Committee following denial of raises." and never listen to anyone who doesn't have the courage to identify themselves. The School Committee has never been accountable to anyone, and, until Warwick gets a Home Rule Charter, they never will. That's the law. Warwick NEEDS a Home Rule Charter even more than CrickeeRaven needs a life.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, December 14, 2017
CrickeeRaven

- "Please read my comments under the article 'Teachers Decry School Committee following denial of raises.'"

In those comments, the fake "mayor" again refuses to correct his false assertion that the school committee is to blame for his party's city council members' decision not to properly fund the city budget to pay for the new teacher contract. Several other of his claims are also disproven.

- "Warwick NEEDS a Home Rule Charter..."

Warwick has a legislative charter, which is exactly the same as a Home Rule Charter except in how it is named.

What the fake "mayor" should have said is "Never listen to anyone who refuses to do basic research."

Thursday, December 14, 2017
WwkVoter

"Warwick has a legislative charter, which is exactly the same as a Home Rule Charter except in how it is named."

Thanks for straightening that out, Raven.

Corrente is dangerous with his "alternative facts" which come from his "alternative universe". I still cannot believe that this guy is challenging Mayor Avedisian again. What is the point?

Thursday, December 14, 2017
CrickeeRaven

Hello again WwkVoter:

Honestly, I have no idea what point he's trying to prove.

I know what he IS proving, though, again and again: That he lacks even the most basic grasp of objective fact. This whole "we need a Home Rule Charter" claim is a perfect example. The term "legislative charter" derives from Article II of Warwick's Charter, which states: "The legislative powers of the city shall be vested in the city council."

Here's the link: https://library.municode.com/ri/warwick/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTICHREAC_SPACH_ARTIICICO

Warwick has what can be termed a "strong council" form of government [as opposed to a "strong mayoral" form of government], since the council ultimately has the final say over the budget, in the form of veto overrides, to use one example.

As I've stated before, no matter what type of charter a city or town has, though, there are none -- NONE -- that provide the kind of line-item control over the school budget that the failed candidate wants to give the Warwick City Council when he says the school committee is "not accountable."

That's not even mentioning the process for instituting a home rule charter, which would include going to the General Assembly for approval of a local referendum, creation of a charter commission, drafting of new language, conducting legal review, approval of new ordinances by the city council, possibly hundreds of hours of public meetings -- all to, basically, have the same thing that Warwick has now.

In his scenario, Warwick would spend time and money [like paying for an off-year referendum vote] to replace its legislative charter with a home rule charter that still would not do what he thinks it would do.

As a frequent reader, I'm sure you've seen his repeated bashing of the school committee. It hasn't made any difference in how they operate under the current rules, so now he wants a new rule book -- but the rules wouldn't change.

So, back to your question: What's the point?

It certainly isn't a reasonable or rational one.

Friday, December 15, 2017
richardcorrente

Dear WwkVoter,

Are you kidding??

A Home Rule Charter is VERY different to a legislative charter. In some ways they are polar opposites.

A legislative charter makes recommendations to the state and the STATE DECIDES! ( and trust me old friend, the state legislators will vote for what benefits the STATE, not the City of Warwick.) With a Home Rule Charter, the City has the final decision and IF we had a Home Rule Charter, the City Council could make the School Committee (SC) accountable to the TAXPAYERS. Under the present legislative charter, the SC has total control of $160 million dollars of taxpayers money "from the minute they receive it." That's why I have campaigned to require answers to taxpayers questions "BEFORE we give the SC a dime!"

Every City Council person agrees that Warwick NEEDS a Home Rule Charter, (to my understanding). Why don't you? And while we're at it, what makes you think that they are "exactly the same"?

Merry Christmas WwkVoter

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Friday, December 15, 2017
CrickeeRaven

- "A legislative charter makes recommendations to the state and the STATE DECIDES!"

Here is the language from Warwick's charter: "All powers of the city shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by this Charter, or, if not so prescribed, in such manner as shall be provided >>by ordinance or resolution of the council."<<

Here is language from Cranston's Home Rule Charter: "The inhabitants of the City of Cranston as its boundaries now are or may hereafter be shall continue to be a body politic and corporate under the name of the City of Cranston and as such shall have, exercise and enjoy all rights, immunities, powers, privileges and franchises, and >>shall be subject to all the duties and obligations of a municipal corporation under the constitution and laws of the State of Rhode Island."<<

I've highlighted the specific parts that explain the authority in each city. See that language about "the constitution and laws of the State of Rhode Island" in Cranston's? See how it's NOT in Warwick's?

So, maybe the fake "mayor" can explain how Warwick is beholden to the state when such language is not even in its charter.

Better yet, maybe he can look at the Warwick charter online, find the specific part where it says what he claims it says, and back up his assertions with evidence, for a change.

https://library.municode.com/ri/warwick/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTICHREAC

Friday, December 15, 2017
WwkVoter

Why does Corrente get so many facts backwards?? Is he real or some kind of a plant?

Friday, December 15, 2017
richardcorrente

Dear WwkVoter,

Here's an unbiased idea for you. Google "Home Rule Charter". The get back to me and tell me if you still think it means the same as a legislative charter. And you ask if I am real but you hide behind a phony name. Which one of us is real? Which one is "a plant"?

Merry Christmas WwkVoter, whoever you are.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Saturday, December 16, 2017
CrickeeRaven

Hi WwkVoter:

That's an interesting question, whether he's some kind of plant. I doubt it, and here's why:

Who really supports the guy, even within his own party? If you look at his campaign finance reports, you see a couple of small contributions from city council candidates, along with donations he's made to their campaigns, making it essentially a wash. Add to that the fact that while he claims to have influenced the city council's budget decisions, none of them mentioned him as a factor, and that none of them showed up for his campaign announcement on Dec. 5. [Multiple-time loser Jack Kirby did; what does that tell you about his support from the party?]

No, I think Democratic party leaders understand what just about everyone else in the city knows: As long as Avedisian is the mayor, he won't lose an election. But they'll gladly use the fake "mayor" to get a name -- any name -- on the ballot as a formality, and let him waste his money in another losing effort.

That's actually the smart move, on their part. Why would any of them really want to be seen associating with him? Just look at his behavior on this page -- he's been told multiple times in the past that the two types of charter are similar, yet he attacked you for repeating something I wrote, and then made another series of false statements.

And why would that be, do you think? Because I have proven him wrong with facts time and time again, and all he has left is complaining that I use a screen name. [Funny, isn't it, that he doesn't say anything about yours?]

I wouldn't want to be seen with someone who so willingly spreads falsehoods and so strenuously defends their right to keep lying to people, either. Not to mention, he uses this website as his only forum; I wouldn't want to be associated with someone who can't properly maintain a website or Facebook page, either.

So, "plant" is maybe the wrong word. He's being used as a distraction from the fact that his party has no better candidate to run against a popular and unbeatable incumbent. "Useful idiot" is probably the more accurate description.

Saturday, December 16, 2017
CrickeeRaven

WwkVoter:

I'd just mentioned that the fake "mayor" hadn't attacked you for your screen name -- and then he goes and does it. Don't let his pathetic complaints about how people use this site get to you. He's been using it for free political advertising for two years and giving himself a fake title.

Oh, and notice how he again demands that other people do research to prove his points.

It is so pathetic; now matter how far he has already sunk in his behavior, he'll still find a way to behave worse. I can not wait to see how big of a margin his loss will be next year.

Saturday, December 16, 2017
CrickeeRaven

Input = Here's an unbiased idea for you. Google "Home Rule Charter". The get back to me and tell me if you still think it means the same as a legislative charter. And you ask if I am real but you hide behind a phony name. Which one of us is real? Which one is "a plant"?

Translation = I refuse to do basic research to back up my statements because I don't believe I need to. People should just believe me because I got my name on a ballot and write a lot of comments on a website. Other people should find information that supports what I say because I'm too arrogant and lazy to do it. I don't like when people use screen names.

Input = Merry Christmas WwkVoter, whoever you are.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Translation = I write these things because I think making hollow well-wishes excuses everything that I write before it. I think there are somehow thousands of people reading my comments that will look past what I actually say and think I'm a nice guy because I wish them Merry Christmas. I like to give myself pretend titles because it makes me feel special.

Saturday, December 16, 2017
Thecaptain

Hello Crickee,

I have been trying to maintain radio silence as my fingers will cramp if I write all that is on my mind about MAYOR DUMBNESS. His ineptness continues to have no boundaries. I do however find it interesting that the fake mayor is now duct taping his campaign signs to traffic signal control boxes all over the city. What he doesn't realize, (because as we have both stated time and time again, that he has no research skills) is that according to RI State Law, any political sign that is erected on state or city property can be legally removed and disposed of by any resident. So as he continues to deface public property with his propaganda and duct tape, I, along with several others, will be happy to remove these unwanted eyesores from the community and properly dispose of them.

As an example, he has taped up signs at the end of Long St., Strawberry Field Road /Sandy Ln., and also across from the Airport plaza at the former Mobile station. Rest assured that the litter will be removed.

Saturday, December 16, 2017
CrickeeRaven

Hello again Thecaptain:

I certainly appreciate your vigilance in upholding the laws governing political signage on public property which the fake "mayor" seems to so willingly disregard -- despite the ease with which such rules can be found.

Here, for example, is the language in the Warwick Charter [Ch. 803.5 part D] regarding political signs: "Such signs shall be constructed of >>>durable material,>>prohibited from trees, traffic signs or utility poles.>>not more than 60 days prior to such election or referendum,<<< or in any event, no premises shall have a sign erected for more than 120 days in any calendar year."

I have highlighted two sections above that seem to prove the fake "mayor's" signs are illegal under the ity charter. First, duct-taped paper signs are not "durable." Second, as the election is next November, his signs may not be displayed until next September under the city ordinance, and third, if he plans to leave the signs up from now until next November, he will exceed the 120-day limit.

Here is the relevant link because, as you so accurately point out, the fake "mayor" does not believe in doing his own research: https://library.municode.com/ri/warwick/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_APZO_S800SI_803SIPEALZO

For someone who is so intent on replacing the city's charter with something more to his liking, the fake "mayor" sure does not have a grasp of what's actually in it -- this just further proves it.

Saturday, December 16, 2017
WwkVoter

As always Raven and the Captain, thank you for researching to make your usually very smart informed comments relevant and helpful for the rest of us. I support fixing our schools as much as I hate taxes, the next generation deserves a fighting chance in a competitive world. I hope we all agree that the next generation deserves a proper learning environment. I was educated in public schools and I was well taught.

As to the nutty and possibly Manchurian candidate, here's idea, whomever has the biggest collection of illegal bogus Corrente signs in their trunk come election night, gets dinner and beers bought for them at any reasonable venue that has the Warwick results live on TV! I can't promise suspense, but definitely can promise some laughs. ;)

Merry Christmas!

Happy New year!

Saturday, December 16, 2017
Thecaptain

Once again Mayor Dumbness is at it, attempting to distribute his no message campaign agenda by taping his signs to the traffic control panel at Sandy Ln. at the McDonald's. Clearly oblivious to rules and regulations, I can only believe that for some reason he has a fetish to be humiliated in public. Since the depths of his ignorance has no boundaries, I can only predict that tomorrow we will have to remove more of his illegal signage, from the same places again.

Sunday, December 17, 2017
CrickeeRaven

Thank you again, Thecaptain, for alerting readers to the fake "mayor's" antics. You may also wish to post information about his apparently illegal activity on the article where he announced his candidacy: http://warwickonline.com/stories/corrente-in-race-for-mayor-again,129946?#comments

That way, any readers who see that article will also see the information related to how he is starting his soon-to-be twice-rejected candidacy: With even more questionable behavior.

Monday, December 18, 2017
Justanidiot

mr christian taxpayers mayer. stop telling me how to live my live and whose to belief in

Monday, December 18, 2017
ThatGuyInRI

All I want for Christmas is for Corrente to lose the election (again) so he'll stop making every story in the Beacon about him and go away.

Oh wait, he already lost an election and still won't go away. So much for that dream.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Kammy

I am indecisive on whether or not the "Google It" comment is hilarious or pathetic. He actually told someone to google home rule charter instead of reading the actual charter that the city has online. The link below lays out how each town is run, requirements for roles/positions, budget requirements/restrictions, etc. Currently, out of the 31 cities, only two are not Home Rule. Warwick and North Providence. But if you look at all the side-by-side comparisons between the cities you will see there is very little difference in how Home Rule and Legislative run. Check it out or maybe "GOOGLE IT"!

http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/documents/resources/Home_Rule_Charter_Publication.pdf.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
CrickeeRaven

Hello again Kammy and ThatGuyInRI:

Kammy, thank you for posting the link to that comparison among the charters for each Rhode Island community. I have also used that resource and arrived at the exact same conclusion that you do: There is very little difference among any of the charters, whether they are "home rule" or "legislative."

I have also found, as you also may have, that none of these charters gives the city or town council line-item control over school budgets that the fake "mayor" seems to be demanding. Ultimately, the most effective way for cities and school departments to operate is to work together, not, as the fake "mayor" has done, repeatedly attack the school committee for its decisions while ignoring the very serious missteps of his party's 9-0 city council.

ThatGuy, we'll have to wait another year for the dream of another defeat to come true -- but rest assured, it will.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017