Councilman claims his calls for DPW action ignored

By JOHN HOWELL
Posted 2/27/20

By JOHN HOWELL The bomb went off moments before the City Council Finance Committee was scheduled to consider issues relating to the Department of Public Works on Monday night as the department's director walked out of the chambers. Committee Chair Ed

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Councilman claims his calls for DPW action ignored

Posted

The bomb went off moments before the City Council Finance Committee was scheduled to consider issues relating to the Department of Public Works on Monday night as the department’s director walked out of the chambers.

Committee Chair Ed Ladouceur asked a member of the audience if they could intercept Mathew Solito and have him return to answer questions on resolutions to have the city make repairs to Lippitt Park in Riverview and install stop signs near DelGuidfice Park off Palmer Avenue, both in Ward 5 and projects Ladouceur has been pushing to complete for the past 4½ months.

Ladouceur’s envoy returned to the chamber without Solitro.

That did it. Ladouceur questioned why Solitro would leave, knowing he would be questioned as to what had delayed the projects. He said he was frustrated and had reached the “boiling point.”

By Tuesday, Ladouceur – though still simmering – had cooled off and Solitro had answers for his exit. Solitro said he had talked about both issues with the councilman and saw no need to go over ground already covered. He added that he had a prior engagement and had to leave. He said in no way did he intend for his actions to be rude.

Ladouceur wouldn’t go so far as to say he was deliberately snubbed or that this was a form of payback for not supporting the administration on the high profile Warwick Firefighters contract that gained council approval on a 5-4 vote. Ladouceur favored delaying the vote for additional study of its financial impact.

Ladouceur said he understands his is not the only ward demanding attention and that the Department of Public Works must prioritize projects. Yet given the nature of the safety concerns surrounding both park projects, he thought they should have been acted on more quickly. In addition, he listed a number of requests, from potholes on Ocean Avenue to a rotted tree stump on White Rock Road and a knocked over road sign at Warwick Neck School that had not been addressed for weeks. He doesn’t see why it should reach the point where he has to introduce a resolution to get a problem fixed, but he’s going to do that if that’s what it takes.

“I’m going to do whatever I need to do to protect my constituents. My people don’t deserve this kind of service,” he said. “I don’t want to hear stuff that we’re busy, I don’t want to wait 4½ months.”

Solitro had explanations.

The situation at Lippitt Park developed Nov. 16 when a driver plowed into a 6-by-6 protective post and tore up a bicycle rack embedded in a concrete walkway. Solitro said a DPW crew cordoned off the area with caution tape, placed a cone over the fractured frame of the bike rack and installed a Jersey barrier to prevent a vehicle from driving into the bayside park. Rightly or wrongly, Solitro acknowledges, he waited until he had a check – about $4,400 – from the driver’s insurance company to replace the post and removed the rack, cutting its metal post flush with the walk. That happened last Friday.

“I didn’t think people would be using the park to its fullest potential. It’s safe,” he said.

In an email to the Beacon, Riverview Association President Kevin Eisemann said he visited the park the day after the accident with several neighbors and swept the area of broken glass and debris. He called Ladouceur as well as the DPW.

“Well, a week went by, then a month, then several months. Every two weeks either myself or Councilman Ladouceur called for the status and we requested repairs. Nothing but broken promises and excuses. I finally reached out to Mayor Solomon last month and still nothing was done except a juggling around of highway cones. The DPW arrives, looks , and leaves. Every week it’s the same. This is now week 15. Problem is the broken guardrail, bike rack, and waste receptacle were safety hazards. Neither was removed until last Friday. It was another accident waiting to happen,” Eisemann writes.

Mayor Joseph Solomon said Wednesday he visited the park following the accident. He felt DPW had taken measures to ensure the situation was safe.

“I never get any complaints about the work not being done,” Solomon said. If anything, he said, DPW has “been proactive” in addressing the issues.

Emily Martineau, the mayor’s press secretary, who was also on the call with Solitro, pointed out that the DPW has finite resources and a schedule of projects to address across the city. She said that a review of DPW records indicate that about 90 percent of the requests for services the department receives are from constituents while the balance is from council members.

Solitro pointed out that his department is in the process of completing a major renovation of the DelGiudice Park baseball field with the installation of a drainage system, grading and loaming. He said this mild winter has allowed crews to work on projects whereas they otherwise would have been driving plows and sanding roads. The park is in the heart of Ladouceur’s ward.

“We want to beautify the area,” he said.

“I have limited resources and I want to put the best foot forward,” he said.

Ladouceur said at least one of the stop signs near DelGiudice Park went up Friday.

Comments

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Jimmy's Ghost

This is what happens when you go against the family.

Thursday, February 27
John Simoneau

With Sinapi's resolution on Health Care review commission leaving off the Finance Committee Director, but putting eight of the nine positions AS ALL CLOWNS OF SOLOMON, WITH SINAPI THE HEAD RING MASTER FOR THAT PROPOSED CIRCUS, I have a feeling Ed is just starting to feel the BURN ... (WFD)

Thursday, February 27
Cookie

This city is falling apart. Let's start with the sewer line on Sandy Lane. People told the city that something was wrong and they didn't even check it the proper way. This tells me someone with a iron fist needs to come in and fix the lazy people working in public works. The roads in this city are at the worst i have seen since 1985. Every homeowner seen the biggest tax increase ever in this city.... We are talking for me $456 .... So now where will all of this money be wasted.

Oh i have an idea maybe someone will catch it and run with it... How about getting rid of these damn pensions that are soaking this city dry. If companies have changed to a 401k and the pensions were stopped why can't you do the same. Maybe because of all the crying people like to do. My company i work for is in Warwick and they match up to 5%. Grow a pair and change our city for the better... If the people that work for the city don't like then move on to work for someone else.

Friday, February 28
John Simoneau

Cookie

It will not happened because all POLITICIANS are COWARDS afraid to take on the unions. They are bought and paid for union hacks. The silent majority of taxpayers, that don't bother to vote or show up at Council meetings, need to get off their ass and get involved. Only then do the rest of us have a chance of changing things. It isn't the Unions fault. Their job is to fight to get as much as possible for their members. It is the POLITICIANS fault for giving in to their demands. Until people wake up and get involved , by using their numbers at the ballot box, nothing will change!

Friday, February 28
I don’t blame Solitro

Solitro did the right thing by leaving. Who the heck wants to hang around to get berated by a grandstanding Ladoucer? All set thanks.

Hey Ed. You’d have more credibility if you didn’t try to go back on deals made to retirees which were negotiated in good faith at the time. Many of those deals you ratified Ed.

Be a man of honor and not a two faced weasel. Remember when a mans word used to mean something? How can anyone enter into a deal that has anything to do with you?

Friday, February 28
pallyboy

Oh, there is a Department of Public Works in Warwick, now who would have guessed that??? Apparently the vehicles they use [which are paid for by the taxpayers they RIP OFF] must gently glide six to seven inches above the pavement so they have NO IDEA of what it is like to drive on these "cart roads." I swear that the roads the pioneers used to move west must have been in better condition. Sandy Lane is a big fat JOKE from Start to Finish and the CRATERS on Buttonwoods Ave between West Shore Rd and Long Street must be akin to what one would find on the Moon!! WTF is wrong with people, do they really enjoy the extortion the so called "City Leaders" use to bleed the taxpayers of Warwick DRY??? No wonder the City Hall and City Offices are on a street that is almost impossible to access because of rotaries and one way streets, obviously the "Bosses" don't want to be disturbed by the "Common Folk." Better get it together and make sure ALL of these CROOKS are removed by RECALL or Voting them out in the next election. How do you spell USELESS...like this, WARWICK!!!

Saturday, February 29
Robert

Pallyboy, How do you spell useless? DEMOCRATIC PARTY. N

Sunday, March 1
FASTFRED WARD 4

How about this . Six men 3trucks putting down grass seed on archdale road. off west shore. In thirty yrs I never saw that. Grass seed must be NG so funny. EDDY OK he making a little noise , No big deal

Monday, March 2
Stinkfinger

Interesting, yesterday at 9 am at the McDonalds on Sandy Lane, there must have been a DPW convention. There were 9 DPW trucks there, and others at the Dunkin Donuts in the same plaza. I was in CVS for about 20 minutes and when I came out they were still there/ I thought that they only got a 15 minute coffee break. So I wondered, when does the break begin? Does it start when they leave their route and drive across town to meet at Micky D's? Or does the 15 minute break begin when they get to the place? Or maybe it begins once they have their food in hand? Or does it begin after they have eaten the food? In any event, the 15 minute break clearly is not 15 minutes. It is at a minimum 1/2 hour.

From the contract

https://www.warwickri.gov/sites/warwickri/files/uploads/municipal_employees_2018-2021_bargaining_agreement.pdf

The City shall allow one (1) fifteen (15) minute rest period during each one-half (1/2) shift

of each workday. Such rest periods shall be assigned by the Department Head, Division

Chief or Agency Director and such rest periods shall not be accumulative.

I wonder how much work time is being lost due to the travel time to and from break time? Unbelievable !

Friday, March 6
billy l

I worked with Matt at the Sewer Authority. He was a hard worker and conscientious. City work is a thankless job. Just look at these comments.

Former WSA program manager now living in sunny CA

Friday, March 6
John Simoneau

There everyday, while WFD is at Stop & Shop all day, everyday. Warwick is a joke. Employees do whatever they want, because even city employees that get caught breaking the law have no accountability. Corruption in every Department, since every employee knows that City Hall is even worse. Leadership, and ethical conduct, starts at the top, but we all know it is dreadfully lacking!

Friday, March 6
Robert

Cookie, I advise you arm yourself while you still can and stock up on some survivalist foods. These Warwick politicians aren’t the fools you think. They have a well planned out agenda to destroy the Warwick citizenry. And the police are 100% on their side.

Saturday, March 7