Greater City Providence

City of Providence 2012 Ballot Questions


[box style=”alert”]Update: Information from the Mayor’s Office about these ballot questions. 2012 Providence Ballot Question and Charter Amendment Summaries[/alert] [alert type=”warning”]Update: All the ballot questions in the City of Providence passed.[/alert]

Do you ever get to the polling place on election day and wish that there were more things for you to vote on? Perhaps a long list of issues for you to read and decide about? Well if you live in Providence then November 6th is you lucky day, the City has 11 questions on the ballot in addition to the 7 questions the state has.

Perhaps one should think about these questions before election day, so here are those ballot questions.

City of Providence November 6 Ballot Questions

8. Finance the Design, Construction, Repair, Rehabilitation and Improvement of Streets and Sidewalks $40,000,000
“Shall an Ordinance of the City Council effective on July 31, 2012 authorizing the issuance of up to $40,000,000 general obligation bonds of the City to finance the design, construction, repair, rehabilitation and improvement of streets and sidewalks in the City, including but not limited to, drainage, traffic control devices, safety improvements and landscaping, pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws § 45-12-2 and § 807 of the City’s Home Rule Charter, be approved?”

Question 8 YES
Question 8 NO


9. Shall the terms used in the Charter be defined as follows for clarity and consistency? [Adds Section 107]

  1. “City” shall mean the City of Providence, in the County of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island.
  2. “Council” shall mean the duly elected city council of the City of Providence.
  3. “Domiciled” shall mean that place where a person has his or her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment, and to which whenever he or she is absent has the intention of returning.
  4. Mayor. Whenever the word “mayor” is used, it shall mean the mayor of the City of Providence.
  5. “Quorum” shall mean a majority of the members of a public body or duly appointed committee.

Question 9 YES
Question 9 NO

10. Shall charter review commissions be appointed as of September 1, 2021, and every ten years thereafter?
[Amends Section 1302]

Question 10 YES
Question 10 NO

11. Shall amendments approved by electors of the city be effective upon approval, unless otherwise noted? [Amends Section 1401]

Question 11 YES
Question 11 NO

12. Shall the term “personnel department” be replaced with “human resources department” wherever it appears in the charter? [Amends Sections 901 through 903]

Question 12 YES
Question 12 NO

13. Shall it be the responsibility of the human resources department to enforce the procedures for suspension, discharge, reduction in class position, and layoff of employees? [Amends Section 903(j).]

Question 13 YES
Question 13 NO

14. Shall the responsibilities of the human resources department be changed to eliminate examining and approving all payrolls, and monitoring residency requirements? [Amends Sections 903 (l) and (p).]

Question 14 YES
Question 14 NO

15. Shall the qualifications for the director of the department of public property be a bachelor’s degree, or a minimum of five (5) years of experience in the field? [Amends Section 1006]

Question 15 YES
Question 15 NO

16. Shall the Providence Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Protection Department be placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Safety, under the supervision of the Commissioner of Public Safety?
[Amends Section 1001]

Question 16 YES
Question 16 NO

17. Shall the Charter prohibit city officials from using their authority or influence to secure city employment for any person within his or her family or any business associates? [Amends Section 1206 to add subsection (e)]

Question 17 YES
Question 17 NO

18. Shall the committee on ward boundaries be elected by the city council in January of 2021 and every tenth year thereafter, and shall new requirements for revising ward boundary lines be established to include additional public hearings and opportunities for public comment, specifications for council approval of the plan, and criteria for drawing ward boundaries? [Amends Section 204]

Question 18 YES
Question 18 NO

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.


  • Thanks very much for this. Any chance you can point me to some background on these charter questions?

  • OK, same question as Jane L. I can read the language of the changes proposed. But I have no way to figure out if they’re a good idea or not, because no one is explaining why they should be changed, who’s pushing it, what difference it will make. I’m looking for something comparable to the voter guide on the state ballot questions.
    We are going to have a lot of people totally taken by surprise on election day, and it’s going to be a headache for the poll workers.

  • it looks like most of those ballot questions come either from the mayor’s office, or the city council. If I was voting in PVD this year I would call those offices and ask what they all mean, but most of them look like they are kind of simple changes to the city charter. If this was being pushed by the mayor’s office, to the annoyance of the city council, or vice versa, I think it is safe to say you all would be hearing about why it is a good (or bad) idea. 🙂

  • If I were to take a guess on the questions 9-18. (8 is pretty self explanatory)
    Question 9 cleans up ambiguous language as to who does what.
    Question 10 moves charter review out of what could be an election year. 2020 isn’t but 2030 is.
    Question 11 eliminates foot dragging on implementing amendments.
    Questions 12-14 is making changes that are closer to what is done in the private sector today. There is a good explanation here
    Question 15 makes the qualifications for a Public Property Director more flexible. I wonder if that means that Alan Sepe is going to be leaving and they already have someone in mind.
    Question 16 just qualifies what already is. PEMA already is part of Public Safety.
    Question 17 is trying to make it harder to bestow patronage. Lets see if that works.
    Question 18 is a result of this years redistricting fiasco where the public was allowed limited input to the new ward boundaries.

    I suppose there is some “politicking” involved in these amendments but I think most of them are “conspiracy free”.

  • Shall the Charter prohibit city officials from using their authority or influence to secure city employment for any person within his or her family or any business associates? [Amends Section 1206 to add subsection (e)]

    Question 17 YES

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