Tag Archives | Mayor

Election 2014: Mayoral Candidates Surveys


Back in 2010 we did Mayoral Candidate Surveys (Angel Taveras, John Lombardi); with 50 days left until the Primary, it is time for us to do it again.

As in 2010, this year we are seeking your input on those surveys. We will be sending surveys to the candidates for Providence Mayor by the end of the month; please use the comments section (or email us) the questions you’d like the candidates to answer. When the candidates return the surveys, we will be posting the results here on Greater City Providence.

We do need to make a note about comments on Election posts. We have a wonderful mix of people who comment here and are pleased that the comments are civil and intelligent. Elections and the discussions that surround them can be highly emotionally charged. We trust that the level of discourse here will remain high, but we will be editing and/or removing comments if the discourse degrades.

As always, Greater City Providence will not be endorsing a candidate.

We thank you in advance for maintaining civil discourse.


Mayor Taveras Town Hall presentations on the State of the City

Join Mayor Angel Taveras for a Town Hall style public presentation of the 2012 State of the City on:

Angel TaverasThursday, March 1 – 7:00pm
Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island
401 Elmgrove Avenue

Monday, March 5 – 7:00pm
Washington Park Community Center
42 Jillson Street

Wednesday, March 14 – 7:00pm
DaVinci Center
440 Charles Street

Tuesday, March 20 – 7:00pm
Federal Hill House
9 Courtland Street

Contact us for more info

See also:


The Occupation and Public Space

Occupy Providence

Occupy Providence in Burnside Park. Photo © Jonathan Beller from Facebook.

Eventually, at some point, the current situation with Occupy Providence at Burnside Park is going to change. In this post I’m not trying to talk about what the movement is trying to accomplish, or to take a side, or to pass judgement, this is about what that next step could be and how the park can/might play a roll in the future.

As has been widely reported, the City has begun taking action to set up for removing the protesters from the park, Occupy Providence has a copy of the eviction notice from Commissioner Pare here. The notice basically tells protesters they are in violation of a number of city ordinances, most notably, remaining in the park after it closes at 9pm. The notice gives the protesters 72 hours to comply, which would result in them needing to be out by Sunday evening.

Occupy Providence is calling for people to join them on Sunday in the park in an action they are refering to as “Solidarity Sunday” to resist eviction. As the AP reports, Comissioner Pare has stated that the police will not forcibly evict protesters on Sunday evening if they remain in violation of the eviction notice.

Commissioner Steven Pare tells WPRO-AM the city won’t “physically remove them” from Burnside Park and instead will seek to force them out “peacefully and civilly” through the court system.

He said that could take several weeks.

Continue Reading →


“My Time With The Mayor” Community Meetings Schedule

My Time With The Mayor

Mayor Taveras and City Hall directors will meet monthly with residents across the city.

Mayor Angel Taveras is pleased to continue My Time with the Mayor, a monthly opportunity for the Mayor and senior members of his administration to meet with citizens from every neighborhood in the City.

At each My Time with the Mayor event, which will be held at different locations throughout Providence, Mayor Taveras and City Hall Department Directors will be available to meet one-on-one with residents, answer their questions and seek to resolve any concerns.

Each My Time with the Mayor event is two hours long, and residents are invited to meet with Mayor Taveras or members of his senior administration on a first-come, first-served basis.

“One of the best things about being the Mayor is the opportunity I get to meet personally with the residents of Providence. I look forward to continuing the My Time with the Mayor program, and encourage citizens to come share their thoughts with me and other members of my leadership team,” said Mayor Taveras.

My Time with the Mayor will be held from 5-7PM on:


What’s the government up to? Press Releases

Surprisingly, there’s more going on in the city this week than my lamenting the unshoveledness of our sidewalks. A couple interesting Press Releases popped up today. First, from the Mayor’s Office:

Senator Whitehouse, Mayor Taveras plan walking tour of Providence Business Districts

PROVIDENCE – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Mayor Angel Taveras will spend Monday morning visiting businesses in neighborhoods throughout the City.

Taveras and Whitehouse will take a walking tour of businesses on Hope Street, Chalkstone Avenue and Broad Street to meet directly with local business owners, discuss the challenges and opportunities they face, and hear suggestions on new policies and programs to support small businesses in Providence.

WHO: U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras
WHAT: Tour of neighborhood businesses
WHEN: Monday, January 31, 2011


  • 9:15 -10AM Hope Street tour led by Nanda Head of Nanda Interiors, and Asher Schofield of Frog and Toad
  • 10- 10:45AM Chalkstone Avenue tour led by Lisa Mattiello of Pranzi Catering.
  • 10:45 – 12PM Broad Street tour led by Marilyn Cepeda of Quisqueya in Action.

Nice to see the Senator and the Mayor working together and being proactive about the small business climate in the city. If you are a business owner in one of those business districts, get your questions and concerns ready.

And out of the General Assembly comes this:

Providence Senate delegation introduces bill to guide land use for reclaimed I-195 area

STATE HOUSE – The seven members of the Providence Senate delegation have introduced legislation to guide the sale, transfer and conveyance of land becoming available for development in the city as a result of the relocation of I-195.

The goal of the legislation, say its sponsors, is to ensure that the reclaimed land is used primarily to support the growth of a knowledge-based economy, due to its direct proximity to universities, hospitals and medical schools.

Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Dist. 4, Providence, North Providence), the prime sponsor of the bill, said that “the legislation balances the needs of the various stakeholders in the land reuse process in a way that helps to create jobs and produce new tax revenues, while growing a knowledge-based economy that will be beneficial to the City of Providence and the entire state.” Among those stakeholders, he said, are academic, medical, research and development facilities as well as hotels and/or conference centers and other commercial and residential development.

The legislation would repeal the “I-195 Redevelopment Act of 2002,” which was intended to plan for the future disposition of the surplus land, and replace it with language that ensures the eventual use of the property in a way that is most advantageous to the public interest. The legislation gives authority for the disposition of the reclaimed land to the Director of the Department of Transportation, with the approval of the State Properties Committee.

In all, more than 277,000 square feet of land – about 6.4 acres – is contained in the parcel that is being cleared with the demolition of the old I-195, as work continues to complete the relocation of the highway – the I-Way – to the south.

In addition to delineating the specific area that is becoming available, the legislation establishes a conveyance process that is fully transparent; allows for title and survey adjustments that enhance project design plans as well as providing for the location/relocation of city streets, utility corridors, easement and rights of way, and provides a payment mechanism for the City of Providence should a non-profit institution buy or lease portions of the land and fail to reach an agreement for payments in lieu of taxes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the responsibility for the dispotion of the land lying with the DOT. But I’m also not sure that the City currently has the resources to handle this themselves, the City has a lot on its plate. What do you think?


Snowblogging: Sick Day Edition

Ugh, I am sick today, snowblogging will be light as I sit at home and sniffle. I’m looking out the window, when it let’s up I may try a run to Walgreen’s (if they are open) for some medication:

Readers are filling in the snowblogging gaps, submit your photos to our Flickr Group or email them to

These photos are from early this morning from reader Jim Beller:

RIPTA was running early this morning.

Matthew Coolidge added these photos to our Flickr Group this morning:


Continue Reading →


Inauguration Providence Neighborhood Celebrations & Thank You! (Jan. 7)

The Providence Mayoral Inauguration events wrap up tomorrow with Mayor Taveras visiting the schools he attended in Providence:


The Inaugural Neighborhood Events are being held at the schools that Mayor Angel Taveras attended growing up as a child in the City of Providence. All events are free and open to residents and friends of the City of Providence. All events offer refreshments and are alcohol-free.

Friday, January 7, 2011
3 – 4 pm Mary Fogarty Elementary School
4 – 5 pm Roger Williams Middle School
5 – 6 pm Nathaniel Greene Middle School
6 – 7 pm Classical High School

Los eventos de inaugración en los vecindarios tendrán lugar en las escuelas en las cuales el Alcalde Angel Taveras asistió cuando estaba creciendo en la Ciudad de Providence. Todos los eventos son gratis y abiertos a los residentes y amigos de la Ciudad de Providence. Todos los eventos ofrecerán refrescos y serán libres de alcohol.

Viernes, 7 de enero, 2011
3 – 4 pm Escuela Primaria Mary Fogarty
4 – 5 pm Escuela Media Roger Williams
5 – 6 pm Escuela Media Nathaniel Greene
6 – 7 pm Escuela Secundaria Classical

For additional questions or information please e-mail or call 401.424.1841. Thank you for your continued support and participation as we work together to move Providence forward.


Clearing snow from sidewalks

As I impatiently wait for the first real snowfall of the season, let’s take a minute to talk about removing snow from sidewalks, my favorite topic here on Greater City: Providence.

Back in February, the City Council updated the snow removal regulations, I was somewhat non-plussed by their action. My issues with the update were two; the DPW was given the authority to write citations, then immediately said they did not have the manpower to do so (the Police who originally had all the power here have been saying pretty much the same for years now), and the amount of time to remove the snow was increased from 4 hours after sunrise after the end of the storm to 8 hours.

As I outlined in the post in February, this extension to 8 hours could potentially create a situation where property owners are within the law not clearing their sidewalks for up to 24 hours. Were the roads not even attempted to be cleared for 24-hours, the citizens would rise en masse and burn down City Hall. And as I always say, at some point, every motorist leaves their car and becomes a pedestrian. So why have regulations that are so lax on snow removal when pedestrians are effected, but call out the National Guard if we have to to clear the roads?

In Cambridge, MA, a city with an online tool for reporting unclear or icy sidewalks, they are clear about when snow and ice need to be removed.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00 pm when it has fallen overnight. They must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms.

Public Works and the Traffic Department work together to enforce this Ordinance. Parking Control Officers in the Traffic Department conduct enforcement on priority pedestrian routes throughout the winter, and Public Works Compliance Officers investigate all complaints received of uncleared sidewalk.

We all have a shared responsibility for keeping our community safe and accessible during winter weather. For you, your neighbors, people with strollers or using wheelchairs, and the many people in Cambridge who walk, please do your part.

That 12 hour window seems excessively long to me, but the other part, the “remove or melt ice” bit is really the major problem in Providence. This week we’ve had two minor little dusters, the streets were barely impacted, but their was enough snow to make the sidewalks slick in some areas, however, I saw no evidence of anyone treating the sidewalks. This is a condition that repeats all winter. Just enough snow to make the sidewalks slick, but not enough where anyone bothers to clear it. And of course, we have absolutely no one doing enforcement because they have all begged off that they don’t have the manpower.

Cambridge also steps up to the plate and addresses the issue of the elderly or disabled who are unable to clear their own sidewalks:

If you are a homeowner on a low income and/or you are elderly or have a disability, you may qualify for the City’s Snow Exemption Program, in which case the City will shovel your sidewalk. To find out whether you are eligible, please call the Cambridge Council on Aging, 617.349.6220 (voice) or 617.349.6050 (TTY).

If you do not qualify for an exemption, the Council on Aging can provide you with a limited list of professional snow removal companies and a list of students who want to earn money by shoveling – you contact the student yourself and negotiate a price.

That’s what civilization looks like folks. A city that realizes it is located in a geographic area that has seen snow for millennia somehow manages to find itself unsurprised by this climatological situation and has created regulations and programs to deal with it.

We have a new Mayor, and largely new City Council, and importantly a new Public Safety Commissioner starting work in under two weeks. It can never be too soon for them to get to work ensuring that our city is navigable for all citizens all year long. The Public Safety Commissioner should work with the Mayor and the City Council to determine how to tackle the public safety threat which is snow and ice covered sidewalks. The answer cannot continue to be that it is the responsibility of a department who cries that they do not have enough manpower.


Inauguration of the 37th Mayor of Providence, January 3

Mayor-elect Taveras and supporters celebrating on election night

Mayor-elect Angel Taveras’ inauguration is Monday, January 3, 2011. All inauguration events are free and open to the public.

All the details you need to know are on the Transition Providence website.

Importantly, though the events are free, you do need to register for the evening Inaugural Celebration at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Visit the Inauguration page and fill out the form. The form must be filled out for each person attending. For people without internet access, one can either submit a reservation for them (in their name), or they can pick-up tickets in person at the Rhode Island Convention Center December 28, 29, or 30 between 4pm and 6pm. Registrations need to be submitted by Dec. 28th.

This event is expected to reach capacity quickly, so register now if you want to attend. The event will be business casual and will feature desserts, live music, a cash bar, and a “special guest.”

The inauguration of Mayor Angel Taveras, the 37th Mayor of the City of Providence, will take place on Monday, January 3, 2011.

Schedule of Events:

  • 1:30 PM
    Swearing-In Ceremony (free and open to the public)
    Steps of City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street
  • 3:00 PM
    Reception (free and open to the public)
    City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street
  • 7:00 PM
    Inaugural Celebration (free, requires admission ticket – register below)
    Rhode Island Convention Center
    One Sabin Street, Providence

Inaugural Neighborhood Events – Friday, January 7, 2011

  • 3-4pm Mary Fogarty Elementary School
  • 4-5pm Roger Williams Middle School
  • 5-6pm Nathanael Green Middle School
  • 6-7pm Classical High School

See my disclosure regarding serving on the Mayor-elect’s Transition Committee. I was also invited to be a Inauguration Ambassador, which basically means they want me to tell people about the Inauguration, which I just did.