Categories

Tag Archives | Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability

Providence 2013 State of the City Address


Mayor Angel Taveras

2013 State of the City Address

Providence Is Recovering

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • (as prepared for delivery)

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor's Office.

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor’s Office.

Governor, Mr. President, honorable members of the Providence City Council, distinguished guests, and my fellow residents of our great Capital City –

One year ago I stood before you in this Chamber with an urgent message for our City and the entire State of Rhode Island. Providence was in peril. Despite many difficult decisions and painful sacrifices made to pull Providence back from the brink, we were still $22 million short of closing a $110 million structural deficit.

Crucial steps necessary to navigate our City safely through our Category 5 fiscal hurricane had not yet come to pass. We still needed to reform our unsustainable pensions. And we needed Providence’s large, tax-exempt institutions to contribute more.

As I stood before you on February 13, 2012, Providence was running out of cash, and running out of time. In the months that followed, there were some who said Providence could not avoid filing for bankruptcy.

BACK FROM THE BRINK

Today it is my privilege to deliver a much more hopeful report on the State of our City: Providence is recovering.

Through collaborative efforts and shared sacrifice, we have all but eliminated our City’s $110 million structural deficit, and we expect to end this year with a balanced budget. Working together, we have accomplished what few believed possible.

We were determined to address the root causes of Providence’s fiscal emergency and prepared to act unilaterally if necessary. And we knew our City would never achieve a lasting recovery without addressing our unsustainable and spiraling pension costs.

In April, following months of actuarial analysis and public testimony, this City Council unanimously approved a pension reform ordinance that put Providence’s pension system on a sustainable path.

We recognized that passing the ordinance would likely lead to a high-stakes lawsuit with no real winners – because a decision in favor of the status quo would push our City over the brink. However, faced with the challenge of negotiating pension changes with more than 2,000 retirees who were not represented by a single entity, we saw no alternative.

Continue Reading →

1

ProJo: City commission urges accountability via Web

The group’s report, recently received by the City Council, proposes the following: an online tracking tool for council member votes; interactive budget information for the previous 10 years; and streaming important meetings live on the city’s website, providenceri.com.

“It is no secret that Providence city government has not always been a beacon of accountability and transparency to city residents,” the report’s conclusion read.

“And while City Hall has come incredibly far,” the commission says Providence officials have to continue developing a government that is “fully accountable” to its residents.

2

Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability Meeting – Today, March 19, 2012

The Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability is a new commission set up by the Taveras Administration to, well, to do what the name says. The Legislation enabling the Commission is at the bottom of this post.

Their first meeting is today (sorry to say I received notice of this on Friday, but am just getting around to posting). Today’s meeting being their first, it will consist mostly of organizing and the Commissioners getting to know each other. It is open to the public but there won’t be a public comment period on this meeting. I hope to get notice of their future meetings posted in a more timely fashion.


Agenda:

Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability

March 19, 2012 – 5:30pm
The Conference Room, Third Floor, City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI 02903

  1. Welcome and overview of City Council Resolution creating commission from John Marion, Chairman.
  2. Election of Vice Chairperson
  3. Discussion relative to upcoming meetings and schedule.

Continue Reading →

5