Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 08-08-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | AUGUST 8-14, 2019 LETTERS / SCITUATE 13 Finnegan: SHA needs to look at their own actions It should come as no surprise that Scituate's only public housing com- plex is in a financial crisis. That is the same condition that I and other board members walked into when we were appointed by the prior Town Council to volunteer our time to help straight- en out the mess. Unfortunately, not only were need- ed files kept off site, the Connecticut- based management company, headed by Pauline Galbreath, after repeated requests, failed to turn over budgets, checking account information, and other necessary material that the Scituate Housing Authority needed to comply with federal guidelines. Her repeated failures and inability to cooperate with the new board ulti- mately led to her resignation. In spite of these internal shortcom- ings, the board and I were proud to serve. We cut the liability insurance costs from $16,000 to $4,000 in an effort to save money to help restore and renovate a complex that had not been touched in 25 years. Through a $100,000 grant from RISE, we were able to insulate the entire project, replace all the lights with energy efficient bulbs, replaced nearly every refrigerator in the complex and pro- vide new washers and dryers at a cost of zero dollars to the tenants and the taxpayers. Rooms were painted, carpets replaced, and the main door was automated using money from the reserve account with the approval of the necessary regulating agency. We also discovered past question- able expenditures like $1,500 pay- ments the board members as "hous- ing consultants" re-bid the fuel oil contract that had been given to a sitting councilman, and re-established the drinking water supply as a public supply to ensure safe standards and monthly testing as recommended by the Department of Health. While making progress on these fronts, including inquiries into refinancing a 50-year mortgage that carried a 10 percent interest rate, a majority of the members were removed by the new council majority. I and other members are now suing to get our jobs back before the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Interestingly, the first job awarded by the "new" board was to return the same person who resigned as the resident manager even though at least 18 occupants of the 24-unit complex signed a petition against her re-hire. So much for listening to the concerns of the residents. Most disturbing, the new board voted for a contract that they did not have in front of them. So, when they claim a financial cri- sis, the SHA needs to look no further than their own actions. RICHARD FINNEGAN Scituate do you know? The Valley Breeze & Observer distributes almost 10,500 papers in greater Smithfield every Thursday. Wizarding School for Muggles BREEZE PHOTOS BY BILL MURPHY At the Wizarding School for Muggles event held last Saturday at the North Scituate Public Library, kids 8-and-older were sorted into "wizarding houses" where they learned about being a wizard, and all things Harry Potter. Above, KATHERINE CLIFFORD, 13, of Glocester, stands by to train Muggles in the art of Defense Against the Dark Arts. Above right, ZOE DEFRANCESCO, 13, of Harmony, shows off the wand she made. Above, OLIVIA CLOUTIER, 10, of Scituate, concentrates as she makes a wand. At left, ALYCE ROBINSON, of Cranston, youth services librar- ian at the North Scituate Public Library, became "Professor" Alyce during the Wizarding School for Muggles event. NPHS Class of 1959 announces reunion NORTH PROVIDENCE – The North Providence High School Class of 1959 will hold its 60-year reunion on Saturday, Sept. 14, from noon to 4 p.m., at Kirkbrae Country Club, 197 Old River Road, Lincoln. Anyone interested in attending should call Catherine Luca Arruda at 401-231-2003 or Marie DiDonato Fournier at 401-231-7685. REUNION NEWS got a news tip? Call Laura at 401-334-9555, ext. 145 Or e-mail it to laura@valleybreeze.com To schedule a tour, call 401-949-3880, ext. 109 20 Austin Avenue, Greenville, RI 02828 Let Us Help You Make The Right Move Traditional Assisted Living Two Memory Care Communities Subacute Skilled Nursing & Rehab Memory Skilled & Long-term Care Move in before August 31, 2019 and we'll pay for the moving costs! (Not to exceed $450)

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