Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 11-13-2019

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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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 13-19, 2019 NORTH PROVIDENCE 5 Communities challenge lifetime contracts law NORTH PROVIDENCE – Local leaders joined together at North Providence Town Hall on Tuesday to announce their legal challenge to the "financially irre- sponsible" lifetime contracts law, which they note allows the auto- matic continuation of municipal contracts for employees, negating the need for negotiations. The cities and towns are chal- lenging the law as an impair- ment of existing contracts under the state constitution's Contract Clause, as well as a violation of the Home Rule provision of the state constitution, which grants cities and towns the authority to decide local matters. The communities filing suit Tuesday include Barrington, Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Charlestown, Cranston, East Greenwich, Lincoln, Little Compton, North Kingstown, North Providence, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, Providence, Smithfield, and Woonsocket. Additional commu- nities may sign on as plaintiffs. "The lifetime contracts law ties the hands of local officials when negotiating, especially when trying to get concessions," said Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. "As the costs of health care, pensions and retiree benefits keep rising, taxpayers will get crushed if local leaders can't renegotiate those benefits." The lifetime contracts law "fur- ther rigged the game" by taking power away from local leaders and giving it to unelected special interests, at the detriment of tax- payers, states a release. "The governor and General Assembly overstepped their authority by taking power away from municipal leaders in viola- tion of the state constitution," it states. "A contract's terms cannot go on forever. That defies logic and is financially irresponsible," said North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi. "If mayors and town managers can't negotiate to reduce costs, the alternatives are going to be cuts to important services or property tax increases. We can't allow that to happen." Personnel costs typically account for 70 percent or more of municipal and school expenses (wages, health care, pension and other benefits), most of which are governed by collective bargaining agreements. Meanwhile, those cit- ies and towns with locally admin- istered pension plans face $2.5 billion in unfunded liabilities. The lifetime contracts law pre- vents municipalities from negoti- ating fair contracts that reflect a community's priorities and ability to pay, said the leaders. The law firm Greenberg Traurig, with attorney and former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras as lead counsel, is representing the plaintiffs. Marieville Neighborhood Partnership collecting winter coats NORTH PROVIDENCE – The Marieville Neighborhood Partnership is organizing a win- ter coat drive to benefit North Providence children and families who need a little extra protection against the cold this winter. Both the North Providence Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 13 and North Providence Fire Fighters Local 2334 will be offering their assistance with collecting, donating and distributing the donated items. Those community partners will also be donating and distributing new hats, gloves and scarves as part of this charitable effort. Beginning Nov. 13, residents will be able to donate lightly used winter coats along with new hats, gloves and scarves to the following loca- tions: The North Providence Public Safety Complex, any North Providence fire station, the Knights of Columbus Hall Bouffard Council, 15 Bassett St., North Providence High School and Fab-You-Us Family Fun Center, 1420 Mineral Spring Ave. Organizers are accepting both youth and adult clothing items. This is the latest partner- ship between the Marieville Neighborhood Partnership and the local public safety unions. They previously worked together doing a community clean-up and have pledged to continue working togeth- er to help the community. Any questions should be directed to Ken Amoriggi at 401-722-3777 or ken@amoriggilaw.com . NORTH PROVIDENCE – A soundtrack that sounds like it could go to a movie filled with courageous battle scenes serves as the background for a new recruitment video created by members of the North Providence Police Department. "I'm so proud of what they created," said Chief David Tikoian, calling it "very professional and motivating." The Police Department's 2019 recruitment drive began on Nov. 4. Application cards may be picked up at Police Headquarters at 1835 Mineral Spring Ave., or downloaded at www. nppolice.com , which is where the recruitment video will also be posted. Application cards and the $25 appli- cation fee must be returned to police headquarters no later than 4 p.m. on Dec. 13. The fee may be waived if financial need criteria is met. The new video directed by Capt. John Brady and Lt. Michael Tavarozzi features members of the department promoting the best aspects of their force. "We listen. We care. We teach. We help solve problems," say four differ- ent officers. Others then chime in to say how the department has special- ized units, how it boasts state-of-the-art equipment to solve crimes, how its officers serve and protect, how they save lives, and how they train. "We want you to join our team," concludes Tikoian to end it. To intro- duce the video, Tikoian says, "If you're looking for a rewarding career in law enforcement, seize this oppor- tunity." No. Providence Police release motivating recruitment video By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com A screenshot from the North Providence Police Department's new recruitment video. 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