Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 09-23-2020

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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Lombardi: I tried to fire Barnes years ago NORTH PROVIDENCE – Town employees will likely begin work within the next week or two to clear the site of a future new North Providence Animal Control build- ing next to the existing building on Smithfield Road, said Mayor Charles Lombardi. He said he decided to start the work as a show of good faith and a sign that the project is moving forward, even as various parties continue to go over needs for a project he hopes will end up in the $800,000 range. "By moving forward and clearing the land, we'll have better visibility for exactly where the building will be," he said. People who have been frustrated about the slow progress Town will begin clearing land for animal shelter By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See SHELTER, Page 9 BREEZE PHOTO BY CHARLES LAWRENCE Helping with the salad at the Knights of Columbus Dillon Council pasta dinner last Friday is PETER DELPONTE, of Johnston, a longtime member of the K of C. See more photos on page 5. Dinner is served NORTH PROVIDENCE – School officials are again declining Mayor Charles Lombardi's call for hiring a combined town and school human resources director, repeating past objections to such an arrangement. In an email to school and town leaders last week, Lombardi said it was brought to his attention that school officials posted a job opening for an HR director on School Spring. "Have you given any further thought of a joint HR director for both the School Department and municipal administration?" he asked. "We are also in the process of adver- tising for an HR director. As I have previously stated, it is my opinion that the taxpayers could realize sav- Lombardi repeats call for joint HR director, but schools not interested By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See DIRECTOR, Page 6 THE NORTH PROVIDENCE ©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE A Valley Breeze Newspaper THE NORTH PROVIDENCE Breeze FREE SEPTEMBER 23-29, 2020 NORTH PROVIDENCE – Mayor Charles Lombardi says he tried to fire town employee Darren Barnes a decade or so ago, adding that despite moving him to new departments multiple times, issues seemed to fol- low him. Barnes has had issues with person- nel in various town departments that he's worked in over 21 years with the town, said Lombardi, though he wasn't able to be specific about what those issues were. According to an employment timeline provided in response to a request, Barnes has been moved to new positions seven times since 1999. The town at one point posted a job in its maintenance division, and Barnes tried to get it, said Lombardi, but when he was rejected for the job because he "couldn't do half the things" that another candi- date could do, he filed a grievance against the town. As Lombardi recalls, Barnes got a tryout of sorts for the position, given a few bricks and told to build a wall like another employee could build, which he couldn't do. Barnes, who was fired last week after a racist and threatening rant on (401)944-2450 Our uplifting environment and special approach to Alzheimer's and dementia care have created a quality of life you simply can't get anywhere else. MEMORY CARE ASSISTED LIVING RESIDENCE Visit our website or call to book a Virtual Tour from the Comfort of Home Convenient to US Hwy 6 and I-95 in Johnston, RI 49 OLD POCASSET ROAD Family Owned Since 1926 $ 100 Off New Gas Boiler or Furnace LIC. #RIMP882 • One Day Gas & Oil Boiler Replacements • Same Day Gas & Electric Water Heater Replacements • Boiler Repairs & Maintenance • HVAC Service & Replacements • All Work Guaranteed Call NOW to get your Gas Boiler or Furnace ready for winter. By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor See FIRING, Page 9 INSIDE Celebrating all things autumn INSIDE Celebrating all things autumn A u t u m n m n m n m i n th e V a ll ey ©2020 THE VALLEY BREEZE inside Local haunt: Chepachet is said to be home to R.I.'s most haunted place Get creative: Bring home the fun with DIY fall decorations Pumpkin spice: Love it or hate it, the flavor is here to stay Pick perfect: Spend the day at one of the area's many pick-your-own farms

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