Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 02-17-2021

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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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | FEBRUARY 17-23, 2021 PAWTUCKET 11 while she was surprised by the vote in January, she didn't feel disrespected, understanding it's a chal- lenging time and community spread of the virus was high at the time. From the vote in January to the vote last week, Charbonneau said committee members heard from many parents and community members and had the oppor- tunity to reassess its decision. "That's what makes this city great," he said. "(People) get involved, they advocate," which allows others to adapt their thinking. Mayor Donald Grebien thanked the School Committee for their decision. "I am proud to know that the members of the School Committee listened to the concerns of all stakeholders in this process and did their due diligence to get the stu- dents back in the classroom," he said in a statement. "Our committee has prioritized safety and consistency throughout these challenging times, and I am thankful for all the hard work they, the administrators, and teachers have put in to develop a plan for a safe return to school. Our students deserve this opportunity to safely learn in an environment designed for it." The Valley Breeze is committed to keeping quality news stories like this one free to our readers. You can be a huge part of this local journalism success story by making a one-time or monthly contribution to what we do every week at Thank you as always for reading. From preceding page regular meetings. Rudd and Kallman, who is now a state senator in District 15, were also the bottom two for attendance in 2019, with 18 absences between them, and that number jumped to 23 combined missed meetings in 2020. Rudd had 11 absences out of 28 meetings in 2019, and Kallman had seven absences. Former Councilor Albert Vitali Jr. was the only one with perfect attendance in 2019. City Council members are paid $7,000 annually, while the council presi- dent receives $8,000. After his spotty attendance of 2019, Rudd told The Breeze that many of the absences were related to stressful situations related to family, saying last February that things had settled down and "I don't foresee missing any more meetings unless for an emergency." He then missed two of three meetings in March and five of six meetings in May. Rudd said this week that he does his best to attend all the meetings he can and the 2020 absences were connected to an ongoing family emergency that has taken him away from special ses- sions and regular meetings. "I'm doing my best to rearrange my schedule to attend all meetings, as I've been attempting the last few meetings that I have been able to attend," he said. Rudd said he follows up on any and all issues that constituents have and has been a vocal voice on the council for District 6, especially as it relates to qual- ity of life issues. Kallman explained this week that, toward the end of 2020, there were quite a few extra council meetings scheduled related to riverfront develop- ment issues. When special meetings are scheduled, it isn't done in advance because they are in response to an immediate need, she said. There are simply calls around to make sure there are enough council members for the minimum required number of attendees. "I need to earn a living and I have teaching obligations during the semester, which are organized to accommodate the regular meeting schedule," she said. "However, when special meetings were scheduled in the fall that conflicted with my regular teaching, I needed to miss." According to meeting minutes, Kallman had one missed meeting in February, two in March, two in May, one in June, one in July, two in August, and one in November. ABSENCES From Page 6 Arnold: Where will all the cars go? In the Feb. 10-16 article on the riverfront project, something confused me. The article says that the project will have 435 residential units with a 150-space garage. Even if each unit has only one car owner, that leaves 285 cars over to park ... where? The project will also have commercial, retail, and restaurant space with a 7,500-seat stadium (pos- sibly larger), and a 750-space parking garage. Even if mul- tiple people come in one car to stadium events, that's still a lot of cars left over. The project borders a residential area (with two elementary schools) with narrow streets. I hope I'm missing some- thing, or driving in that area is going to be a nightmare if people plan to park on the streets. I appreciate The Valley Breeze's thorough coverage of local events. JANE ARNOLD Pawtucket LETTER

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