Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-12-2018

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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doing what it takes to improve the district's ranking. Councilor Lisa Beaulieu chal- lenged Thorsen's suggestion that Cumberland taxpayers would strug- gle to invest more in schools, asking him for data to back up the claim. She said the percentage of money going to schools has actually gone down. In 2012, $5.28 of the $15.61 tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value was going to the town, while $10.33 was going to schools. In 2017, the town's number was up to $5.48, and the schools were down to $9.73. Thorsen asked her where she got her figures, and Beaulieu said it was from her own tax bill. Casparian also asked Thorsen about his suggestion that Cumberland residents are struggling financially. Thorsen provided a list of foreclosure deeds by year show- ing 43 foreclosures in 2014, 23 in 2015, 43 in 2016, and 15 in 2017. While Cumberland shows evi- dence of being a well-to-do com- munity, many people are struggling, added Thorsen. Casparian asked whether the fore- closure numbers were compared to other communities, and Thorsen said they were not. In 2012, 4.5 percent of residents were living under the poverty level, said Thorsen, and that number rose to 7 percent in 2016. Twenty-five percent of the town is now older than 60, and one in three homes is receiving Social Security income. Cumberland School Committee Chairman Ray Salvatore, who filed an open meetings complaint against Murray last year when the mayor said commission meetings would be held in private, and lost that challenge, said, when asked for a response to Thorsen's presentation, that he was disappointed by the report. His understanding was that recommendations should be made on developing future town budgets, he said, yet none came out. Thorsen claimed that many tax- payers are unable or unwilling to pay any increase in taxes without substantiation, noted Salvatore. If residents were allowed in meetings, they might better understand why the board was unable to reach a consensus. Salvatore thanked Kane for com- ing up with the idea for the coun- cil's commission and said he was impressed with Beaulieu's comments on school funding. Salvatore said the council's com- mission did lots of digging into data on town, district schools and Blackstone Valley Prep spending, all with the goal of coming up with real recommendations. "I like that the Town Council's commission essentially has chal- lenged elected officials to dem- onstrate their commitment to our schools," he said. CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 12-18, 2018 CUMBERLAND / LINCOLN 5 FUNDING From Page 3 Supt. Mitchell headed for 1-year contract extension CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland School Committee's fiscal management subcommittee has voted to extend Supt. Robert Mitchell's con- tract through the end of the 2018-2019 academic year. The one-year extension would bring the contract to an end in June 2019, when the committee will again vote on whether to extend or not renew the contract for one or two addi- tional years. The details of the contract are still being worked out by the School Committee, which will vote as a whole at its meeting tonight, Thursday, April 12, pending the superintendent deciding to accept or request amend- ments to the draft. Finance Chairman Paul DiModica said the board voted for a one-year contract to match the superintendent's original agreement. He said he is per- sonally satisfied with Mitchell's perfor- mance, noting improvement in the dis- trict's test scores and overall rankings. School Committee Chairman Raymond Salvatore did not comment on the reason for the one-year exten- sion, as opposed to a longer-term deal. He said the renewal would keep Mitchell "in line with the rest of the administrators" in the district whose conteacts are up for renewal. Mitchell was appointed superinten- dent in 2015 after having served as assistant superintendent for four years. He replaced Supt. Phil Thornton, who resigned to accept the position as superintendent of Warwick Public Schools. Mitchell previously served as principal of Chariho High School for 12 years. By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com MITCHELL Learn to use StoryJumper for online writing LINCOLN – Aspiring young authors age 6 and older can learn to create picture books using StoryJumper, an online tool designed to help with writing and illustrating stories, on Monday, April 30, at 6 p.m. at Lincoln Public Library, 145 Old River Road. Participants will learn to use StoryJumper to develop characters, props, and settings to enhance online writing. They can then use it at home to finish creating their books. Parents must set up an account for their child prior to attending the event by visiting www.storyjumper. com . Registration is required, and an adult must accompany each child, to assist with technology throughout the hands-on program. Call 401-333-2422 ext. 15 to reserve a spot. Northern R.I. Hive meets May 9 at Cumberland library CUMBERLAND – The Indivisible Rhode Island Northern R.I. Hive will meet on Wednesday, May 9, from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Cumberland Public Library, 1464 Diamond Hill Road. The local group is part of the national Indivisible Movement, an organization of citizen activists who say they are committed to keeping pressure on elected officials in the current era of divisive politics. Visit IndivisibleRI.com for more informa- tion. Request foR pRoposals JanitoRial seRvices The North Providence Housing Authority is requesting proposals to supply all labor, materials and equipment necessary for Janitorial Services at Housing Authority properties until 2 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018 at the office of the Authority, located at 945 Charles St., North Providence, RI 02904. Specifications are available at the office of the Authority, 945 Charles St., North Providence, RI 02904, Monday thru Wednesday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The term of this contract is three (3) years, with a one (1) year option to renew, commencing June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2021. Proposals will be accepted up to but no later than May 4, 2018 at 2 p.m. The Housing Authority reserves the right to reject any or all bids or to waive any informalities in the bidding if in the best interest of the Authority. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Carol Pontarelli, Chairman

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