Taveras, retirees to meet March 3 at Rhodes on the PawtuxetFebruary 21st, 2012 at 4:05 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has invited city retirees to a forum early next month where he’s set to ask them to accept cuts in their pension benefits.
Taveras’s office sent an invitation on Feb. 15 to the event, described as “The Mayor’s Town Hall with Providence City Retirees.” The forum will be held Saturday, March 3 at 10 a.m. at the Rhodes on the Pawtuxet banquet hall in Cranston. The event will also be streamed online.
The invitation says Taveras and Michael D’Amico, his director of administration and acting chief of staff, will first deliver a half-hour presentation on Providence’s financial situation; the deep cuts in pension benefits made in Central Falls; “proposed reforms”; and “how you can help.” Taveras will then answer questions for an hour.
The city will spend about $6,500 to rent Rhodes on the Pawtuxet for the retiree forum, an amount that includes $2,000 to rent the room, about $2,500 to rent chairs and nearly $2,000 to pay for a police and fire detail in Cranston, Taveras spokesman Michael Raia told WPRI.com.
Providence is facing a $22.5 million deficit in its budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30. City officials opted to rent the Cranston facility after they weren’t able to find an adequate location available at no cost, according to Raia.
“We also attempted to book a venue within [Providence] city limits, but we needed to make sure we had a venue that could accommodate the large crowd that we expect, and all venues with 1,000-plus capacity in the city were booked that weekend,” he said.
Raid said a number of retirees have already called or emailed City Hall to say they’ll be in attendance at Rhodes, which is more often associated with senior proms and other formal functions.
• Related: Strongly worded comments from (alleged) retired firefighters (Feb. 17)
Tim White contributed to this report.