providence

Watch Newsmakers: Providence Mayor Angel Taveras

December 14th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


9 things to know about Providence’s new zoning ordinance

December 1st, 2014 at 11:20 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Sixty-three years after Providence officials approved the city zoning ordinance, Mayor Angel Taveras on Monday will sign a major update of the zoning rules into law.

So what kind of changes can we expect from the new ordinance? Here’s an overview.

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Elorza hears residents’ concerns about crime, schools

November 21st, 2014 at 9:14 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – He spent the better part of the last year talking. Now Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza is listening.

Just over two weeks after his convincing victory over independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. in the race for mayor, Elorza held the first of four scheduled “listening forums” across the city Thursday, giving residents the chance to voice their frustration over city issues and make recommendations to the incoming mayor.

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Watch Newsmakers: Providence Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza

November 16th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Mail ballot numbers pad Gina Raimondo’s victory

November 5th, 2014 at 11:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Democrat Gina Raimondo won the governor’s race by a slightly wider margin than first thought.

The R.I. Board of Elections updated its count on Wednesday to include the results from roughly 15,000 voters who used mail ballots. Those mail ballots increased Raimondo’s total number of votes to 131,452, a jump of about 8,000 from the preliminary results.

Republican Allan Fung’s total votes rose to 117,106 and Moderate Bob Healey’s rose to 69,070 with mail ballots included. Raimondo received more than half the votes for governor cast by mail ballot. Fung received about 2,000 more votes than John Robitaille did in 2010, a 2% increase. Robitaille was running in a four-way against a former Republican U.S. senator (Lincoln Chafee) and two other candidates with moderate policy priorities (Frank Caprio and Ken Block).

The results in the governor’s race now round to Raimondo 41%, Fung 36% and Healey 21%.

Overall Raimondo defeated Fung by a decisive 4.5 percentage points, or more than 14,000 votes, the biggest vote margin in a governor’s race since Don Carcieri’s first election in 2002.

Raimondo’s victory was entirely thanks to the city of Providence, which she took by a plurality of about 16,000 votes; in Rhode Island’s other 38 cities and towns, Fung beat her by nearly 2,000 votes combined. Turnout in Providence was higher than four years ago as voters decided the high-profile mayoral race.

Raimondo won with more votes than Lincoln Chafee, who received 123,571 in 2010. Excluding Chafee, however, Raimondo received the smallest number of votes for a victorious gubernatorial candidate in Rhode Island since 1930, when Republican Norman Case won with 112,070, historical records show.

Here are the margins in all the big races with mail ballots included:

  • Governor: Raimondo 41%, Fung 36%, Healey 21%
  • Providence Mayor: Elorza 52%, Cianci 45%, Harrop 3%
  • Lt. Governor: McKee 54%, Taylor 34%, Gilbert 8%, Jones 3%
  • Secretary of State: Gorbea 60%, Carlevale 39%
  • Attorney General: Kilmartin 57%, Hodgson 43%
  • General Treasurer: Magaziner 57%, Almonte 43%
  • U.S. Senate: Reed 71%, Zaccaria 29%
  • 1st District: Cicilline 60%, Lynch 40%
  • 2nd District: Langevin 62%, Reis 38%

In Cranston, despite the presence of the city’s mayor on the ballot, turnout this year was the lowest in the past four gubernatorial elections, with only 26,935 ballots cast for governor there. Fung won Cranston with 14,820 votes or 55% of the total, above Lincoln Chafee’s 9,499 (35%) in 2010 but lower than Don Carcieri’s 16,938 (52%) in 2006 or Carcieri’s 16,959 (58%) in 2002.

Eight Rhode Island communities have voted Republican in the last four gubernatorial elections: Coventry, Exeter, Foster, Hopkinton, Lincoln, Narragansett, Richmond and Scituate.

Only one community voted Democratic for governor all four times: Central Falls. Three others voted in 2010 for Lincoln Chafee (then an independent, now a Democrat) and for Democrats the other three times: East Providence, Pawtucket and Providence.

Ted Nesi ( tnesi@wpri.com ) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

This post has been updated and expanded.


Big East Side victory helped Elorza beat Buddy Cianci

November 5th, 2014 at 9:37 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The East Side has spoken. Democrat Jorge Elorza will be the next mayor of the city of Providence.

Elorza won a convincing victory over independent former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. Tuesday, riding a tidal wave of support to capture every precinct from Fox Point to the Pawtucket line on the vote-rich East Side. Republican Daniel Harrop, who said he was voting for Elorza, placed third.

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Mayoral candidates stay on the attack in final debate

October 30th, 2014 at 12:22 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Keeping with the tone of the entire campaign, the three candidates for mayor of Providence didn’t lead with the issues during their final televised debate Wednesday evening.

Instead independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., Democrat Jorge Elorza and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop used the hour-long debate at Rhode Island College to squawk about mail ballot fraud and defaced signs while hurling insults at one another. The debate was aired on WJAR-TV.

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Wealthy developer funding anti-Elorza effort

October 27th, 2014 at 6:52 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A New Jersey-based multimillionaire who specializes in waterfront development is funding a last-minute television campaign targeting Democrat Jorge Elorza in the race for Providence mayor.

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President Obama endorses Elorza over Cianci in race for mayor

October 27th, 2014 at 10:38 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Even President Obama wants Buddy Cianci to lose the race for mayor.

The president on Monday endorsed Democrat Jorge Elorza for Providence mayor, calling the 37-year-old former Housing Court judge the candidate who will bring “honest leadership” to city government.

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Providence cop connection eyed in mail-ballot probe

October 24th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan and Walt Buteau

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The head of the Rhode Island State Police confirmed Friday investigators are looking into whether two men who were collecting mail ballots at the state’s largest homeless shelter were Providence police officers.

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For mayoral candidates, repetition is everything

October 17th, 2014 at 11:50 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – When Buddy Cianci gets upset with Jorge Elorza during a mayoral forum, he likes to say, “This isn’t your classroom, professor.”

Elorza always has the same response. “This isn’t your talk show, Buddy.”

With under three weeks to go before the Nov. 4 election, the professor, the talk show host and Republican Dr. Daniel Harrop have perfected their acts, repeating the same talking points for new crowds as they travel across the city making the case for why one of them should be elected Providence’s next mayor.

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Elorza: I’ll empower Ethics Commission that’s never met

October 9th, 2014 at 4:55 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza pledged Thursday to jumpstart Providence’s dormant Ethics Commission, a panel that has no members and has never met since it was created by city officials in late 2006.

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Providence fire union attacks Elorza, praises Cianci in mailer

October 8th, 2014 at 10:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Two weeks after endorsing mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., the Providence firefighters’ union is taking the fight to Democrat Jorge Elorza.

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Cianci has cash lead over Elorza in race for Providence mayor

October 8th, 2014 at 10:28 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has raised more than $480,000 and loaned his campaign another $200,000 in his quest to return to his old job, according to a R.I. Board of Elections disclosure filed Tuesday.

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Elorza pitches $5M loan program to rehab vacant homes

October 7th, 2014 at 4:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza pledged Tuesday to create a $5 million revolving loan fund aimed at rehabilitating most of the city’s vacant properties within four years, a strategy he argues would improve neighborhoods and boost homeownership in Providence.

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Cianci unveils plan to develop Providence waterfront

October 7th, 2014 at 4:33 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Dusting off a plan he pitched 14 years ago, independent mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. unveiled Tuesday an ambitious vision for mixed-use development along the city’s waterfront that could include a hotel, sports facilities and a marina along Allens Avenue.

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Next Providence mayor expected to face big budget gap

October 6th, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The next mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city will enter office facing a shortfall of between $15 million and $24 million in his first budget, according to the City Council Ways and Means Committee’s chairman and vice-chairman.

The projection is much higher than one published last spring by the Taveras administration, which said the city’s budget shortfall was expected to be only $2.2 million in 2015-16. At the time, a spokeswoman said the deficit projection amounted to “essentially a balanced budget as it represents less than 0.5% of the budget.”

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• Related: Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in three charts (Oct. 1)


Watch Newsmakers: The Providence mayoral debate

October 5th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

• Related: Cianci was right: his final budget funded pensions at 80% (Sept. 30)


Anti-Cianci group collapses; Lorne Adrain to support Elorza

October 3rd, 2014 at 3:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A third-party group aimed at blocking Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. from winning back City Hall has collapsed before ever getting off the ground, WPRI.com has learned.

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• Related: RI delegation holds fundraiser to help Elorza beat Cianci (Oct. 2)


Cianci wants more cops, community policing in Providence

October 3rd, 2014 at 1:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Independent mayoral candidate Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. said Friday he wants to expand the city’s police force, pledging to find the money to add cops by conducting an audit of the city budget aimed at identifying “waste, fraud and abuse” if he defeats Democrat Jorge Elorza on Nov. 4.

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RI delegation holds fundraiser to help Elorza beat Cianci

October 3rd, 2014 at 11:10 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A who’s who list of Rhode Island’s political establishment turned out to support Democrat Jorge Elorza at a fundraiser Thursday, pledging to do whatever it takes to help the 37-year-old former Housing Court judge defeat Buddy Cianci in the race for Providence mayor.

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Providence’s troubled city pension fund, in three charts

October 1st, 2014 at 3:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The sizable shortfall in Providence’s pension system for retired city workers has become a major topic of discussion in this year’s race for mayor, with facts and figures flying fast and furious.

To help you sort out facts from fiction, here are three charts that give an overview of the city pension fund’s finances over the last two decades under three mayors: Buddy Cianci (1991-2002), David Cicilline (2003-2011) and Angel Taveras (2011-present). The numbers come from the annual city audit.

First off, here’s a look at what’s called the “unfunded liability” in the pension fund – the official shortfall between how much the city has socked away and how much it would need to pay out promised benefits in full, as reported by the city’s actuary. For a variety of reasons, the shortfall grew from $137 million in 1991 to $759 million in 2012. (The latest audit isn’t out yet, but the shortfall rose to $832 million in 2013.)

Providence unfunded pension liability 1991 2012

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Tonight at 7 on Fox Providence – Cianci vs. Elorza vs. Harrop

September 30th, 2014 at 1:11 pm by under Nesi's Notes


WPRI 12/Journal Poll: Buddy Cianci on top for mayor

September 23rd, 2014 at 5:43 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has a small lead over Jorge Elorza six weeks ahead of the election to replace Mayor Angel Taveras, but many voters are still undecided, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely voters in Providence shows independent Cianci on top at 38%, with Democrat Elorza in second place at 32% and Republican Daniel Harrop a distant third at 6%. Roughly one in five Providence voters – 21% – said they remain undecided about the Nov. 4 election for mayor.

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• Interactive: Dig into complete results of the September WPRI 12/Journal poll

Coming at 10 p.m., more poll results on city voters’ mood; at 4:30 a.m., their take on Cianci’s convictions.


Police, fire unions endorse Cianci for Providence mayor

September 23rd, 2014 at 4:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence’s two public safety unions have both endorsed former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. in his bid to return to City Hall.

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Mayor Taveras: ‘Nothing left to negotiate’ on teachers pact

September 23rd, 2014 at 8:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Outgoing Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Monday he refuses to saddle his successor with “an unreasonable labor contract” for city teachers, the latest shot across the bow in an escalating conflict between his administration and the union.

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RI transplants Regunberg, Gyles vying to succeed Fox

September 22nd, 2014 at 6:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Aaron Regunberg moved to Providence from Chicago in 2008 to attend Brown University and quickly became known as a progressive rabble-rouser who fought for healthier school lunches, helped elect Angel Taveras mayor and organized high-school students against standardized testing.

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• Related: Six months later, Gordon Fox probe moving forward (Sept. 22)


Watch Newsmakers: Buddy Cianci on his run and his record

September 21st, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Taveras: I’ll do ‘everything I can’ to help Elorza beat Cianci

September 18th, 2014 at 10:22 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Wednesday he plans to do “everything I can” to ensure that city government remains “free of corruption” by helping Democrat Jorge Elorza defeat Buddy Cianci in the race to lead Rhode Island’s capital city.

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Elorza, Harrop take aim at Cianci during mayoral forum

September 18th, 2014 at 10:21 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – This one got ugly in a hurry.

The first candidate forum between Providence mayoral hopefuls Jorge Elorza, Daniel Harrop and Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. quickly turned into a war of words Wednesday, as Elorza and Harrop took turns attacking Cianci over his indiscretions during his two prior tenures as mayor and Cianci fired back with criticism of his own.

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