providence

Major city unions won’t endorse mayoral candidate before primary

August 18th, 2014 at 9:32 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The four major public employee unions in Rhode Island’s capital city are unlikely to endorse a candidate for mayor before next month’s Democratic primary, a sign they are willing to give independent Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. a second look before making a decision.

The heads of the Providence Fraternal Order of Police, firefighters union Local 799, Providence Teachers Union and Local 1033 of the Laborers’ International Union all told WPRI.com last week they don’t expect their members to throw their support behind Michael Solomon, Jorge Elorza or Brett Smiley before primary voters head to the polls Sept. 9.

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At fundraiser, Buddy Cianci warns of ‘negative campaign’

August 5th, 2014 at 5:54 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. told a group of supporters Monday that he’s expecting a long, “negative campaign” from well-funded opponents in the coming months as he seeks a return to City Hall.

Cianci’s comments came during a $1,000-a-head fundraiser at Al Forno Restaurant on South Main Street. The 73-year-old independent drew applause from several dozen donors and supporters as he laid out his vision for Providence during an 11-minute speech, but he also warned that an independent expenditure group is preparing to “go against us big time.”

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Cianci lists income sources, real estate portfolio in new filing

August 4th, 2014 at 5:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. drew income from commentary gigs with WPRO-AM and WLNE-TV as well as various speaking engagements in 2013, according to his first public financial disclosure filing since he left office in 2002.

The new filing with the state Ethics Commission also shows Cianci owns two lucrative pieces of commercial real estate in Providence and Warwick – he leases one to Women and Infants Hospital – as well as a residential property on Chalkstone Avenue.

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Mayoral candidates Smiley, Elorza at odds over municipal income tax

August 4th, 2014 at 3:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Monday a new YouTube video that shows him expressing support for a municipal income tax in Providence “was intentionally edited to mislead voters.”

The 44-second video, released Sunday by primary opponent Brett Smiley, shows Elorza telling the Rhode Island Progressive Democrats of America that he is “very much in support of a municipal income tax.” The group later endorsed Elorza’s bid for mayor.

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Providence police union blasts Taveras on cop staffing

July 31st, 2014 at 4:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The police union in Rhode Island’s capital city said Thursday it is protesting the Taveras administration “for their lack of foresight with the Providence Police Department manpower shortages.”

In a letter written by Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #3 president Taft Manzotti and four other officials, the union said the force “has been diminished to numbers that have not been seen since the late 1970s.” The letter goes on to criticize Taveras for not purchasing any new vehicles during his tenure until April and handicapping the force with an outdated computer system.

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Providence pension investments beat state’s again

July 25th, 2014 at 5:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence pension fund’s investment performance beat the state’s once again in the fiscal year that just ended, and it wasn’t particularly close.

The City of Providence Employee Retirement System’s roughly $272-million portfolio earned 17.5% during the 12-month fiscal year that ended June 30. The Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island’s roughly $8.2-billion portfolio earned 15.1% over the same period.

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Providence pension lawsuit looming, trial this fall

July 24th, 2014 at 10:09 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A pending lawsuit by a group of retirees over changes to Providence’s pension system could cost the city more than $11 million over 10 years if the retirees prevail, according to data reviewed by the Target 12 Investigators.

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Providence mayoral hopefuls Solomon, Smiley at odds on crime

July 23rd, 2014 at 1:22 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The gloves are coming off in the Providence mayor’s race. And it has nothing to do with Buddy Cianci.

After Michael Solomon unveiled his public safety plan Wednesday, Democratic primary opponent Brett Smiley criticized Solomon for not doing enough to address crime during his two terms on the City Council.

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Eastside Marketplace sold to Stop & Shop’s owner

July 22nd, 2014 at 10:41 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Scott Laurans, the longtime owner of Eastside Marketplace, told WPRI.com on Tuesday that Ahold USA, the American division of Royal Ahold NV, has bought the local grocery store’s holding company, ESM Inc.

Eastside Marketplace will retain its name and be operated as a separate division of Ahold USA, he said.

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Watch Executive Suite: WaterFire creator Barnaby Evans

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


GOP’s Harrop wants Providence to enter receivership

July 18th, 2014 at 10:03 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – His message: “Vote for me and we’ll put Providence into receivership.”

It’s not the most conventional campaign slogan, but Republican mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop claims it’s the only cure for a city facing a massive unfunded pension liability, crippling tax rates and a crumbling infrastructure because of “Buddy Cianci’s incompetence and Democratic inaction.”

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Providence council could tie tax breaks to minimum wage increase

July 17th, 2014 at 2:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Recipients of special tax breaks in Rhode Island’s capital city would be required to pay employees at least 125% of the state’s minimum wage, under an ordinance set to be introduced at a City Council meeting Thursday night.

Rhode Island’s minimum wage will grow to $9 an hour beginning Jan. 1, meaning developers or businesses seeking tax stabilization agreements from the city would be required to pay workers at least $11.25 to qualify for a reduced tax rate, according to City Councilman John Igliozzi. Wages would increase as the minimum wage goes up.

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Rep. Hull backs Smiley in Providence mayor’s race

July 16th, 2014 at 12:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley picked up his first significant endorsement outside of the city’s East Side Wednesday, winning the support of State Rep. Ray Hull, who represents part of the vote-rich 5th ward in Mount Pleasant and Elmhurst.

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City Council overrides Taveras veto of landlord tax cut

July 14th, 2014 at 6:37 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Landlords in Rhode Island’s capital city will get their tax break, after all.

The Providence City Council voted Monday to override Mayor Angel Taveras’s veto of an ordinance that reduces the tax rate for rental property owners, but could force the next mayor to raise taxes on homeowners across the city to pay for it.

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Lorne Adrain drops out of Providence mayor’s race

July 14th, 2014 at 1:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The race for Providence mayor is shrinking.

Lorne Adrain, who considered running for the city’s top job as a Democrat before making a last-minute decision to run as an independent, said Monday he is pulling out of race, the clearest sign yet that liberal-minded Providence residents could attempt to rally behind one candidate in the race against former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr.

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Watch Executive Suite: Joe Paolino; Beaudoin and Kishfy

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


Violent crime in Providence fell 45% between 1991 and 2012

July 14th, 2014 at 3:13 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Violent crime in Rhode Island’s capital city was nearly slashed in half between 1991 and 2012, mirroring a national trend that saw a significant reduction in the number of homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults over the last two decades.

A WPRI.com review of Uniform Crime Reports published by the FBI shows Providence reported 2,049 violent crimes in 1991, the year Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. began his second go-around in City Hall. By 2012, current Mayor Angel Taveras’s second year in office, the city reported 1,133 violent crimes, a 45% swing.

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Buddy Cianci to run campaign out of former Hillary Clinton office

July 10th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – What do Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and Hillary Clinton have in common?

A campaign headquarters.

Cianci, the six-time former mayor of Providence who is again running to lead Rhode Island’s capital city, plans to open his campaign’s central office at 175 Broad St., the same location that housed Clinton’s Rhode Island office during her unsuccessful 2008 campaign for president.

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Jorge Elorza wants to build Providence broadband network

July 8th, 2014 at 11:03 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Tuesday he wants Providence to try its hand at the broadband business, proposing a multi-million dollar plan to build a public network that would compete with existing Internet service providers.

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Mayor Taveras vetoes Providence landlord tax break

July 3rd, 2014 at 11:03 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city has vetoed an ordinance that would lower taxes for rental property owners across the city beginning next year, in part because he believes it will force the next mayor to raise taxes for more than 19,000 homeowners.

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Providence admits actuary questioned its pension math

July 1st, 2014 at 12:54 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Lawyers for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras have rewritten bond documents to acknowledge that its actuary disagrees with the way the city reported how much money is in its cash-strapped pension fund.

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Cianci defends 1991 decision that ballooned pension debt

June 26th, 2014 at 9:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. on Thursday defended a decision he made during his second administration that resulted in generous pension benefits for hundreds of municipal retirees.

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• Related: How ‘comedy of errors’ torpedoed Providence pension fund (Nov. 28, 2011)


Analysis: Cianci candidacy upends RI political landscape

June 25th, 2014 at 4:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

More from WPRI.com: Full story | Cianci’s opponents | Timeline | Photos | In-Depth

Buddy is back.

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. is already the most iconic Rhode Island political figure of the past half-century. But now, at age 73, the twice-convicted former-mayor-turned-radio-host-turned-mayor-turned-radio-host has decided to try and add one more “-turned mayor” to his résumé. In doing so, he’s upended everything we thought we knew about how Campaign 2014 would unfold in Rhode Island.

Good luck to the long list of down-ballot candidates – Frank Ferri, Nellie Gorbea, Ernie Almonte, and on and on – trying to get attention in elections most voters don’t know or care much about. The only two political stories that are likely to garner significant attention over the next few months are Cianci’s comeback bid and the race for governor – with the latter campaign a distant second in the coverage contest.

The motivation for Cianci is obvious: he thinks he can win, and he loved being mayor. If you’ve listened to the guy bark tips on snow-plowing to elected officials he’s interviewing from his studio during a storm, you know this is a man who still relishes the tasks of a municipal chief executive. And he’s never gotten to leave office on his own terms.

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Buddy Cianci enters race for Providence mayor

June 25th, 2014 at 3:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Buddy Cianci Show is moving from the Wampanoag Trail to the campaign trail.

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Buddy Cianci still eligible for city pension in Providence

June 24th, 2014 at 11:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. remains eligible to get a pension from the city regardless of whether he decides to make a comeback bid for his old job.

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Solomon wins Dem endorsement in Providence mayor’s race

June 24th, 2014 at 4:29 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – City Council President Michael Solomon won the Providence Democratic City Committee’s endorsement for mayor in convincing fashion Monday, earning nearly six times the votes of his closest competitor in front of a smaller-than-normal crowd at the Rosario Society Hall in Silver Lake.

Solomon, who has represented parts of the city’s Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods since 2007, is among five Democrats hoping to replace first-term Mayor Angel Taveras, who is running for governor.

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Here’s why Buddy Cianci has to get off the air if he runs for mayor

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

There’s one reason former Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. is expected to wait until the very last minute on Wednesday before he announces whether he’ll attempt to win back City Hall: his job.

Federal law requires broadcast companies – like the two that currently employ Cianci – to “afford equal opportunities to all such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station.” In other words, if WPRO-AM and WLNE-TV wanted to keep Cianci on the air after he declares his candidacy, they would have to provide equal opportunities to every other candidate in the race to appear on air.

“In this situation, if the host is running for mayor, every time he is on the air he is ‘using’ the station for free (i.e. no cost to him or his campaign),” Christy Burrow, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in regulatory communications, told WPRI.com. “This triggers free equal opportunities for all opponents – they can go to the station and demand an equal amount of free time.”

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Solomon wants 15-year tax break program for Providence developers

June 19th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Developers seeking tax breaks from Rhode Island’s capital city would no longer be required to seek approval from the mayor’s office or the City Council, under a proposal introduced Thursday by mayoral candidate Michael Solomon.

Solomon, the current City Council President, said his “master tax predictability program” would provide 15-year tax stabilization agreements to qualifying businesses, sending a “loud and clear message to the development community that Providence is open for business.”

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Cianci has one week to decide about mayoral campaign

June 18th, 2014 at 5:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has until next Wednesday to decide if he’ll again seek the city’s top job, nearly 12 years after he resigned from the office following a felony corruption conviction.

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RI ranked dead last in new small business survey

June 16th, 2014 at 7:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island has posted yet another painfully poor showing in a national survey of local business climates.

Rhode Island came in dead last – 38th out of 38 states examined – in a new survey of 12,000 small business owners published this month by Thumbtack, the San Francisco-based online services provider, and the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based nonprofit that studies entrepreneurship. The city of Providence also received an “F” from small businesses in Thumbtack/Kauffman’s survey of major cities.

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