Corrigan Continues Assault on Fire District Merger

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Town Manager Gayle Corrigan (left) presented another chapter to her look back at the 2013 merger of the East Greenwich Fire District into a town department, continuing her argument that it took place without due diligence and with grave financial consequences for the town. (Find her report here.)

As she has done several times in the months since she’s been town manager, Corrigan said the fire department was too expensive and needed to be fixed.

Her solution: restructure the department into three platoons that work 56 hours a week from the current four platoons and 42-hour work week. The town has sued the firefighters to be able to impose the restructure immediately; firefighters say they have a valid contract until 2019.

Corrigan’s report, while repeating arguments made in earlier reports, did take more exact aim at some of the people in charge in recent years. In particular, she cited what she said was the inexperience of former Town Manager Tom Coyle, former Town Solicitor Peter Clarkin and former Fire Chief Russ McGillivray in negotiating contracts.

However, Coyle served as police chief before becoming town manager and negotiated contracts in that position; Clarkin negotiated several rounds of contracts for three unions during his tenure in East Greenwich before adding the firefighter contract; McGillivray came from the larger West Warwick Fire Department and served as deputy chief in EG for three years before becoming chief. McGillivray and Coyle both hold master’s degrees in public administration.

Corrigan questioned the increase in the number of “service calls” (i.e. miscellaneous calls) between 2013 and 2014 (when the district became a department). As she said, the increase was due to the decision to classify alarm box resets as service calls.

In a phone interview Thursday, McGillivray (who took over as chief in 2013) offered this explanation for the classification change: “We were just trying to account for the hours and the work that the fire department was doing. When we went from the fire district to the fire department, I saw that social services and police department were very data driven and I wanted to get a better accounting of the work we actually did.”

Meanwhile, the total number of incident calls (including service calls) has risen steadily in recent years.  Even if service calls are subtracted, the fire department had more than 1,000 additional incidents in 2017 than it had in 2006, the year the fire district topped out at 36 total firefighters. In 2006 there were 2,386 incidents; in 2017, there were 4,121 (665 of them classified as service calls).

Corrigan also highlighted a jump in rescue billing rates between 2015 and 2016, but said she had not yet looked into the cause for the increases.

Former Fire Chief John McKenna (who served as chief from 2005 to 2010) was at the meeting Monday and during public comment he said that spike came after the billing company – Comstar – went from using a base rate and subcategories in its billing charges (for instance, separating out fees for starting an IV or using oxygen) to having one blended cost. McKenna, who now works in private industry, said the change was for all Comstar clients, public and private. McGillivray gave the same explanation Thursday.

In her report, Corrigan spoke about raises, saying some firefighters got a 48 percent raise in the current contract, while everyone else in town got 2 percent raises.

According to firefighter union president Bill Perry, the firefighters got a 2 percent raise like everyone else but he acknowledged that six so-called lateral transfers (firefighters hired from other departments) were given the salary of a second-year firefighter instead of a first-year firefighter, which came out to about $3 more per hour for those six firefighters (a 2 percent raise that year would have been in the range of 50 cents an hour).

He said he did not know where Corrigan got the 48 percent figure.

During public comment Monday, Perry urged the council to talk to other municipalities where they have put in a three-platoon system. There have been four.

In North Kingstown, town officials imposed a three-platoon system that was fought extensively and expensively in the courts; firefighters there lost after it was ruled they did not have a valid contract. A three-platoon system was also imposed in Providence, but the city abandoned it after years of litigation and went back to a four-platoon system. The city had to pay Providence firefighters several million dollars in overtime accrued during the three-platoon, 56-hour work weeks. Tiverton and Central Coventry Fire District also have three-platoon systems – Tiverton’s through negotiation and Central Coventry’s was imposed after that district went bankrupt. Corrigan runs Central Coventry.

“Do your due diligence. We have an active contract,” said Perry. “I would hope that everybody would be adults and sit down instead of having attorneys become wealthy off the community. Nobody benefits from that.”

“Bill, we’d be happy to sit down,” Council President Sue Cienki said.

The last attempt to negotiate failed in December; both sides blamed the other side.

Corrigan said she would present “phase one” of her restructuring plan at the April 9 Town Council meeting.



 

Drugs in a Car & Too Many Air Fresheners

By Bethany J. Hashway

Tuesday, March. 6

7:12 p.m. – Police arrested a New Hampshire man, 22, for driving with an expired license after he was pulled over because one of his tailouts was out and for too many air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror. Routine checks showed the plates didn’t match the car, the car was unregistered and the man’s license was expired. The man told police he was in the process of registering the car. He was issued summons for windshield obstruction, unregistered car, and no proof of insurance. He also received a District Court summons for driving with an expired license. The car was towed; police seized the plates.

Wednesday, March. 7

7:41 p.m. – Police arrested a North Kingstown woman, 41, downtown for driving on a suspended license after they noticed her because of a missing front license plate. Routine checks turned up the license suspension. Police issued a District Court summons for driving with a suspended license and cited her for driving with an expired registration, display of registration plates, and obedience to stop sign.

10:10 p.m. – Police arrested a Cranston woman, 32, for driving on a suspended license after she rear-ended a police cruiser. At the time the cruiser was hit the officer was out of the car. Routine checks were done, and they found the driver’s license had been suspended along with the registration. She was taken to the hospital and was issued a District Court summons for driving on a suspended license.

Thursday, March 8

9 a.m. – A Taylor Circle resident told police about an unwanted FedEx package she received on Feb 22. The woman told police the package was addressed to another woman but had listed her home address. She opened the package and inside was a new iPhone 7 from AT&T. She called AT&T but she said they were not helpful. The day the package was delivered, she told police, a man in his 20s came to her front door asking for it, explaining that it was from a relative of his who’s name was on the package. The woman refused to give him the package and he left in a silver colored car. She gave the package to police.

Friday, March. 9

10:30 a.m. – Police arrested an East Providence woman, 35, after she turned herself in on a warrant for domestic simple assault, domestic disorderly and disorderly conduct. She was processed and taken to Kent County Courthouse.

Saturday, March. 10

5:28 a.m. – Police arrested a Warwick woman, 22, for possession of a controlled substance after police were called to the Park-and-Ride on Frenchtown Road on a report of a fight in a car there. Police found only one car in the lot and the car had clothes spread around the outside of the car. Police went over to the car and talked to the three people in the car, from which there was a strong odor of marijuana. Police searched the car and found what appeared to be marijuana, as well as a smoking device, an herbal grinder and a bottle of alcohol in the center console. Police then got the people out of the car and found a cigar with marijuana in it, 2 grinders, a clear bag of more marijuana, BB guns, money with a white powdery substance in it and Xanax pills. The Warwick woman was taken into custody and transported to EGPD headquarters for processing. She was charged with possession of a controlled substance (Xanax). Later she arraigned by a bail commissioner and released at 10:30 a.m.

A passenger in the car, a Providence man, 19, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after becoming aggressive toward the police during the stop. He was taken into custody, arraigned by a bail commissioner and released.

A third person from the car, a man from Providence, age 22, was arrested for possessing marijuana and disorderly conduct after he became aggressive toward police.  

4:35 p.m. – Police arrested a Warwick woman, 42, after she turned herself in on a warrant on crank or obscene phone calls. She was processed and arraigned by a justice of peace and told to have no contact with the recipient/s of her crank or obscene phone calls. She was later released and was given a date to appear in District Court.




 

Springtime and Baseball!

A few ballplayers from the OLM team, circa 1954.

By Bruce Mastracchio

A big part of growing up in old East Greenwich – we played baseball a lot. Not as much as we played basketball, which we played year round, but a lot more than football, which we reserved for the fall (except for Muckleball).

As soon as Spring sprung we were outside for baseball. We played regular baseball. We played special games like stickball, streetball, stoop ball, hit the bat, rotation and relievio.

We made our own balls of paper and tape and played in small, backyard ‘parks’ where a 90 foot “smash” could be a home run. Some of us played it in garages, where hitting a hung up garbage can cover was a double and our bats were broomsticks and axe handles.

The main point is that we played. Each neighborhood had its team, and, thanks to Butch, who was a real organizer, we formed the Dedford League.

This trip down The Lane is dedicated to those teams, both “Above and Below the Hill,” the ScallopTown Raiders, Marlborough Street Marauders, South Marlborough Crusaders, Dedford Street Lions, Rector Street Jack Rabbits and the Hamilton Rip Shirts. And, of course, to Butch (Raymond ” Butch ” Moffitt), for all his work.


I can’t remember a day of my youth when I was not involved in some game, either with other like-minded guys, or working on skills against the barn behind my home. After school, on weekends, on vacations. If you drove around EG back then you’d see a bunch of kids on at least one, and maybe all, of the fields in town engaged in some form of athletic activity.

The author tags out an opponent.

NO adults. NO real organization. It was the late ‘40s and early ‘50s. Little League did not reach us until 1953.

Without adults it was a heck of a lot of fun. One neighborhood would challenge another, set up a date, time and place, and the game was on.

ScallopTown played their games on a cinder field next to the lumber yard. It is a site for boat storage now, right across from the EG Yacht Club. Dedford Street used the Quaker Lot, which now serves a parking lot for the EG School Department. The Rip Shirts used Proulx Field on Route 2 (complete with cow flop bases). Marlborough Street used Eldredge, The Crusaders used OLM Field and the Jack Rabbits used Academy Field.

Though it was loose knit, we took our games seriously. Then Butch came on the scene. Slightly older than the rest of us, he captained the Dedford Street bunch to which I belonged. We were a Spanky and Our Gang conglomeration, which did a lot of Spanky-type activities together.

Author Bruce Mastracchio’s Little League picture at age 12, when he played for the Volunteers, sponsored by the EG Fire District.

Butch, with his myriad of ideas, brought some order to the loose-knit league. He was sought of the precursor to Little League. He had us get matching sweatshirts, which with the use of markers, crayons and paint, were transformed into Dedford Street Lion uniforms.

He drew up schedules and made cardboard scoreboards. He kept statistics. He arranged games with other neighborhoods. He coached and assigned us to our positions. He kept league standings.

Butch was a manager, promoter, statistician and player all rolled into one.

I suppose, if they had let him, he would have reported our scores to the newspaper. He may have even tried that, but, of course, they were really not interested in our kid games. (Funny though, a few years later, our Little League games were well covered complete with 8×10 glossy pictures pasted up in store windows in town).

It was a Charlie Brown existence before that bald-head ever set foot on the scene. We even had girls on our teams, in baseball anyway. I guess, you could say, we got a jump on women’s lib.

For our Dedford Lions, home park was The Quaker Lot. Left field had a wire fence and was quite a poke, maybe 370 feet or more. Right field was bounded by a stone wall, and was a short stroke of 180 feet or so, which prompted many of us, and our opponents, to bat left-handed so that we might launch one “outta there”!

We played game after game, and, if we weren’t going against another team, we split up and played against ourselves. If we didn’t have enough players we would play Rotation or Rollo or Hit the Bat.

There was nothing we wouldn’t try and in those lazy, hazy times the days were long and our lives seemed like they were going to last forever (I constantly use the saying, which I coined of, “28 hour days and 8 day weeks”).

If we only knew!

As the Whittakers once said, “Nostalgia is like an anesthetic; you experience NO pain, only a beautiful haze. When you grow older, what matters is not the way it was, BUT the way you remember it ! “

Another great tag out.

Remember, old friend, our kid games? How we whiled away the hours with World Series baseball, in your garage on Duke Street? The can cover was a double, and you were always the hated Yankees, while I, the Red Sox, who played from 1920 to 1958, all on the same team.

The pitcher had to duck behind a plywood screen, or lose his head when Mantle or Williams “tagged” one for a homer.

OUR Louisville Slugger was an axe handle pilfered from a father’s work truck, and we played by the hour, never really settling which team was best, though we were always sure which one really was, deep in the tabernacles of our soul.

Remember how people passing by would laugh at us in our bliss, or, maybe even smile, but have their memories jogged back to other years, another time, when they were us!

Writer’s Note: There you have it. Another tale from “Old EG,” the place of those 28 hour days and 8 day weeks! How we wish we could have them back. Please, pretty please. I would not trade one of those days for 10 days of the present or ALL the tea in China (can you even say that now?).

So to all of you out there who experienced, or know, or understand. May God bless you all and may you have your dreams. With all the love I can muster and In the Spirit of Crazy Horse (you have to read the book).

(Photographs courtesy of the author.)

 

Firefighters Sue Town, Allege Fair Labor Standards Act Violations

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

East Greenwich firefighters have filed suit in U.S. District Court against the town, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, in particular with regard to overtime pay.

“We have been trying to get answers from the finance director for months now regarding what we believe are errors in how the town is calculating our FLSA overtime pay,” said union president Bill Perry in a press release. “The town went from paying us what we believe is the wrong amount, to not paying us FLSA overtime at all.”

Perry said he has been asking about FLSA payments since December.

FLSA is a federal law that dictates that employees who work more than 212 hours over a 28-day period are due time and a half for every additional hour. FLSA payments are distributed quarterly and for EG firefighters average around $2,000, said Perry. But recent payments have not listed the number of hours worked and Perry said looking at the payments, it was hard to know if the town was following the law. He said repeated requests for more detailed information have gone unanswered.

The town has seen a flurry of litigation since Gayle Corrigan was hired as town manager last June. While many have been filed by the firefighters – including one resolved in their favor – there have also been four suits filed by former town employees suing for wrongful termination. In addition, firefighters have filed numerous grievances and the town filed a lawsuit against the firefighters in December, seeking permission from the court to break their contract, which doesn’t expire until 2019.

The town has already spent more in legal fees than was budgeted, and that’s only for legal work through November.

The firefighters say they offered to open the contract earlier this year and make concessions; the town says the firefighters did not negotiate in good faith. Both sides say publicly they are open to continued negotiation.



 

Council Reverses Course, Approves Community Resource Position, 4-1

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Just two weeks ago, the Town Council voted 4-0 against adding a new position of community resource manager as part of Town Manager Gayle Corrigan’s restructuring of the parks, recreation and human services departments. Monday night, the council voted 4-1 in favor of such a position, then approved hiring Rachel Longo to fill it.

In the intervening two weeks, Corrigan beefed up the CRM job description to include 22 specific items, including serving as a community liaison to provide wraparound services to at-risk populations, work with the EG Housing Authority, create a team to engage with individuals who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless, and develop a marketing plan to increase outside rentals of Swift Community Center, to name four. Find Corrigan’s memo to the council and the job description here:

Direction for the shift appeared to come from President Sue Cienki, who came late to the March 12 meeting, missing the original discussion and vote on the CRM position.

“We want to make sure that we’re not only taking care of our citizens from a tax perspective but making sure that services are provided…. One of our missions is to make sure our disabled citizens are being taken care of, our low income citizens are being taken care of,” she said to begin the discussion. “I have suggested that they hold off putting in a park and rec manager so that we can get a community resource manager in place so that we can get this process moving.”

Corrigan’s restructuring came after the departure earlier this month of Erin McAndrew, who served as senior and human services director for the town. After reviewing the applicants, Corrigan decided no single person could fill that role. She named longtime Parks and Rec Director Cathy Bradley to serve as the director of the new director of community services and parks, with three “managers” serving under her – managers for parks and rec, for senior services and for community resources.

Two applicants for the original senior and human services director job were identified to fill two of the manager positions: Charlotte Markey was hired to serve as the new senior services manager and Rachel Longo was pegged to fill the new community resource manager job. Only, when Corrigan laid out her vision at the meeting March 2, the council questioned adding staff at a time when most of the news out of Town Hall is how difficult the financial picture is for the town.

At that meeting, Councilman Nino Granatiero suggested waiting several weeks to see how everything was going before adding the position.

To that end, on Monday Corrigan stressed that the new position would be “revenue neutral.”

With the community resource manager salary at $45,000, the restructuring would cost around $37,000 more than is currently being spent in these areas. The majority of the money to make up the difference would come from the parks and rec salaries and wages line item, which has been running a surplus for several years, up to around $32,000 this year. Corrigan said she would use $26,000 to fund the CRM position. Other money would come from the nonunion continuing education budget line, which is $10,000 but will drop to $500 in the next year with $9,500 going toward the CRM position. Finally, Corrigan said she was going to take $2,500 out of the unemployment account (currently at $133,000).

Councilman Mark Schwager said he remained unconvinced.

“I was concerned at the last meeting and I’m still concerned,” he said, taking care to add that he has nothing against Rachel Longo, the person up for the position. “I think the consolidation was a good idea but I think the position of community resource manager, those duties could be allocated to other staff.”

For instance, he said, many of the items in the CRM job description are also part of Bradley’s job description and the senior services case worker already does a lot of human services work. The marketing and social media could be done by the chief of staff, he said.

Corrigan and Bradley had stressed the need for the town to do a better job anticipating resident needs, particularly in the areas of housing and social services – to be less “reactive.”

Schwager said he didn’t think the town was reactive in these areas.

“I don’t see this as a major blind spot of the town,” he said.

Addressing Schwager, Granatiero said, “I’m usually making that argument that you’re making but I’ve learned to trust the people on the ground. Cathy’s come back and said, ‘I’ve done the assessment on the ground.’ This is why we have these really good department heads.”

Charlotte Markey, EG’s new senior services manager.

The council voted 4-1 in favor of adding the position, with Schwager voting no. That vote was replicated in approving Longo’s hire. Before the vote, Schwager said he thought there should be a new search for that position rather than just filling it with someone who applied for a completely different job.

Meanwhile, the new senior services manager, Charlotte Markey, started last week. In a brief interview Tuesday, Markey said she was thrilled with her new job.

“There’s so much going on here. It’s amazing. Erin did a wonderful job. I just want to continue with that,” she said. “People have been so friendly. I’m just enjoying it so much. There’s such a variety of support and community involvement!”



 

AfterPromEG Looks for Community Support

Spring is here and that means that high school rite of passage known as The Prom is coming up – it’s May 11. Four years ago, a collection of volunteers started AfterPromEG so that teens would have a safe, fun place to keep the celebration going into the wee hours. There’ll be entertainment, music, games, prizes, raffles and food, all in a high school transformed into an “Enchanted Forest.”
And, in fact, it’s open to all EGHS juniors and seniors even if they don’t end up going to the prom at all. Better yet, it’s free.
 But a big event like this doesn’t happen without a lot of community support.
AfterPromEG is looking for donations of raffle items, food, and corporate sponsorships, as well as gifts of any denomination. Please help us continue this annual tradition!  You can donate online here.  Or contact afterpromeg@gmail.com.

 

Town Stops Payments to Union Leaders for Most Union-Related Business

Corrigan calls such pay “unlawful.”

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

East Greenwich, R.I. – Town Manager Gayle Corrigan has notified the town’s unions that the town will no longer compensate union officers for most union-related work – known as bargaining pay – calling such payments “unlawful.” She cites R.I. General Law 28-7-13(3)(iii).

Union heads were sent the letter in January. The firefighters union has since filed an unfair labor practice complaint on the issue with the state Labor Relations Board.

Corrigan’s letter was ambiguous. After first saying the town “will no longer compensate employees for services performed on behalf of a labor organization,” she writes, “employees may still permitted[sic] to confer with the town during working hours without loss of time or pay, to the extent such conferences are authorized….”

“It is a direct violation of our collective bargaining agreement,” said firefighter union President Bill Perry. “Just more litigation the town has chosen to take which will cost tens of thousands of dollars in litigation costs.”

Find Corrigan’s letter here (exhibit 2): Exhibits in FF Response.

Although the letter was sent to all four town unions, these sorts of expenses typically are only accrued by police and firefighters. That’s because police and fire have minimum-manning levels so if a union official attends a grievance hearing or an arbitration during his or her regular shift, the department must bring in someone to cover.

While the amount of money that costs in overtime will vary depending on the level of contentiousness in a given year (i.e. the number of grievances filed, litigation, etc.), Perry said the added expense averages around $5,000 a year for the fire department. He added the overtime expense only happens when something is scheduled when a union official is on duty. If an arbitration or grievance hearing is scheduled during a time when the union official is not working, there is no need to incur the expense of bringing in someone to cover.

Meanwhile, the town – which filed suit against the firefighters in December –filed a “motion on the pleadings” earlier this month, looking for Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl to rule on bargaining pay as well as the larger issue of the town’s ability to impose a 56-hour work week on the firefighters. If the judge grants a motion on the pleadings, she would make her ruling only on the town’s original complaint (and the firefighters response, which has yet to be filed). In other words, there would be no additional “discovery” (i.e. information) and no trial. (Find the motion here: Town of EG Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.)

There is a hearing on the town’s motion scheduled for Monday, April 23.

The main thrust of the town’s argument on the 56-hour work week is that it is a “management right” to make such schedule changes. Under such a change, the motion argues, the town and the union would then need to negotiate “the effects of the town’s decision to implement a three-platoon structure.” That would come down to compensation. According to Town Manager Corrigan, the reason to go to a three-platoon system is to cut down overtime expenses. It’s unclear how the town would be willing to compensate the firefighters for the additional work hours expected under the three-platoon structure. The firefighters have said they would expect to be paid for the extra hours.

The town’s motion relies heavily on what happened in North Kingstown a few years ago, where that Town Council voted to implement a three-platoon system and the state Supreme Court eventually ruled the Town Council acted within its rights because the firefighters were without a contract at the time of the vote. In East Greenwich, the firefighters’ contract is not up until 2019.

The town’s motion also argues that the section in the firefighters’ “current collective bargaining agreement stating the town must compensate up to three elected union officials ‘for bargaining unit business in connection with conferences with its attorney or union representative regarding contract negotiation matters and/or arbitration matters concerning the collective bargaining agreement,’ is unlawful, unenforceable and void.”

It makes the same argument regarding other union-related business, such as grievance arbitration and hearings, conferences with union membership, and any state or national union meetings.

With the town’s motion in Superior Court and the firefighters’ complaint before the state Labor Relations Board, it’s conceivable that there could be two different rulings.

The motion was signed by Town Solicitor David D’Agostino and outside lawyer Tim Cavazza. D’Agostino receives a monthly retainer of $11,000 for his East Greenwich work. Cavazza and his firm (Whelan, Corrente, Flanders, Kinder & Siket) were hired in late summer 2017 to work on firefighter labor issues. The town has so far paid $104,000 to Whelan, Corrente, for legal services through November.

Meanwhile, last week the town paid firefighter lawyer Wiens $41,905 in legal fees for the six-day trial last fall in which, among other rulings against the town, McGuirl said it had illegally fired firefighter James Perry. Town Council President Sue Cienki had said the town would consider an appeal but no appeal was filed before the deadline earlier this month.



 

This Week in EG: Town Council, Planning Board & Egg Hunt

A weekly article that lists happenings in East Greenwich and nearby. If you have something you’d like to add, send your information to egreenwichnews@gmail.com.

Monday, March 26

Town Council meeting – The meeting will be held at Swift Community Center at 7 p.m. You can read a preview of the meeting here.

Tuesday, March 27

Schools Transportation Subcommittee meeting – The panel meets in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at 111 Peirce St. at 9 a.m. Here’s the agenda.

Zoning Board meeting – The board meets in Council Chambers at Town Hall at 7 p.m. On the agenda, the board will hear an appeal by an abuttor of the approval by the Historic District Commission for a fence on Rector Street. Also, the panel will weigh parking relief among other things for the property at 205 Main Street (at the corner of Armory Street).

Wednesday, March 28

Lunch on the Hill – If you are looking for some good food and company, stop by the dining room at St. Luke’s Church on Peirce Street where you will find both. A free lunch is offered every week, sponsored by various local churches and restaurants – a different church-restaurant combination each week.From 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Planning Board meeting – This is a special session to continue review of the town’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The Planning Board is charged with recommending annually a 6-year capital plan. Year 1 of said plan becomes the capital element of the Town’s overall budget for the ensuing fiscal year. Anticipated expenditures by town departments and the EG School District will be discussed. Also on the agenda, an executive session at 7 p.m. on specific safety spending included in the CIP; the public part of the meeting will begin following the closed session. In Council Chambers at Town Hall.

Thursday, March 29

Schools Finance Committee: The meeting takes place at 9 a.m. in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at 111 Peirce St. Here’s the agenda.

Friday, March 30

Good Friday – No school.

Saturday, March 31

EG Egg Hunt – Main Street Association’s annual egg hunt at Eldredge Field starts at 10 a.m. (and ends about 5 minutes later to don’t be late!). There are different hunts for children age 3 to 5, 4 to 8, and 9 to 12.

OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE

Recycling is OFF this week.

EG Police Union Is Fundraising – This is an “all points bulletin,” if you will, to let you know the EG Police Union is soliciting sponsorships to its 2018 Yearbook and Business Directory, so don’t be surprised if you get a phone call. This is in advance of their Comedy Night at Quidnessett Country Club June 28 – the directories will be available then.

LOOKING AHEAD

Register for Race to the Stage – Music performers are invited to enter. Winners will get a chance to perform at the annual Summer’s End concert as well as win cash prizes. But you need to register to compete by April 1. Here’s more information.

Thursday, April 5

A Talk w/Providence Dep. Police Chief – Friends of the EG Free Library presents Providence Deputy Police Chief Thomas A. Verdi, who will share what it takes for our community police departments to maintain peace and order in turbulent times. Topics will include “red flags,” active shootings, gun violence, mental health issues, and community partnerships. From 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the library, 82 Peirce Street.

Friday, April 6

Wine and Wonderful – Tickets are available for the East Greenwich Rotary’s annual food and wine extravaganza at Swift Community Center. Support EG Rotary and all the great programs and organizations it supports. Buy tickets here.

Saturday, April 7

EG Track Club’s 7th Annual Bunny Hop 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run – The East Greenwich Track Club’s 7th Annual Bunny Hop 5k and 1 Mile Fun Run is coming up on Saturday, April 7, starting at 9 a.m. at Goddard Park. Proceeds go towards fully funding the popular Summer Track Series for ages 4-14 (do not have to be an EG resident to participate) on Wednesday nights in July at the EGHS track. We’ve been able to provide the series for free for 6 years. Last summer, 300 children came out during the first week! Find out more and register here.

April 12

“Wonderful Women” – The EG Chamber of Commerce presents an event for women focused on “wisdom, wellness, and beauty” at Quidnessett Country Club. There will be workshops, food, entertainment, and expo tables. Tickets are $35 ($40 after April 9).

April 15

History at the Varnum Armory Memorial MuseumPresented by docent Patrick Donovan and presented by the EG Historic Preservation Society, return to Revolutionary War days, when then-General Washington visited, and experience the historical militia scene of that period. Refreshments will be served. 2 p.m. Varnum Armory is at 6 Main St.

And …

Interested in Running for Office? Here’s a pamphlet from the Secretary of State’s office with everything you need to know. While the period to file to run for office isn’t until June 25-27, there are earlier deadlines, say if you want to change party affiliation before filing to run (that’s March 27-29) or if you plan to run for office but are not yet registered to vote (May 26-28). If you are planning to run and are ready to go public, contact egreenwichnews@gmail.com.





 

Hey, Performers! ‘Race to Stage’ Deadline Is April 1

Summer’s End tried something new last year and it was such a success it’s back again this year – “Race to the Stage” offers musicians of all varieties the chance to compete for a spot on the program at the annual Summer’s End concert at Eldredge Field.

Last year, 47 acts entered the contest, 12 were chosen to audition at the Race to the Stage show at the Odeum and 4 were selected to perform at Summer’s End on Aug. 31. The acts included a classical guitarist, a yodeling country singer, a rock band and a local duo.

This year, who knows who might win? And, to sweeten the pot, Summer’s End has added cash prizes – $500 for first place, $300 for second and $200 for third.

But if you or someone you know is interested in competing, time is running out! Submissions must be in by April 1. Contestants can go to the website to submit an application and link to a video. Race to the Stage performers will be announced by mid-April. The event is Sunday, April 29, at 4 p.m. at the Odeum. You can buy tickets here ($10) or at the door ($15).

Each contestant will perform one song. EG’s own Sal Sauco is emcee for the event and the judges this year will be Dana Wronski, Katie Kleyla, Megan Catelli, and Bill McGrath. They do feedback American-Idol style after each performance and at the end, they confer with one another and announce three winners (last year, there were so many strong acts that they chose four).

Last year’s winners:

About the judges:

Megan Winters Catelli is currently a string specialist at Cole Middle School in East Greenwich where she teaches orchestra and band.  Formerly, she was the director of orchestras for the Easton, Mass., public schools. Megan is a cellist who performs locally, often with small chamber groups or as a soloist for special occasions.  She is an East Greenwich native and a University of Rhode Island graduate in Music Education.

Katie Kleyla, soprano, is a lover of music, art, and laughter.   She is a graduate of URI, with a B.A. in Music. She is the star of the New Providence Big Band, a 20 piece swing band, selected by Providence Monthly as the Most Musical Act in Rhode Island.  She was the featured soloist of URI’s Big Band, conducted by Grammy nominated composer, Joe Parillo. She is cantor at St. Joseph’s in Providence, and has sung in churches throughout New England.   She has performed with Opera Providence, New Bedford Festival Theatre, and performs weekly with a jazz quartet. Favorite appearances: the annual Christmas Gala at the Breakers Mansion in Newport, performing in Providence’s famed “Superman Building,” and singing with the R.I. Philharmonic.

Bill McGrath: Bill is the vice president of the R.I. Country Music Association, former Vice President of R.I. Country Horizons.  Bill is also a member of the Massachusetts Country Music Association. He is a Promoter of Bill McGrath’s Music Series, Performance Director of Rising.  Bill is also a member of the R.I. Songwriters Association.  Bill is an honorary member of the RI Country Music Hall of Fame.

Dana Wronski:  Dana is a talented local singer-songwriter.  She has recorded here and is the musical director for Destiny Africa Children’s Choir in Kampala, Uganda.  Dana is a familiar person in town for overseeing some of our favorite culinary hangouts; she is the proprietor of Besos Kitchen and Cocktails here in town.  Dana has played at Summer’s End several times in the past.




 

Town Council Agenda: Corrigan Tries Again to Add Employee

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

Town Manager Gayle Corrigan will try for a second time Monday to add a position to her consolidation of the parks, senior and human services and the substance abuse counselor, even as she has been repeatedly beat the drum of a pending municipal fiscal crisis.

The Town Council, minus President Sue Cienki, voted 4-0 against adding a new position of community resource manager when Corrigan presented her restructuring plan March 12. At that meeting, Councilman Nino Granatiero suggested taking a wait-and-see approach to that position and revisiting the issue in two or three months.

Instead, it is back on the agenda for Monday’s meeting, with an expanded job description. (Find that and the resume for the candidate Corrigan wants to hire for the position, Rachel-Lyn Longo, here: Corrigan Memo on Community Resource Manager).

Also on the agenda for Monday night’s meeting, the Town Council will vote on the memorandum of agreement approved Tuesday by the School Committee that spells out specifics of a town-school finance and human resource consolidation.

They will also discuss formation of an opioid abuse task force and Corrigan will again discuss her review of the impact of the Fire District’s merger with the town.

Find the full agenda here. The panel will be back at Swift Community Center for the meeting, at 7 p.m. (with an executive session starting at 6:30).