Jorge Elorza

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The City of Providence is recruiting members for a new Muslim-American advisory board.  The mayor’s office says the initiative is aimed at protecting and serving every resident of the city regardless of race, religion, or other identifiers. 

John Bender

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza hosted residents Wednesday night concerned about the future under President-elect Donald Trump. 

RIPR FILE

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins several mayors nationwide in formally announcing no plans to change immigration policies in the face of a Donald Trump presidency. 

RIPR FILE

The Providence mayor’s office is refuting claims that a new proposed firefighter’s contract will not save the city as much as projected. A city council review of the proposed contract found a multi-million dollar discrepancy.

According to a statement released by the City Council, an internal audit found the mayor’s office overestimated the savings of a new firefighter’s contract by $7 million. The savings, the internal auditor found, would add up to about $9 million.

Elisabeth Harrison

Calling it the first good financial news for Providence "in a very long time," Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city operated nearly $9.5 million in the black during the fiscal year that ended in June.

"This is the largest operating surplus in over 20 years in the city," Elorza said. "Our records only go back 20 years, but I’d say that this is likely the largest operating surplus in the history of Providence."

We're heading into the home stretch ahead of Rhode Island's November 8th election. So thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ward 14 Providence Councilor David Salvatore joins Bonus Q&A to talk about city finances, the proposed agreement with city firefighters, whether Providence's influence at the legislature is waning, and other topics.

Ward 15 Providence Councilor Sabina Matos joins Bonus Q&A to talk about city finances, the thaw in the dispute with firefighters, Kennedy Plaza, charter schools, and more.

Tuesday's (predictably) low-turnout primary (surprisingly) punched above its weight in offering a lot of grist for the political mill. So let's get right to it, after the obligatory reminder that your tips and comments are welcome, and that you can follow me through the week on the twitters.

RIPR file photo

Providence city officials plan to create a "day center" where homeless and others in need can seek assistance. Mayor Jorge Elorza made the announcement Thursday, as the city seeks to address complaints about panhandling and drug use in downtown.

“The issues we are addressing today are not unique to Providence," Elorza said. "They are complex and multifaceted, but by coming together as community, we have the opportunity to make lasting change."

RIPR FILE

There have been three press-conferences over the past two days offering competing plans for dealing with homelessness, panhandling, and drug use in downtown Providence. Thursday, the mayor offered his vision.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The new contract would move city firefighters back onto a four platoon shift schedule. Last May, Elorza announced he would reduce the schedule to three platoons. At the time, he estimated the city would save some $5 million dollars on overtime.

The plan was denounced by the firefighters’ union, which said the schedule would require firefighters to work dangerously long hours. The union has sued the city, claiming the schedule improperly calculates overtime, leading to lower pay for firefighters. That dispute is currently in arbitration.

August is on the way out, and legislative primary races are coming up fast. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, you can send your tips and comments my way, and follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss Kennedy Plaza and panhandlers; Providence finances; and contributions to the city by nonprofit institutions.

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