By IAN DONNIS
PROVIDENCE, RI – Once again, it was a busy year in the Ocean State, and Rhode Island Public Radio's counting down the top ten news stories of 2012. At number 10 is Providence's finances.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says he was taken by surprise by the discovery of a category 5 fiscal storm when he took office in January 2011. Taveras has been able to wipe out most of a 110 million dollar deficit in the almost two years since then.
Taveras closed the gap by negotiating benefit cuts with unions representing police, firefighters, and other city workers. He also forged agreements for increased contributions in lieu of taxes by such nonprofits as Brown University, Johnson and Wales, and Providence College.
Public opinion polls show Taveras to be among the most popular elected officials in Rhode Island. The question next year is whether the mayor will run for governor in 2014.
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