Jorge Elorza

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 Bonus Q&A to discuss the city's pension fund, the ongoing dispute with Providence firefighters, the outlook for city schools, and much more.

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.

Leave it to Rhode Island to provide a counter-narrative to the notion that the news slows down in summer, right? 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.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

In a sharp reversal from a vote one day earlier, the Providence Board of Canvassers found Thursday that state Rep. John Carnevale, a four-term member of the House of Representatives, is not a registered voter in Providence.

The decision means that Carnevale can not pursue his re-election campaign, unless he makes a successful appeal of the board's rendering.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Tony Simon is leaving his role as Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza's chief of staff at the end of August to launch a political consulting firm. He'll be succeeded by Nicole Pollock, who currently serves as the city's chief of policy and innovation.

Simon's pending exit marks the second high-profile departure from City Hall at the mid-point in Elorza's four-year term. Brett Smiley is leaving as the city's chief operating office to become Governor Gina Raimondo's chief of staff.

Your humble correspondent is back on the beat. So thanks for stopping by. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon hosts our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line. Co-Host Mark Murphy, editor of Providence Business News, will return next week.

This week, Dave hears about the impact of parking meters on Thayer Street, the major commercial strip near Brown University. A leading critic of the meters, Ken Dulgarian, owner of the Avon Cinema and other properties, says they are devastating local businesses.

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50 p.m.

Make your appointment to interview someone you know in the StoryCorps MobileBooth.

StoryCorps, a renowned nonprofit organization celebrating the stories of everyday Americans, will record interviews in Providence from June 23, 2016 to July 29, 2016 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. Having collected over 65,000 interviews from Americans in all 50 states, StoryCorps has gathered one of the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded.

Nate Mooney / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza held the first in a series of community meetings Monday to discuss the city’s fiscal challenges. Elorza is trying to build public support for a plan to dig the city out of deficits, projected to grow to tens of millions of dollars if left unchecked. 

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