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A new look

Mayor Scott Avedisian and Ward 6 Councilwoman Donna Travis recently stopped for a photo at the

at the “gateway” sign that welcomes people to Oakland Beach. The sign was paid for through a $2,500 grant from the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. They also visited the Oakland Beach seawall, where a sign was recently erected as part of the mayor’s “village sign” project, which highlights the unique characteristics of Warwick’s neighborhoods and villages. Each of the white, rectangular, metallic signs, measuring 2 feet by 4 feet, bears a standard masthead of the city seal with the logo, “Celebrating Warwick’s History/Preserving Its Heritage.” The signs were produced in-house by Department of Public Works crews, especially Dave Barber, with materials paid for through the city’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Development, whose budget is funded with hotel tax money, not taxpayer dollars. (Submitted photo)

35 comments on this item

The dynamic duo who have driven Warwick into bankruptcy.

Dear "FedUp": The dynamic duo who have driven Warwick into bankruptcy? I recently read in The Beacon that the City of Warwick was going to end up with a surplus! You should read the article. If you are so "fed up", then why don't you move along, say to Florida?

Why don't Scottie and Donna move to Florida and let the hard working taxpayers keep their homes with out their incessant tax increases . Car tax increase anyone.

JW....why don't you ask Scottie how much has he put aside for unfunded city retiree healthcare this year. After Scottie gives you an answer and make sure his answer can be verified then get back to me whether we had a surplus or not.

I read what The Beacon said. Maybe you should question where The Beacon got their information. Certainly, you trust what is appearing in The Beacon?

Jb....I don't believe the Beacon....it is run as a marketing arm for Avedisian.....suggest you call City Hall and find out how much our unfunded healthcare and pension costs are...ask Avedisian how we are going to pay for them...if Avedisian was running a corporation the SEC would arrest him for deception.

If you do not believe The Warwick Beacon, then why read it? You read it in order to be able to complain, like you do all the time. Why don't you, since you probably have more time than me, make an appointment and sit down with the Mayor? Then get back to me. Do you know how much our unfunded healthcare and pension costs are? If so, share it with all of us.

JB......my thought is you work for the city so you have plenty of time on your hands whereas I work in private industry where you are held accountable....i won't sit down with the Avedisian because he couldn't tell an honest story if he wanted to...the city unfunded obligations are over $600 million...that's right over $600 million.

I stand by my assertion i.e. Avedisian and Travis have bankrupted the city.

For your information, I DO NOT work for the city but support the City of Warwick. I am self-employed and pay my fair share of taxes. If I worked for the City of Warwick, I would probably know the answer you quoted above. Wonder where you got your numbers,

More hot air from Rob uh I mean Fed Up. Didnt make florida Yet? DOwn there there are tons of storm drains to dump all your hazardous waste down. FEDUP = HOT AIR and NO FACTS.

Hey Steve - is "FedUp" Rob Cote? I thought he was "The Captain"?

JB and Stevie D.....2 city workers who won't answer the unfunded pension and healthcare question....like Scottie clueless...

As I told you before, I do not work for the City of Warwick. What part do you not understand?

Steve D...I didn't get a flyer from Dave's this week and I know you and other firefighters know it well because you take the city fire trucks there all the time....JB...you and Stevie still refuse to answer the question what is the city unfunded healthcare and pension costs are....you avoid while asking who captain is etc. avoid...avoid....avoid...just like your empty suit hero scottie.

Hey FedUp - I am not refusing to answer the question what the City unfunded healthcare and pension costs are because you gave what you think is the right answer. If you are so worried about the figure you quoted, then why don't you bring it up at the next City Council meeting? As far as firefighters shopping for THEIR food for the firehouse, just when do you think they should shop? No one else has complained about this except you. If you notice the firefighters shopping, they usually carry hand-held baskets, just enough for a few days. You just never know if they have an emergency and would not want to waste good food bought beyond a few days. It is my recollection that the firefighters pay for their own food. The Mayor is not my hero - I respect him and hope that he continues to run the City in the way it has been run. If you do not like his way, then you have the option to leave!

JB....you finally admit that you and Steve D are firemen....something we always knew...have a vested interest in Warwick's pending bankruptcy....should be interesting when all the hardworking private industry homeowners leave make sure you have Scottie and Donna numbers and ask them why your retirement checks are bouncing...we that have left will be laughing and tell you we told you so but you didn't want to listen

FedUp - Don't know where you got your information from, but as I stated above, I am SELF-EMPLOYED. I am not a City of Warwick employee. You really should read before you speak. Go back to school!

JB....you can't take the heat like all city workers....you like them always start with the invectives but still don't answer how the taxpayers are going to pay for the unfunded healthcare and pension benefits Donna and Scottie have given us.

It must be their intelligence level.

FedUp - if you know how the taxpayes are going to pay for the unfunded healthcae and pension benefits, please share this with all of us. As I previously stated, I am SELF-EMPLOYED. I would love to know where you got your numbers. I look forward to hearing you speak at the next Council meeting. No excuses. You might want to take a language class in order to learn how to write complete sentences. You do ramble quite a bit. See you at the next Counil meeting.

Here are the facts on Warwick's debt taken from official city actuarial reports:

Benefit Plan Actuarial Accrued Liability

Police/Fire I Pension $311,707,868

Police II Pension $162,563,786

Fire II Pension $31,782,763

Municipal Pension $122,721,770

OPEB (Healthcare) $283,220,644

Total $911,996,831

Police/Fire I Pension $311,707,868

Police II Pension $162,563,786

Fire II Pension $31,782,763

Municipal Pension $122,721,770

OPEB (Healthcare) $283,220,644

Total $911,996,831

Here are the facts on Warwick's debt taken from official city actuarial reports: FedUp1 is correct.

Benefit Plan Actuarial Accrued Liability

Police/Fire I Pension $311,707,868

Police II Pension $162,563,786

Fire II Pension $ 31,782,763

Municipal Pension $122,721,770

OPEB (Healthcare) $283,220,644

Total Liability $911,996,83 (Almost a billion dollars)

Benefit Plan Unfunded Actuarial Accrued Liability

Police/Fire I Pension $242,127,650

Police II Pension $ 21,919,185

Fire II Pension $ 7,000,937

Municipal Pension $ 35,661,201

OPEB (Healthcare) $283,220,644

Total $589,929,617

Property Tax funding to city budget

2004 $64,325,034

2005 $60,618,869

2006 $66,217,216

2007 $63,926,230

2008 $67,056,675

2009 $76,149,571

2010 $78,525,638

2011 $79,566,667

2012 $94,142,096

2013 $97,658,368

Property TAx funding to Schools

2004 $97,641,524

2005 $100,917,997

2006 $103,546,399

2007 $113,126,355

2008 $118,064,827

2009 $118,064,827

2010 $123,968,468

2011 $125,010,374

2012 $118,644,632

2013 $118,644,632

Since 2007 local tax dollars to support the Warwick school budget has increased only $5.5 million or 4.9 percent overall, while the city budget has increased by $33.7 million or 52.8 percent overall. In 2007 64% of budget was allocated to schools - today 55% to schools - 45 to city. So you can't blame schools for the tax increases over the last 5 years.

The city side of the budget is out of control.

And for those who work for the city, think about this fact. Even through there were no raises this year for city employees and employees are paying more for healthcare and the school budget was level funded, over $3.5 million more in local tax dollars is needed for city spending.

If you don't realize there is a problem with the city budget, keep on believing the Mayor and the city council. In the very near future with the exploding retiree cost requiring more and more of new tax dollars, it is going to be very difficult to budget for raises for active employees.

BobCushman - glad to see some numbers. Way to go!

JB and Steve D.....Bob Cushman gave you the numbers that Scottie and Donna refuse to...tell me what your solutions are because the taxpayers won't pay for them.

Whats sad is when this does blow up, Lt. Govenor Avedisian won't be around. And city workers will rant about how the politicians are to blame, and that they never saw it coming. And it will be up to Mayor Cushman to fix the city.

FedUp - what are your solutions? I have to digest all of the numbers. Mayor Cushman? There are certainly other people in Warwick more qualified. Thanks for the info.

JB...the solutions are simple....follow Mayor Fung and suspend Cola's for the police and fire pensions....eliminate retiree healthcare....those are just starters that Mayor Cushman can implement.

For the last ten years its been like I have been perched in the crows nest on the Titanic yelling iceberg read ahead. No one cares, its full stream ahead in Warwick.

I could solve the financial problems in Warwick as mayor but why would I want to leave a job in private industry that pays more than mayor and doesn't involved dealing with self serving dim wits who really don't care how many people they ultimately hurt in the future.

Rather, I tried and know that I only have so many more peak earning years ahead, my plans are to build a comfortable nest egg for myself and plan to take up residency in a more tax friendly state then RI.

I'm not going to get stuck paying when Warwick and cities throughout RI begin to fail after slamming straight ahead into the proverbial fiscal iceberg of legacy costs associated with retired municipal benefits that can never be paid for.

To JW, based on your dialog I am assured you by no means are qualified to serve on an advisory committee let alone mayor or city council for that matter.

As someone who is self employed you should know first hand the difference in the price you pay for personal healthcare and what public sector employees pay and the difference in benefits.

Please do alittle more homework before you cast dispersions on my qualifications.

To Bob Cushman - I have read your qualifications. You admit that you are better off in your job in private industry. I agree. I, too, being self-employed, am completely happy where I am. Let others handle the politics, since I am not interested in a political career. However, just like others, I am interested in what is going on in the City of Warwick and will continue to let my voice be heard, whether people like it or not. Let that be said. Homework done and finished.

JW: I wasn't aware that I had posted my qualifications for you to read. Doesn't seem that you are too interested in the City of Warwick since you know little about the major issues affecting the city and rely on the Beacon for your source of information.

Do you understand how damaging the mayor and city council's policies will be on the long-term health of the city, the employees and the home and business owners?

BTW, how is posting on a local paper web site, that hardly anyone reads, with an assumed name, letting your voice be heard? If you want your voice to be heard state who you are and get more involved.

If you are interested, and I am obsolutly serious about this, I would be happy to sit down with you or anyone else and provide an overview of the budgetary problems facing this city. Knowledge is power and the more people and city employees understand what is going on fiscally in the city and schools the more they will realize we are all facing some serious problems in the near future.

The alternative, keep believing what the short term city leaders are telling you and hope when they are long gone, after they have padded their pockets, collecting their lifetime healthcare and a pension for 6 years in elected office that they were telling the truth.

Jwbutler is Joel Butler woks for the DPW

Stevie D. Is Steve Desmarias WFD. (pardon is that is the wrong spelling Steve.

Bob - I have been a lifelong resident of Warwick and know and have known issues concerning Warwick. I enjoy reading The Beacon but do not rely on it completely concerning my decision making. That is why the City has hearings. Any politician (past/present) is subject to their personal information, political history, etc. being available to the public. It has as far back as I can remember. Can't wait for the election! Hope to hear from you after that date.

Thecaptain - If I am SELF-EMPLOYED, then how can I be a DPW worker? Do not even know Joel Butler. He is not related to me! Do not know Steve the fireman. Check your information more carefully.

Bob - I have a councilman and have sat down with him. Feel very confident with him.

oh guys...cushman and cote.....lets set the record straight.. jwbutler51 isn't joel butler, a dpw worker. jwbutler51 is joyce (winstead) butler, the owner of winstead's marina on tiffany ave in warwick neck. joyce, own up to who you are and play hardball. check out her face book page. ken naylor is one of her friends. oh, and she's a proud graduate of "katherine gibbs, 71" lol.

john howell, you're welcome!

oops, forgot something. she's also lies. she hasn't been a lifelong resident of warwick. she moved back when her father died a few years ago and took over the business. she was gone.....let's say....for about 35 years. joyce, don't lie.

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