I have 24 years of experience as a Finance and Accounting professional, including
5 years conducting financial audits and 15 years managing large global budgets in
excess of $400 million. Two things I have learned during this time is that there is
always more “fat” in a budget that can be cut and you cannot run a successful
business without planning for the future. The problem is you only find the “fat” by
asking questions, pushing back, and not just rubber stamping what you are given.
For the last couple of years, it has been an embarrassment to observe the lack of
ANY questions being asked by most of our city councilors; never mind tough
questions. Also disturbing, is the complete lack of reliance on any future planning
such as implementing a five-year plan.
When elected, I will bring finance and budget experience that is sorely lacking on
the current city council. This experience includes working collaboratively with
executives and multiple business functions to manage their expenses and budgets
as well as assisting them in building their businesses to run more efficiently for
future success. I also have experience working on healthcare contracts and
budgets. I have regularly worked hand in hand with actuaries in regard to Pension
and OPEB Plans.
Reducing the Tax Burden
Year after year, Warwick residents have endured property tax increase. . Last
year some residents had their property taxes increase double digits, nearly20% in
some cases. For Governor Francis residents, these property tax increases were on
top of outrageous sewer assessments. We need to find ways to ease the tax
burden on our residents. Electing city leaders who ask tough and informed
questions will increase budget transparency and improve expense management.
Our elected officials need to push for our city departments to run more effectively
and efficiently and find ways to drive more long term revenue into our city. When
elected, I will use my extensive experience with managing expenses and budgets
to strive to ease the tax burden on our residents.
Helping our Seniors, Veterans and Small Business Owners
With a constantly increasing tax burden and the economic impact of the Covid19
pandemic, our seniors, veterans and small business owners are struggling. Many
of our senior residents and disabled and older veterans are on fixed incomes and
cannot afford the out of control tax burden placed on them. Our city leaders need
to do more to help them, especially those who served our country in the military.
Small businesses -the centerpiece of our neighborhoods - are also struggling to
compete with their much larger competitors
When elected, I will advocate for increased tax exemptions and services for our
seniors and veterans as well as advocate for ways to make owning a business in
Warwick more affordable.
The residents of Ward 1 deserve an advocate in city hall who will fight for them
and be their voice on the city council. I have lived in Ward 1 for almost 40 years,
my family has lived here for 65 years. My wife, Beth, is a small business owner in
Ward 1 and we have a three-year-old daughter, Avery, who will be attending
Warwick schools in the near future. I am one of you! Our family is invested in the
future of Ward 1 and in the future of the City of Warwick. I have been attending
City Council and School Committee meetings for years. During the Budget
Meetings, I have asked questions and have not backed down when my questions
were not appreciated. During my professional career, I have had to support
businesses and get them the answers and information they needed in a timely
manner. When elected, I would do the same for the residents in my Ward. Your
city council person represents the people of Ward 1 first and foremost and the
rest of the city second. It has been backwards lately. When elected, I will fight for
the people of Ward 1, my neighbors for almost 40 years.
Making Education a Priority
Schools drive decisions on where families raise their families. There was once a
time when families were moving to Warwick for our schools. Sadly, that is no
longer the case. Years of city leadership and the City Council level funding our
schools has left them broken down and lacking the funding needed to provide
students the technology and programs they need and deserve. When elected, I
will meet with our state leaders who live in Warwick and Ward 1 to ask them to
look at the state funding formula. It makes no sense that Cranston gets 40% more
funding than Warwick. Also, I will look into the state mandate that when a
student transfers to another municipality’s school as part of the Pathways
Program that the full amount to fund that student in their home city is what
moves with the student. If it costs $19,000 to educate a student in Warwick and
$15,000 in North Kingstown, Warwick should send $15,000 to North Kingstown
not $19,000. Other municipalities should not be making money off Warwick
children transferring to their schools as part of the Pathways Program. Finally, we
as a city need to see where city funding could be diverted to the School System.
The city took money from the schools for years and spent it to fatten the city
budget. It is time to give some of that money back to the schools.
Improving Infrastructure and Recreational Facilities
Warwick’s infrastructure and recreational facilities are decaying from years of
neglect of routine maintenance. The bond to help repair the roads is a start, but
we must manage our budget so that we have the adequate funds to do the work
needed to maintain our roads and not use the paving budget as the slush fund
that it has become through the years.
We need updated and new recreational facilities for our children to play on that
are built in safe areas. The city should also explore building state of the art indoor
and outdoor recreation facilities that not only Warwick residents and children can
use, but can also generate revenue by renting the facilities out to other cities,
towns and organizations.
Home Rule Charter
Warwick is the only major city and one of only three cities or towns in Rhode
Island that does not have a Home Rule Charter. Warwick has a Legislative Charter.
Proposed amendments under a Legislative Charter need to go the State General
Assembly for approval. A Home Rule Charter would allow Warwick’s citizens to
approve proposed amendments. When elected, I will work to get Warwick a
Home Rule Charter.
Term limits help eliminate political corruption and politicians constantly worrying
about their political careers rather than doing what is best for their Ward and the
city. Term Limits also bring in new voices and ideas on a regular basis. I propose
the Mayor should have two consecutive four-year terms and City Council
members should have four consecutive two-year terms.