Monday, November 19, 2012
The postcard approved at a meeting Oct. 25 has since become a source of citizen complaints to the state Attorney General and the state Board of Elections.
At a meeting Thursday, East Greenwich Fire District Commissioners re-voted a decision made to mail a postcard to residents that outlined reasons why the district should remain autonomous. It was their first meeting since the election Nov. 6 that approved a nonbinding resolution calling for the merger of the fire district and the town. Currently, the town and the fire district are two separate governmental entities. The vote was 3-1 in favor of sending the postcard, with Commissioner Mark Gee casting the sole no vote, as he had in the original vote on Oct. 25. Commissioner Mark Schwager, who had voted in favor on Oct. 25, did not attend the Nov. 15 meeting. According EGFD lawyer Scott Spear, the re-vote was put on the agenda at his …
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Voters approved the nonbinding ballot referendum asking if the Town and the Fire District should merge by an overwhelming majority on Tuesday – 4,425 to 2,239.
Officials are pondering how to move forward after voters Tuesday approved the idea of merging the EG Fire District with the Town. The ballot question was not binding, since by state law any such change needs to be made by the General Assembly. Three of the five Fire Commissioners came out against merging the District with the Town, including board Chairman Bill Daly. “We didn’t really get the chance to get the word out,” he said. Still, said Daly, “we’re going to cooperate. I think we’ll present our point of view.” Town Manager Bill Sequino said the referendum passed “more overwhelming” than he he thought it would. As for what to do now, Sequino said, “I think the Council and the Fire District should get together.” Sequino said many …
Friday, October 19, 2012
Some outtakes from Monday's forum with the Town Council and the Fire Commissioners on whether merging fire service with the town is the way to go.
They met, they discussed, and, for the most part, anyway, they disagreed at Monday night's forum on the Fire District and whether or not it should be merged with the town. Four out of five Town Council members favor the nonbinding ballot referendum promoting a merger. Three out of five Fire Commissioners are strongly against that idea. They met Monday with the public to discuss. About 30 residents came out for the forum. The video here features Town Councilor Jeff Cianciolo and a handful of citizen speakers.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
About 30 residents turned out to hear members of the Town Council and Fire Commissioners make their case for or against the nonbinding ballot question about merging FD with the town, and to ask questions of their own.
The forum Monday night hosted by the Town Council and the Fire District Commissioners brought out two different visions of the future of fire service for the town, with members of both panels on both sides of the issue. The forum was held to explore the nonbinding referendum question that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot: Are you in favor of merging the East Greenwich Fire District into the Town of East Greenwich, the result of which would be that the Town would maintain a municipal fire department and the separate Fire District would cease to exist? Town Councilor Jeff Cianciolo – the one who proposed the idea of the ballot question in July – spoke first. "This town has two governments," he said. The Town of EG has a lengthy and …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Town Council votes 3-1 in favor of putting the non-binding referendum on the ballot despite some vocal dissent.
After some heated discussion, the Town Council voted 3-1 to add a nonbinding referendum question to the November ballot that would ask voters if they thought the town and fire district should merge. Councilman Mike Kiernan voted against the plan. “The knee-jerk reaction is going to be, “Of course we should merge,” Kiernan said during the debate. “This question on its face is biased.… it doesn’t provide the detail needed.” “Why do we have two separate, independent governments for a town of 13,000?” countered Cianciolo. “Placing this referendum on the ballot is, number one, an opportunity to educate the people about how their town runs. We’ll also get their opinion.” Fire Commissioner Chairman Steve Bartlett told council members the issue …