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Welcome to the Providence City Council website.

Here you will find information about the activities and initiatives of the legislative branch of Providence’s government. From Council meetings to neighborhood meetings, the members of the City Council are committed to taking action to improve the quality of life for every Providence resident.

Providence has vast cultural, artistic, and historical assets, which the Council seeks to enhance as we move forward, conducting the business of the people with integrity, transparency, and efficiency.

We encourage you to get involved in your community, and to make your voices heard by your elected officials on the Council. We are here to serve.

Sincerely,
Providence City Council



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Tonight City Council President David A. Salvatore and Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune introduced an amendment in support of Providence’s policy to ensure in the fullest possible participation of firms owned and controlled by minorities (MBEs) or women (WBEs) in City-funded and -directed public construction programs, as well as in municipal purchases of goods and services.

 “Providence is a rich and diverse city, and more than half of our population is made up of women, so we should not be struggling to meet the 10% standard of doing business with MBEs and WBEs,” stated Council President David A. Salvatore.  “We have committed to ensuring that we hire local, diverse, and skilled companies to serve the needs of our city and these amendments help to make it easier to do so.”

The amendment reforms the long-dormant Commission on Minority and Women Business Development, codifying its powers and duties and properly establishing staggered terms for its members.  It also strengthens the role of the MBE/WBE Outreach Director,empowering that person to set internal Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) goals, track and report on MBE/WBE purchasing, conduct trainings for City staff, conduct outreach to MBEs/WBEs, establish and finally, adopt rules and regulations ensuring compliance and enforcement of the ordinance.

Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune stated, “As an immigrant, woman of color, and a mom to a daughter, it is imperative that we as elected officials work to lift up these local businesses that are run by minorities and women. Helping them find a path to success shows our children that we are committed to making our city a place where everyone can succeed despite the color of their skin, their sex, or their nation of origin.”

 

 

 

 

Council President’s audit of past contract uncovers shady deal, entered into by Luis Aponte and improperly circumventing competitive bidding process

 

(Providence, RI 7/24/2018) Even though the City of Providence launched an online Providence City Open Meetings Portal in 2013 to provide easy access to the City’s public meetings, a former City Council President ordered the City Clerk in January of 2016 to execute a contract giving GoLocalProv $3,000 a month to publish city meeting notices.

 

Current City Council President David A. Salvatore uncovered the strange arrangement as part of an audit of past city contracts. Salvatore is now calling on GoLocalProv to return approximately $67,500 in payments made to the digital news website, as the contract was apparently structured to circumvent the City’s competitive bidding process. Salvatore also pointed to an unusual provision of the deal that seems to suggest GoLocalProv would provide Aponte with “relevant information” and “consult” with him regularly.

 

“On its face, this contract seems deliberately crafted to avoid the City’s competitive bidding process. The contract goes beyond any traditional media buy, requiring the media outlet to keep the City in the loop about relevant information,” said Salvatore. “When you have the City paying for a service it doesn’t need, the deal appears to be set up to skirt city purchasing requirements, and the owner of the company is a former City Councilman who should know the rules, it raises serious questions as to whether this was a blatant attempt to defraud the City.”

 

Salvatore added, “For that reason, I am calling on GoLocalProv to return the funds it received from the City and make a full accounting of what kind of ‘relevant information’ it was providing to former Council President Aponte. Was he getting tipped off to stories related to Providence City Hall? Was there an understanding he would receive positive coverage in exchange for this contract? GoLocalProv needs to explain why it agreed to some sort of consultation deal as a part of what should have been a simple advertising contract.”

 

Under the City’s Code of Ordinances, “all contracts for purchase of materials, supplies, services, equipment and property on behalf of the city, the price of consideration of which shall exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) but amount to less than five thousand ($5,000.00) shall be made by the director of public property on the basis of three (3) or more informal competitive bids.” (Sec. 21-27) Salvatore noted that same section goes on to say any contracts “exceeding more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) shall be made by the boards of contract and supply on the basis of sealed bids.”

 

Salvatore said the contract contained traditional “Scope of Service” language but also included this unusual language:

 

“In order to effectively advocate the COMPANY’S interests, you have an affirmative obligation to cooperate with GoLocalProv during the course of this engagement.”

 

“In return, GoLocalProv agrees to keep COMPANY (the city) informed of relevant information and to consult with COMPANY regularly. Copies of significant correspondence, media coverage and relevant documents will be sent to COMPANY.”

 

For more information, please contact the City Council office at 401-521-7477.

Providence City Council’s Committee on Finance will hold a public hearing concerned with an ordinance amending Chapter 2017-10,Ordinance No.191 of the Providence Code of Ordinances, establishing a tax exemption and stabilization plan
for Dominion Manchester Street, Inc.  The hearing is scheduled for Monday, July 23, 2018, beginning a 5:00 PM and will be held in the Council Chambers located on the Third Floor of City Hall (25 Dorrance Street, Providence, RI).
 
If any person wishes to make public comment they are asked to sign-in prior to the 5:00 PM meeting start time. The Chamber will open on or around 4:30 PM and sign ups will begin at the same time.
 
Constituents who are unable to attend the public hearing can provide written testimony by mail or email to Lori L. Hagen, City Clerk: lhagen@providenceri.gov or City Clerk, 25 Dorrance Street, Room 311, Providence, RI 02903. (Please note, if you submit written testimony you are not required to appear or read your testimony at the public hearing.)
 
Offices and City Council Chambers are accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you are in need of interpreter services for the hearing impaired, please contact the Office of Neighborhood Services at 421-7768 not less than 48 hours in advance of the hearing date.
 

 

 

 

For over a year I have worked with constituents, various community groups, and our partners in city government here in Providence to bring about an ordinance that will reduce the dependence of single-use plastic bags in our state’s capital. I’m thrilled that Governor Raimondo is taking this bold action to move our state forward and exploring ways we can all lessen our reliance on single-use plastics. It’s imperative to our state’s economy and to future generations that we protect our oceans and waterways from the scourge of plastic pollution, and Governor Raimondo’s Executive Order will help achieve that end. I thank the Governor for her leadership on this important issue.