EAST PROVIDENCE — The most noteworthy item to come from the Thursday, Aug. 9, East Providence Budget Commission in Room 306 at City Hall was the recommendation and hiring of Malcolm A. Moore for the position of consolidated Finance Director. The motion was approved on consensus of the five-person governing body.
Mr. Moore will oversee the fiscal activities of both the city and the school department. He comes to East Providence from his most recent position as interim Town Manager for West Warwick.
Commission member and City Manager Peter Graczykowski termed the search for a new finance director exhaustive and thorough.
He later added after the conclusion of Thursday’s proceedings, “I’m very excited to have Mr. Moore on board. I think we’re very fortunate to have him considering the depth of understanding he has of the issues the city faces coming from his position as interim Town Manager in West Warwick. He’s going to be a great asset to East Providence.”
Mr. Graczykowski recommended Mr. Moore working in concert with interim Human Resources Director Heather Martino and a small search committee, which also included former interim School Superintendent Edward Daft. In this consolidated position, Mr. Moore will report both to the City Manager, Mr. Graczykowski, and new interim School Superintendent John DeGoes, himself formally introduced to the Commission by Chairman Diane Brennan and who attended his first meeting of the body Thursday.
Mr. Moore, who attended Thursday’s meeting with his wife, will spend a period of transition working with interim Finance Director John Cimino. It was also recommended by Mr. Graczykowski and Ms. Martino that Mr. Moore be hired at a newly created pay grade and at its top step. In this specific case the new Finance Director will earn approximately $112, 210 per year.
More meeting notes
- Commission legal counsel Karen Grande and a representative from the First Southwest Company, financial consultants located here locally in Lincoln, gave some good news on the borrowing front.
- Ms. Grande told the Commission an extension of school construction Bond Anticipation Notes, in the sum of $6 million, had been worked out with Bank of America, which backed the bonds. Following a recent review by Moody’s rating agency, this extension will allow the city to finance the repayment of the bonds at a lower rate of interest.
- Ms. Grande also led the Commission through a review of the contracts to be signed with OCI Solar Power LLC for the leasing of the old Forbes Street landfill site. The contracts have been revised with several of the changes made in the city’s favor, according to Ms. Grande. East Providence gained assurances against any damage to the property and against any liability claims as well as guarantees in the amount of rental and tax payments it will receive. The Commission approved the contract.
- At the request of Mr. Graczykowski and Ms. Martino, the Commission agreed to a measure to hire Human Resources support staff on an as-need basis. Specifically, former East Providence Personnel Director Ray Benoit will be brought back to help Ms. Martino with contract-mandated promotion exams throughout the city’s departments. Mr. Benoit, who retired in 2009, can return for a maximum of 75 days. The financial impact of the hire on the Fiscal Year 2012 budget could be as much as $14,800.
- After some prodding by Commission member and former Chair Michael O’Keefe, the body gave approval to a revised first reading of an ordinance that would promote the hiring of post 9/11 Veterans “in accordance with the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.” Part of the city seeking funds from the SAFER Grant, the ordinance originally included just the fire and police departments in its wording. Mr. O’Keefe recommended that all openings in the city consider hiring veterans if qualified.
- The Commission also approved the city seeking of the aforementioned SAFER Grant, a federally funded program that would allow East Providence to hire 22 firefighters and return to full staffing. The eventual savings to the city would come from no loger needing to pay significant overtime to current EPFD staff.
- A Request for Proposal (RFP) submitted by Mr. Cimino to seek bids for external audit services for FY2012 through FY2014 was approved. As Mr. Cimino explained, Bacon & Co. has been the city’s outside auditor for the last three years and five overall. Per the State Auditor General’s office, contracts between municipalities can’t exceed three years and the East Providence City Charter mandates a change in auditors every five years.
- It came to light during discussions concerning the hiring of additional personnel that Ms. Martino’s last day on the job as interim HR director is going to be Aug. 23. Mr. Graczykowski updated the Commission on the search for a permanent replacement, saying a consensus could not be found among the search committee, which included former Interim Super Daft. And because Mr. DeGoes will also work closely with the person who fills this likewise consolidated position, Mr. Graczykowski said it was only fair for him to have a voice on the matter as well.
- The next Budget Commission meeting takes place Thursday, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m. in Room 306 at City Hall.