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East Providence City Council will vote to remove Graczykowski as City Manager

By   /   November 2, 2013  /   6 Comments

EAST PROVIDENCE — The late Friday afternoon, Nov. 1, release of the East Providence City Council docket for its upcoming meeting four days later, Nov. 5, includes a resolution to remove Peter Graczykowski from his position as City Manager.

The resolution, requested by Ward 2 Councilman Helder Cunha, reads that per City Charter, Mr. Graczykowski, appointed to the post on Sept. 21, 2011 and the hire approved by the previous Council on Oct. 4, 2011, can be removed without cause after one year on the job. This can be done by a simple majority vote (3-2) of the current Council.

A text message sent to Mr. Cunha seeking comment Saturday, Nov. 2, went unreturned.

Mr. Graczykowski, famously, does not have a contract, something he has often sought over the last year plus. He is considered an “at will” employee, whose services currently can be terminated at any point following the completion of his initial 12 months in the position.

He recently made what proved an unpopular decision to include a provision in the Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget draft to give himself and his top aides five-figures raises. The Council voted against the measure, instead approving two percent Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for all non-union city personnel.

The manager’s status has been the subject of much conjecture over the last several weeks, especially since a scathing letter written about Mr. Graczykowski’s job performance by State Police Superintendent Colonel Steven O’Donnell was leaked to the media. In the piece, Col. O’Donnell question the manager’s trustworthiness and ability to lead the city as its top public safety official.

Mr. Graczykowski also took heat from some quarters when he put East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares on administrative leave with the intent of removing him from that role in the spring of this year.

The manager’s attempt, which came just two weeks after the state-appointed Budget Commission ceded back control of city governance to local administrators, was thwarted when City Council President and Commission member James Briden request the return of the overseers, which State Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Galoogly granted. Within the last two weeks, Chief Tavares has filed a complaint against the city, citing a hostile work environment among other aspects.

The East Providence City Council meets for the first of two times in November on Tuesday, the fifth. The open session begins at 7:30 p.m. in the City Hall Chamber. The complete Nov. 5 Council docket can be viewed here…

 

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6 Comments

  1. Felixx says:

    If Steven O’Donnell wants to be able to review the city manager’s job performance, he should run for city council next year. Who is he to slander people? Cunha is looking to fire the manager without cause. That means for no reason or no reason he wants to answer to us taxpayers about. Let’s hope the rest of the council uses their brains and keeps this city out of another costly lawsuit. This city has paid for enough political firings. Shame on Biden for leaking the letters in the first place. Let the guy do his job without setting him up every five minutes. It’s tough to move this city forward when you have to look over your shoulder all the time. Wake up people. Don’t let the politics as usual in this city cost you more of your hard earned tax dollars.

    • O’Donnell’s evaluation of the situation is spot on. He didn’t evaluate the general performance of the city manager, he reported a series of inflammatory and inappropriate statements made by the city manager regarding law enforcement operations. This city manager is dangerous!

  2. Jake says:

    It was not the actions of the state police that causes this, only the poor performance mixed with bad judgement and actions by Peter Graczykowski, who from day one decided to side with certain people in this city.
    Mr. Graczykowski applied for many jobs knowing that the corruption would catch up to him, he did not/nor does he have the best interest of the city.
    Two of his closets ties are council people who took the 5th, why? If you have nothing to hide you would not need to take the 5th.
    It’s about time this chapter comes to a close for the good of this city so we can move forward. Thank you Councilman Cunha for realizing this.

  3. Lynn says:

    I don’t think it was ever determined WHO leaked the “letter” out but in my opinion, it was a good thing. If it was in fact Mayor Briden, GREAT JOB! There are too many questions regarding this city manager.

    Jake and Jason, you both are dead on with your thoughts.

    I thank councilman Cunha for doing this, it’s about time this city manager left and never looked back. He has helped put this city in shambles, created a nightmare at city hall and continues to align himself with all the wrong people.

    It’s about time this guy was on the hot seat himself.

  4. Felixx says:

    Funny you should mention shambles Lynn, because that is the term used for the club you are president of. With all your fire code violations, just how is it that you stay open? The shambles you speak of at city hall were created by years of political hacks running the city. Jobs for friends, underfunding the pension, you get the picture. Now all of a sudden we have a manager from outside the city with no hacks to put in and he’s doing a bad job? I suppose it’s all in how you look at it, right? Oh, and don’t forget to thank Councilman Cunha if we have to pay out on yet another law suit for someone who is fired with no good reason. I think the building official got somewhere around $500,000 and at least another $200,000 for the last city manager. Wasn’t Tommy around for the last city manager being fired too? He should be the voice of reason on this one. Will be interesting to see how everyone votes and who gets fired right after the manager. Agenda, agenda, agenda!

  5. Oh, I doubt he’ll sue. firstly, on what grounds? He’s an at-will employee with no contract. Secondly, I’m sure he doesn’t want the skeletons to come out with a lawsuit. After all he has to try to slither into another unsuspecting city or town.

    Felixx, please tell me how this City Manager got rid of the hacks? All he’s tried to do with personnel has been political in nature. He might have replaced the prior regime’s hacks with his own hacks but that’s all. In fact a lot of this started when he tried to get rid of the police chief that was appointed by the prior regime, with no cause. It’s only the Budget Commission that has managed to keep the hiring process as clean as possible.

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