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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