Briden is likely choice to lead new East Providence City Council


EAST PROVIDENCE — Inauguration for the incoming class of elected officials in East Providence takes place Monday evening, Dec. 3, and all indications are Ward 1's James Briden will be the choice to lead the next City Council.

Several sources have pegged Mr. Briden, the former City Solicitor in East Providence and Central Falls, as the person expected to be tabbed as the Council's president, which also comes with the ceremonial title of "mayor" and, of most importance, a seat on the Budget Commission.

The choice of Mr. Briden seems like a sensible one. Because of his past work as a solicitor, he has the most experience with parliamentary procedures and "Roberts Rules" of conducting meetings.

The lone incumbent to the Council, Ward 3's Thomas Rose, is also expected to remain as the so-called "assistant mayor," again a ceremonial title for what is in essence the vice president of the body.

In addition, sources indicate Tim Chapman, a Riverside resident who ran unsuccessfully for the State House of Representatives District 65 Democratic nomination late last summer, will be appointed as the new City Solicitor. Robert Craven is expected to be retained as one of the two assistant Solicitors, a position he'll hold with newcomer Greg Dias.

The selection of a solicitor staff, however, could be contingent upon a decision by the Budget Commission, which is currently considering merging all law-related activities of both the city and school department under one firm. School Committee solicitor Robert Silva is on retainer to handle department legal matters through the next calendar year.

Also of note, first-time office holder and At-Large representative Joel Monteiro is believed to be the choice as the new School Committee chairman.

The public is invited to the inauguration ceremony for the City Council and School Committee beginning at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers at 145 Taunton Ave.

The Honorable Maureen McKenna Goldberg, Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court will preside over the ceremony, swearing in the five Councilors — Mr. Rose, Mr. Briden, Chrissy Rossi, Helder Cunha and Tracy Capobianco — as well as the five School Committee members — Mr. Monteiro, Richard Pimentel, Tim Conley, Elizabeth Clupny and Anthony Ferreira. A reception will immediately follow in the lobby of City Hall.

The newly-sworn in Council holds the first official meeting of its term the following evening, Tuesday, Dec. 4, beginning at 7:30 also in the City Hall Chambers. The new School Committee's initial meeting is set for Tuesday, Dec. 11, at in the City Hall Chambers.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.