East Providence formally requests Budget Commission be abolished
EAST PROVIDENCE — The East Providence Post and eastbayri.com recently gained access to a letter penned on behalf of the city by Manager Peter Graczykowski formally requesting State Director of Revenue Rosemary Booth Gallogly to abolish the East Providence Budget Commission (EPBC) in a timely manner.
In the letter, dated Aug. 2, Mr. Graczykowski noted the accomplishments of the state overseers, including the five-year fiscal plan it implemented as well as the new bargaining agreements it forged with most of the city's employee unions.
In addition, Mr. Graczykowski wrote the Fiscal Year 2012 audit revealed an $8.7 million surplus, which immediately infuses the city's reserve fund set-aside recommended by the Commission and approved by the voters at the ballot box in November of 2012.
"The City respectfully requests your office makes the same determination in writing at your earliest convenience," Mr. Graczykowski wrote to Mrs. Gallogly asking her to concur with the call to abolish the Commission.
He later concluded, "The City appreciates the effort of the EPBC, your Department and City Council in restoring fiscal stability to East Providence. The East Providence Legislative Delegation is also acknowledged for ensuring passage of the meaningful amendments to the Fiscal Stability Act. Please do not hesitate to contact my office should (you) have further questions. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter."
Reached for comment through her office, Director Gallogly gave no indication of any decision she has or is about to make in response to Mr. Graczykowski's letter. Instead, the director pointed to the ongoing search to find a Municipal Finance Advisor (MFA), the liaison position created by the General Assembly this session in amending the Fiscal Stability Act.
Prospective candidates for the MFA position had until Friday afternoon, Aug. 9, to submit their resumes to the Department of Revenue for consideration.
The Budget Commission, of course, was abolished previously albeit briefly. The Commission stepped aside in late March of this year only to be reseated when Mr. Graczykowski attempted to relieve East Providence Police Chief Joseph Tavares of his duties in mid-April. Within days of his decision, Director Gallogly brought the Commission back for personnel matters, specifically.
"In response to the letters concerning the Budget Commission, the position of finance advisor has been posted and we are working diligently towards fulfilling the statutory requirements of the Fiscal Stability Act with respect to ongoing oversight," Mrs. Gallogly wrote in an email response sent to The Post via Budget Commission member and Revenue Department employee Christy Healey Thursday, Aug. 8.