Monday, January 14, 2013
The town remains without a plan to close the unfunded liability gap.
Johnston’s pension plan is still in bad shape and is without a plan, reports the Johnston Sunrise. Rhode Island cities and towns that are listed in “critical” status were asked to submit a plan by Nov. 11. Now two months later, Mayor Joseph Polisena said it will be another two to three weeks before they have something in place, reports the Sunrise. The town has a growing $96 million unfunded pension liability and another $229 million unfunded liability for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB). Rhode Island law requires that local pensions be funded at 60 percent. Johnston, at 30 percent funded, is at half the required level. To read the full article, click here.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
The three-term incumbent spoke about the upcoming race, his opponent, and his record during an interview with JohnstonPatch.
Following his formal reelection bid announcement on Sept. 27, Mayor Joseph Polisena hosted JohnstonPatch for an interview at Johnston Town Hall covering his accomplishments as mayor, the work he feels is still ahead, and his opponent in the race, Peter Filippi. We've transcribed excerpts from the coversation below. Making the announcement, campaign message: We had over 150 people show up, which was great — volunteers and supporters — and we had Sen. Whitehouse and Sen. Reed and several other state dignitaries. We're moving forward — I think the town has come around since I took office in 2007, our economic development has exceeded my expectations, we're looking at $550 million in new business. I know people say "you keep saying that …
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The town council heard a presentation of the audit for fiscal 2011 at its meeting on Feb. 13.
How often have you heard words like "strong financial position" and "surplus" about municipal budgets these days? Auditor Bob Civetti used just those words — and other such positive terms — in describing the results of his firm's audit of the town's fiscal 2011 budget to the town council on Feb. 13. [A copy of the 2011 audit is attached to this article.] At the council session, held at the municipal court, Civetti announced that the town finished the prior fiscal year — which ran July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 — with a combined $842,000 surplus, including both town and school operations. When added to prior years' budget results, the town now has a combined $7.2 million surplus, with the town holding about $5.9 million in reserve — …
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The House and Senate finance committees pass the reform plan proposed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo.
- On wpri.com
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Check out a sampling of reader comments on Patch sites throughout the region.
Johnston: "[Mayor Joseph] Polisena is right about adding the municipal pensions to the reform bill. That section should be removed and let these pension plans be dealt with by the municipalities who created the mess." — Im Tired of the Games, commenting on Cities Seek Right to Suspend COLAs Coventry: "Kudos to the Coventry Planning Department and the Land Trust for making this happen!" — Ken, commenting on Town To Aquire 175 Acres of Open Space Cranston: "Not paying what you owe is the same as stealing...someone else will need to make up for that lost revenue." — Joe Richer, commenting on Eleven Cranston Taxpayers on RI's List of Tax Delinquents East Greenwich: "It's nice to read a piece with positive economic news!" — Deb Mercer, …
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The state General Treasurer addressed the joint House and Senate Finance Committees Tuesday evening.
The pension reform plan will "solve the problem once and for all," ending decades of unfunded pension plans leading up to the current crisis, according to General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. The treasurer defended the plan she and Gov. Lincoln Chafee crafted before the joint House and Senate Finance Committees Tuesday evening. She told the legislators she and her staff spent countless hours vetting the legislation and poring over the state's historic pension numbers to come to a bill she said saves Rhode Islanders billions of dollars, provides security for retirees, and ensures the pension system will never reach crisis level again. "The system we have proposed is fair," Raimondo said. "This bill will solve the problem once and for all. If we…
The mayors of Cranston and Providence asked the Legislature to amend the pension reform to prevent bankrupting municipalities.
When considering whether to move to a city or town, potential residents most often look at the quality of the school system as the key determinant. An educated buyer, according to state Auditor General Ernest Almonte, will add another criteria: the unfunded liability. While the state is certainly facing a pension crisis that threatens to derail its economy, cities and towns are looking at an even worse problem, Almonte told the joint House and Senate Finance Committees as hearings on the pension reform proposed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo continued Tuesday. Municipal employees and retirees who are not part of the state Municipal Employee Retirement System face an even larger unfunded liability than those who …
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Johnston Mayor Joseph M. Polisena said a state bill would force huge tax increases for local communities.
With the Rhode Island General Assembly continuing its hearings today on a pension overhaul proposal by Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Mayor Joseph M. Polisena said part of the legislation — which he said would force cities and towns to raise taxes — should be taken out of the bill. "They're calling it a 'carrot and stick approach' — I say it's the onion and the stick, because it's going to make us cry," Polisena said during a phone interview from Town Hall on Oct. 26, the first day of hearings on the pension reform bill. "I've got to come up with 5 million additional dollars a year over 10 years if this passes." Under the bills — House Bill 2011-H-6319 and Senate Bill 2011-S-1111 — cities and towns would be required to …
Paul Valletta Jr., president of Cranston Fire Fighters Local 1363, accused Treasurer Gina Raimondo with "cooking the books" to push through pension reform.
The head of the Cranston Firefighter's union accused General Treasurer Gina Raimondo of “cooking the books,” lying to the General Assembly in an attempt to push through pension reform. Paul Valletta, President of the Cranston Fire Fighters Local 1363, who was introduced as representing the Rhode Island Association of Firefighters, said Raimondo created an artificial crisis where there is none in the pension system in order to convince legislators and residents that “draconian” changes were needed in the state pension system. “The General Treasurer cooked the books on this issue,” Valletta told the joint House and Senate Finance Committees Thursday. “This is not a crisis; it’s a problem. She created the pension problem and dropped it in …
Monday, October 24, 2011
The town's Retirement Board voted to send four of five firefighter pensions to the state's retirement commission.
At its Oct. 24 meeting, the Johnston Retirement Board voted to refer four of five firefighter pensions to the state's retirement panel, and withheld a decision on a fifth. During the meeting held at the senior center, the board decided to send the pensions of Fire Chief Victor H. Cipriano, and firefighters Henry J. Albanese III, Anthony M. Cappelli, and Paul Delvecchio to the state retirement commission for review, and to table a decision on the pension awarded to the late Timothy Grissom, which his widow, Claudette, is collecting. At issue was whether the pensions for the retired firefighters had been awarded properly; attorney Joseph Rodio Jr. told the committee that the four pensions had not been approved by the state, as required by …