To the Editor,
At the April 4, 2022 Finance Committee meeting, Robert Cote once again scripted another unfounded accusation at Mayor Picozzi’s administration, the Warwick Fire Department and …
To the Editor,
At the April 4, 2022 Finance Committee meeting, Robert Cote once again scripted another unfounded accusation at Mayor Picozzi’s administration, the Warwick Fire Department and the City Council Finance Committee. His accusation of “corrupt practices” concerning a firefighter promotion test bid was immediately joined by one term councilman Robert Cushman.
Mr. Cushman states in his letter to the editor on 4/7/22, Beacon, “Mayor, Council turn a blind eye” and “The members of the Finance Committee never even thought of questioning the bid is troubling but commonplace.” I must take a moment to remind Mr. Cushman of his past voting record on this practice. I have been told by past council members the practice of voting on unidentified vendors has been a common practice since 2002. Used routinely on uniformed promotional exams, this practice was very much commonplace while he served on the council. Mr. Cushman served one term on the council from 2007-2009 and voted in favor of un-identified bids at least a total of 6 times (Bids #2007-344A & #2007-344B, PCR 77-08 Amended). He voted in favor while on the Finance Committee and again at the full council vote. Mr. Cushman, “turned a blind eye” when he had his chance to change the practice.
Mr. Cushman has gotten so used to showing outrage when instructed by Mr. Cote, he conveniently ignores his own past actions.
As a member of the Finance Committee from 2017 to 2021, then chaired by Councilman Ladoucuer, we reviewed, voted on and approved unidentified bids presented to the committee. There was never an issue. Since 2007, Mr. Cote didn’t see them as “problematic”, and therefore, neither did Mr. Cushman.
Moving forward, Mayor Picozzi has announced the administration will no longer present unidentified bids to the council. The Finance Committee will continue our diligence in reviewing the bids and we will continue to do so in a respectful, organized, professional manner.
I write this letter because I am very proud of the work and attention to detail of this Finance Committee. Councilman Vinny Gebhart and Councilman Bill Foley have shown great detail to all bids and items that come before our committee and have conducted themselves and those who come before our committee in the most professional manner. Furthermore, the Picozzi administration and city directors have presented all bids with complete descriptions and explanations of expenditures. When the committee has questions, we do not wait and attack the presenters in the chambers, but call and give them an opportunity to explain, correct or withdraw. With respect. It’s what the citizens of Warwick, including our families, deserve.
Warwick City Council, Ward 3
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