By ALEX MALM
Cranston and Providence are among municipalities where the council has the power of “advice and consent” for Mayoral appointments of directors and department …
By ALEX MALM
Cranston and Providence are among municipalities where the council has the power of “advice and consent” for Mayoral appointments of directors and department heads.
Jeremy Rix thinks that should be the case in Warwick, too.
On Monday the Ward 2 Councilman docketed a resolution which asking the General Assembly to put a question on the November ballot giving similar powers to the City Council in Warwick.
“This is about checks and balances for our government in the long-term,” said Rix. “It's not about one Mayor or one City Council; it's about having a more balanced system in the future. Good government isn't just having good people, the process matters too.”
Mayor Frank Picozzi plans to fight it.
“I’m completely against it for a lot of reasons,” he said Tuesday.
Picozzi believes council approval would create a political process.
“Lincoln Chafee or Scott Avedisian wouldn’t ever been able to hire a director,” said Picozzi. Chafee and Avedisian were Republican mayors faced with a council run by Democrats.
In fact, Picozzi, an Independent with an all Democratic City Council said his relationship with the legislative branch didn’t start off on a positive note. Only after working together has that changed. Because of that fact he thinks he would’ve run into trouble when naming directors to his administration.
“I’m not sure they would’ve approved everything I wanted,” said Picozzi.
If subject to council approval Picozzi reasoned potential candidates for a job may be reluctant to apply since their current employer would learn they are considering another job.
“What happens if you don’t get the job,” asked Picozzi.
One example of this happening was in Cranston when the Council voted on party lines against Mayor Ken Hopkins' choice to fill the vacant Finance Director position.
“The mayor has to have full confidence in the people he hires,” said Picozzi.
In Picozzi’s case he said that he would’ve had to wait for the Council to approve his director positions after being elected in November 2020. He said that he didn’t have a campaign staff and had to go out and find his staff after being elected.
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