Sabina Matos, Ward 15, the putative incoming City Council President has requested that the January 3, 2019 meeting, which would be the last meeting for the current term be canceled. The new council will be sworn-in on Monday, January 7, 2019 at noon.
It is somewhat unprecedented to hold a January meeting on the eve of ushering in a new class of City Councilors. Matos stated, “Out of deference to the four new members being sworn-in on January 7, 2019, precedent compels the Council to defer taking up new business just days before they are to be sworn-in. The January 3, 2019 agenda includes ratification of long-term multi-year contracts affecting thousands of city employees, and appointments that should be fully vetted. To convene beforehand, would be uncharacteristic, given past practice, to have an outgoing Council deliberate on such important matters.”
The full Providence City Council regularly meets the first and third Thursdays of the month.
Jo-Ann Ryan, Majority Whip, Ward 5 said, “With the swearing-in of the new Council scheduled for Monday, January 7, 2019, a majority of the Council thought it best to wait these few short days, to allow the new members to be seated, before voting on these important matters.”
Ryan continued, “Since the current charter was adopted in 1980, early January meetings being held within a week of a new Council being sworn-in are a rarity. The last time a first Thursday arrived before the first Monday swearing-in was 16 years ago in 2003 and the Council did not meet. Prior to that, it was 1991 and the Council did meet, but it was for a special occasion. Former Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, Jr., who had also served as Council President lost in the Democratic primary for governor the previous September and delivered a farewell address to the body.”