City Council Majority Whip and Chairman of the Committee on Finance John J. Igliozzi, Esq. (Ward 7) has called for a meeting of the Committee on Finance to discuss Mayor Elorza’s plan to reopen our municipal government on Monday, June 1, at 5:00 PM via remote teleconference.
“It’s time to bring our City staff and offices back online safely and efficiently,” stated Chairman John J. Igliozzi, Esq. “A large percentage of our workforce has been idle, and not performing at full capacity. Over the past month, we have held almost daily Finance Committee meetings regarding the City’s budget and finances. The Committee has learned that the City is paying a large percentage of its employees for work that they are not able to do – at no fault of their own. There is no doubt that this pandemic has changed how we all live and work, but the City has had three months to take actionable steps to ensure that city services are being carried out. The administration did not provide modern technology to many of our employees, like call forwarding, laptops, or Wi-Fi hot spots. These simple steps would have allowed for city services to be done remotely and efficiently. At Monday’s meeting, the Committee expects the administration to provide an actionable plan of how they are going to safely and efficiently bring our employees back online and do the work that our taxpayers expect us to do whether that be remotely or in-person.”
City Hall and most other city-owned buildings have been closed to the public and non-essential staff since Saturday, March 14. During this time, residents have not been able to access city departments as they normally would. The City Council nor the Committee on Finance has been noticed on what the plans are to reopen city buildings and how the administration plans to bring back staff that is safe and manageable during the phased reopening process as put forth by Governor Raimondo.
Vice-Chairwoman of the Committee on Finance and City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan (Ward 5) stated, “It is imperative that we get back to work, but we also must be able to ensure the safety of our city’s workforce. We have several offices that were able to pivot and work remotely, but not everything can be done online. We need to understand what the plans are to reopen the City because absent a comprehensive plan we are putting the health of our employees at risk. I look forward to hearing from the administration as to how they will be bringing back our workers safely and the measures they are putting in place to keep both our employees and visitors alike safe from the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
The Committee on Finance will meet Monday, June 1, at 5:00 PM via Zoom. Members of the public are able to join the Zoom meeting either by phone or computer or watch on the City Council’s YouTube Channel. The information for Monday’s meeting can be found below:
Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
Please click this URL to join the meeting: https://zoom.us/j/98023635365
Or join by phone – Dial: US: 1-646-876-9923 or 1-877-853-5257 (Toll-Free)
Webinar ID: 980 2363 5365
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/adDcs7QB17
Meetings are also streamed live on the City Council’s YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/pvdmeetings. Please refresh your browser every minute or two until the meeting starts.