Councilman David Salvatore has been a member of the Providence City Council since 2010. He represents the neighborhoods Elmhurst and Wanskuck neighborhoods. Councilman Salvatore has been a strong advocate of financial and pension reform in the city. As the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Pension Sustainability during his first term, he oversaw the drafting of a report that made recommendations designed to stabilize the pension system and reduce the system’s unfunded liability.
Ward 14: Elmhurst and Wanskuck
Covering the neighborhoods of Elmhurst & Wanskuck, Ward 14 is located on the northwestern quadrant of the city. Here you'll find Providence College and the ever-popular LaSalle Bakery. The Wanskuck Historic District was once the location of a thriving mill village built along the West River. The mills have since closed but many of the buildings are still there, located, including The Wanskuck Public Library. This historic building is located on Veazie Street. The current building replaced the original library that was built by the Wanskuck Mill Company for its workers. Though the mill is closed, the library is still a going concern. In 1983, the historic district was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
T.F. Green Airports has been nominated Best Small Airport by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards
USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice Awards has nominated Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport for “Best Small Airport.” T.F. Green has reclaimed first place, and Councilman David Salvatore (Ward 14) would like to keep our state’s airport there.
“I’ve always loved flying out of our T.F. Green Airport, and apparently many others agree,” stated Councilman David Salvatore. “Having an airport that provides 22 direct flights to destinations across the country is imperative for our state and demonstrates to potential businesses that Rhode Island and Providence is just a short flight away. So, let’s show some love to the best airport in America by casting your vote today!”
To vote for T.F. Green Airport, participants should visit 10Best.com or follow this direct link to T.F. Green Airport’s page: http://bit.ly/votetfgreen. Votes can be cast daily until the contest concludes on January 13, 2020.
With the help of the City’s Internal Auditor, Councilman Salvatore discovered that a change to the Code of Ordinances in 2011 was never implemented by the Department of Public Works
Councilman David A. Salvatore (Ward 14) announced that the results of an audit he requested have revealed almost $31,000 in erroneous overcharges to city residents.
In October, Salvatore introduced an amendment to the Code of Ordinances that would help homeowners and tenants be better informed about their responsibilities when it comes to waste and recycle barrel offenses. Concurrently, he requested that the City’s Internal Auditor perform an audit on all fines issued during the period of July 28, 2011 through September 17, 2019.
“I was very surprised to discover such a significant number of erroneous fines imposed on city residents,” stated Councilman David A. Salvatore. “I want to thank the City’s Internal Auditor for her help and hard work on this project. These fines do add up for a homeowner struggling to make ends meet. An unexpected $50 fine is a big expense for some households, and it is not acceptable for the City to charge folks fines that are inaccurate.”
The report compiled by the Internal Auditor can be read on the City Council Website. During the time frame of the audit, 940 violations are eligible for a refund totaling $30,625.00. The report outlines the background and recommendations to the Department of Public Works (DPW), as well as DPW’s responses.
In summary, the Internal Auditor has made the following recommendations to DPW:
- Comply with the City Ordinances.
- Create a separate violation code for late removal of trash receptacles on violation tickets issued to residents.
- Create a database of tickets from issuance to final outcome.
- Create policies and procedures for issuance to final outcome.
- Create routes to physically monitor each neighborhood the day before and after garbage pickup.
- Review each violation to confirm that coding and dates are correct.
- Upon completion, reimburse all late violations, $25, $50, or $75 based on the penalties incurred due to lateness.
- Confirm violations from September 17, 2019 to present have charged correctly.
- Review vendor reports on a monthly basis for accuracy of coding.
- Educate the public on the City’s environmental ordinance.
The amendment to the Code of Ordinances proposed by Councilman Salvatore would change the fine structure as it relates to trash and recycle barrels being left out past the designated curfew. The first offense will be a warning, and all subsequent offenses will be tiered beginning with $25 for the second offense (first after warning), $50 for the third, and $100 for all subsequent fines – not to exceed $1,500.00 per calendar year. If a homeowner or tenant is fined four times or more, they will be considered a chronic violator and will be subject to appear before the Providence Municipal Court.
This Ordinance has been referred to the Committee on Ordinances; Councilman Salvatore hopes that the Committee will review this at their earliest convenience, particularly since this is causing such a burden on many of our residents.
Councilman Salvatore continued, “For too long, residents have not had a clear understanding of their responsibilities when it comes to the storage of their trash and recycle barrels. The fines to date have clearly not been consistent with the ordinance, and the amendment to the code will address that issue. This amendment will also educate residents who might not know the statute. In light of the Internal Auditor’s findings it is imperative that the City and the Committee on Ordinance react swiftly to right this egregious wrong. Further, it is important that each and every resident have clear and predictable knowledge of the workings of our City. Implementing a warning phase will help residents better understand their responsibilities for the storage of their trash and recycle bins.”
Councilman Salvatore and the Internal Auditor will work with the City’s Administration and possibly the General Treasurers Unclaimed Property Division to refund homeowners in the coming weeks.
City Council Leaders Introduced a Series of Measures to Expand Safety, Quality and Workforce Development in Construction
At tonight’s City Council meeting council leaders introduced a series of amendments to Chapters 14 and 21 of the Code of Ordinances. Together, these changes will create baseline standards for quality, safety, and workforce development in the construction industry.
Amendments to Chapter 14, introduced by Council President Matos, Councilor Pro Temp Correia, and Councilors Miller and Salvatore create a citywide construction contractor registration process that includes measures to prevent the misclassification of workers as temporary employees.
“Regulating contractors with a registration process protects the physical and economic health of our city residents,” stated Councilor Rachel M. Miller. “By and large, I believe contractors follow the law, but, in an industry that is notoriously hard to regulate, any company that is cutting corners affects the industry and affects the health and well-being of our community. As a community organizer in Providence, I saw three big problems in the industry: workers who had to fight for for their claim to unpaid wages, also known as wage theft; workers who were injured on the job only to find that their employer was illegally classifying their employment as 1099 (or contract work) leaving them with no recourse for workers’ compensation; and workers who worked for a contractor who disregarded health and safety training, not even requiring workers complete the most basic ten hour safety class, OSHA 10.”
The amendments to Chapter 14 require that a contractor who does over $100,000 in construction business per year register with the City’s Board of Licenses every two years. In order to successfully register, an applicant must not have recent wage and hour or health and safety violations. It also must be up to date on its taxes. The $100 fee collected every two years will support enforcement and monitoring of this new statute.
Amendments to Chapter 21, introduced by Council President Matos and Council Pro Tempore Correia strengthen provisions for workforce development through apprenticeship and set a wage standard for work completed with the support of Tax Stabilization Agreements.
“When we put public dollars to work in the form of tax stabilization agreements, we make a commitment to both the private developer and to the residents of the city,” said Council President Sabina Matos. “This is an opportunity to continue to strengthen our TSA policy to ensure that we are getting a return on that investment – in the form of new development and revitalized buildings and also an investment in our workforce. For many years, development tax treaties have required 100% apprenticeship utilization. Apprenticeship is the pathway that turns a one time job into a lifetime career. But, although the ordinance required it, there were still loopholes that allowed that provision to be disregarded. Tonight we’re introducing changes that strengthen apprenticeship requirements. Additionally, we’re setting a standard for competitive wages that will lift up the working women and men in the industry. The City Council believes that there’s always a possibility for a positive ripple effect in our neighborhoods when we pass a TSA, but with these changes, that possibility becomes a promise.”