Central Coventry Fire Union Officials Misleading Taxpayers, Says Rep. Morgan

Superior Court has been asked to release, before the March 26 vote, a currently undisclosed plan assuring fire protection and safety.


STATE HOUSE – State Representative Patricia Morgan (R-Coventry, West Warwick, Warwick) charged Wednesday that officials of the Central Coventry firefighter’s union were misleading taxpayers who are now being asked to accept a whopping 36% increase in their fire district taxes.

If that isn’t enough, this revised budget still does not deal with its $3.3 million debt, or lawsuits that could add millions more, she said.

“And now, taxpayers are being told by union officials that the scheduled vote on the Fire District budget is a choice between higher taxes or no fire services. Union President David Gorman was quoted in the Providence Journal on Tuesday, saying “There is no alternative to not approving this plan, other than the district shutting down and no longer providing essential emergency services to residents.”

“At best, his comments are deceptive. At worst, they are pure falsehoods. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Morgan.

“The Court overseeing this matter has focused all of its attention on the safety and protection of taxpayers. Part of the reason for a second vote on a budget was to ensure this.

“But there is a more detailed plan. Encouraged by the Court, four Coventry fire chiefs have designed and submitted a fire protection and safety plan for central Coventry. The residents of Central Coventry will be safe, regardless of what they decide. And they need to know it.

“The Court has the plan, the union knows it and the Special Master, Richard Land knows it. Their statements to the contrary are simply false.

“I believe that release of this plan is of extraordinary importance, and I have asked the Court to release the plan before the vote so taxpayers know they will not be left unprotected. 

“It is bad enough that the gross mismanagement of the Central Coventry Fire District has brought us to this place. But to memorialize it as a result of misleading information, and in effect tell taxpayers ‘Tough luck: you have no choice’ would be the real injustice here. 

“The Court has it within its power to ensure this does not happen, and I have asked the Court to act swiftly to create the environment in which a thoughtful, well-informed vote can take place,” said Morgan.

Rep. Morgan's letter to Judge Brian P. Stern is attached to this article.

Bones March 22, 2013 at 01:29 PM
Tic Toc Tic Toc Stop the BS its our life's your messing with.All we want is the truth.
John W. March 22, 2013 at 02:01 PM
CCFD could have come clean sometime ago, they didn't. They could have come together in good faith to correct it, they didn't & the Chief fled. The administration of the union needed to treat it as a business would, he didn't and he failed. A business would have made adjustments early when a problem comes to light, they waited till the ninth inning & their offering / remedy falls way short. There simply is a lack of trust, you can't blame the tax payers for that, and you can't believe a majority of our public officials. Unions show them the money and support then comes from their mouths. There should have been one meeting with all the true facts, and this could have been handled months ago. Who would want to buy a home or start or relocate to Coventry or Rhode Island ? Between the State & Coventry's corrupt politics our Town is gone.
chainsawman March 22, 2013 at 05:02 PM
I Think he is talking about Hopkins hill Fire who have an ongoing battle with the CCFD Firefighters.
NBK March 22, 2013 at 09:27 PM
My neighbor has needed emergency assistance, twice in the last 2 years. On each occasion that he called 911, the responding rescue came from E.G., not CCFD.We don't need any more lies. Special Master Land doesn;t deserve $225K. Let's vote "NO", and move foward. The only way I would agree to vote "yes", is if everyone associated with "CCFD" was fired.
bill g March 23, 2013 at 12:10 AM
I agree. If they were all canned I would vote Yes. If this budget passes can we have another re-do?
Gem101 March 24, 2013 at 01:28 PM
I am SO GLAD I sold my home in CCFD for 4 times what I paid for it. Living there was a place you could raise your children and feel protected. So Good luck with all your fighting ,name calling and birking selling my home and leaving was like hitting the lottery. Thanks for the memories.
Bill March 24, 2013 at 06:58 PM
"NBK" it is people like you that put out false information to act like it is no big deal if the budget gets rejected. East Greenwich Rescue has not been to the same address in Coventry twice. That is a false and misleading statement. If it has been to your neighbors house I'm sure it too a good 15 minutes to get there. People need to realize that this is people's life's that you are dealing with. This is not a scare tactic but reality. CCFD goes to all the other fire districts in town because they can't even handle their own calls. If the vote is no then people are going to realize very quickly what they have done when your waiting a long time for a rescue or fire truck. I want you to imagine that if you can't breath and every minute seems like an hour and just imagine waiting 15-20 minutes for someone to show up. The firefighters are NOT to blame here. It was the poor management that is being replaced. Vote YES on the budget!!!!
Bill March 24, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Taxpayers that are thinking about the debt that will be spread out over 5 years also need to realize that we are all still responsible for that debt if the vote is no. The taxpayers will still have to also pay the millions in unfunded pension liabilities. This money we are paying regardless if the district is open or closed. If I have to still pay for all the debt I want the fire district to remain open with new board of directors. Please realize the debt will not be whipped out if you vote no on the budget. Also realize that the surrounding fire districts will want a substantial amount of money to cover the CCFD. They will not be doing it for free. Our taxes are going up regardless but it is better having your fire tax go up $150 a year than having your insurance go up at least several hundred a year. Please vote YES on the budget and move on with new administration that will make sure this never happens again.
Tim H March 24, 2013 at 07:30 PM
? Mr. Lawyer hasn't had all of the cards on the table. This reflects favoritism towards his wallet and CCFD.
town crowe March 24, 2013 at 07:52 PM
SIMPLE, I got it. follow in the footsteps of East Greenwich and Cumberland. Give all of the control to the town abolish the fire districts take over the trucks, stations, and staff, and vavoom done. No more BS. Oh yeah and have one equal tax for fire and EMS no matter where you live. Sort of like what the rest of the world does. What is this town so freaking afraid of. Oh year personalities.
RS March 24, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Hey, haven't heard this yet... What do they do about Fire Dispatch if the vote is no? There will be no one to answer the 911 phones or dispatch calls.....
Skipper March 24, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Town of Coventry has been seeking bids for weeks now, Firealam dispatchers??? I believe that was in the reminder????
RIFT March 24, 2013 at 09:59 PM
How can a new board change anything unless employee contracts are open further negotiations. We will be paying 2.99 per thousand and no funds are available to pay back debt?
taxcollector March 24, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Emile- The dispatch office is funded by the Town of Coventry. The town sub-contracts to one of the fire districts to provide the personnel. The Town of Coventry owns the building and equipment. Hopkins Hill FD staffs it now. The contract is set to expire with the Town and HH. That’s what that ad is about.
rogerdavidj March 24, 2013 at 10:54 PM
You mean, something like this? House Bill No. 5901 BY Giarrusso ENTITLED, AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE TOWN OF EAST GREENWICH TO ACQUIRE THE PROPERTY, ASSETS AND PERSONNEL OF THE EAST GREENWICH FIRE DISTRICT {LC2088/1} 03/19/2013 Introduced, referred to House Municipal Government
rogerdavidj March 24, 2013 at 11:04 PM
For some reason, the bill number didn't hyperlink. Here's the link to the legislation: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText13/HouseText13/H5901.pdf
bill g March 24, 2013 at 11:24 PM
You are correct about a new board but the old board gave them whatever they wanted. Have you ever seen bobbleheads? they just nod, well the old board just bobbled YES!
Reasonable Taxpayer March 25, 2013 at 12:39 AM
The solution is simple. Vote NO: This will force the town and our elected leaders to find a solution. ONE Town=ONE Fire department The rational solution
Bill March 25, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Reasonable Taxpayer: The rational solution would be not to see 50 employees who didn't do anything wrong loose their jobs. If the town wanted 1 fire department they easily could of done it for years. I can't believe you want to see people loose their jobs and have public safety jeopardized just to see if the town will do something. The solution is simple VOTE YES on the budget and save the CCFD.
eye in the sky March 25, 2013 at 02:06 AM
"NBK" Ever think that the CCFD rescues were out on other runs?? NOOOOOOO your just not that smart!!!
eye in the sky March 25, 2013 at 02:13 AM
"bill G" how many meetings were you at ?? Do yourself and your small mind a favor and read the posts by " tax collector" to educate yourself ..If that is possible!!!
Reasonable Taxpayer March 25, 2013 at 05:25 AM
-One Police Dept. -One Public works Dept. - One Library -Why can't One Fire Dept. Work?
joeB March 25, 2013 at 06:18 AM
bill g another pathological liar. Rep Morgan has blatantly lied to voters and in court! Just look at her record.I agree she needs to go back to PATHOLOGICAL ANONOYMOUS MEETINGS. THE TRASH you spew is kicked to the curb like garbage,,,,,
Chris March 25, 2013 at 11:10 AM
Bill, I realize the DEBT will not go away , point being it needs to be discussed and how it will be handled. It is part of this whole mess and needs to be addressed not pushed aside. I think most would be more comfortable approving a budget knowing all the facts dealing with it. We've been taken as it is now , hard to pass something to 'move forward' when ALL the facts are not on the table still. HONESTY is the best policy to move forward not a smoke screen going in blind .........
Chris March 25, 2013 at 11:20 AM
" If the town wanted 1 fire department they easily could of done it for years." So lets do it now & have the 50 people reapply for the positions under the town. Problem solved ..... Not that simple or it would have been done years ago
Michael Riley March 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Many of us understand your sentiment. No one wants 50 people fired, so when i was confronted with this difficult choice in the private sector we asked employees. Should everyone take a hit to keep their job, maybe even a big hit.Or should we let people go? These past several months have been filled with typical half negotiations with the union finding more money coming forth each time..How can anyone trust this process?
Realistic voter March 25, 2013 at 04:19 PM
MIke Riley why we have your attention, Can you take down that sign on Rt. 3 at the landscaping place. I believe it's against the law to have it out there. I know it fits your LARGE....Ego !!
Thomas March 25, 2013 at 07:01 PM
chainsawman Dave Gorman, give it a rest with the name calling.
Reasonable Taxpayer March 26, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Bill: You should change your name to "Big Bill" because that's what you want me to pay, A Big Bill
Dave S March 26, 2013 at 11:53 AM
It isn't over yet, business are acting on the illegal double tax. Business that closed and moved are looking for their piece and some. Their kind gesture regarding there health insurance changes seemed like a step in the right direction, now it comes out THEY WILL RECEIVE FULL REIMBURSEMENT FOR OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE .,SO A FAMILY PLAIN WILL ONLY COST THEM $1040.00 PER YEAR. It appears that they don't have to tighten their belts as we do. Thank you CCFD for doing your share, NOT!


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