Baldelli-Hunt Sworn In, Appointees Voted On at Tuesday Inauguration

City Councilors will vote to appoint a new City Clerk tonight ahead of Tuesday's inauguration. CREDIT Rob Borkowski
City Councilors will vote to appoint a new City Clerk tonight ahead of Tuesday's inauguration. CREDIT Rob Borkowski
Tonight's City Council meeting and the city's inauguration Tuesday night will usher in new management for much of Woonsocket government.

Tonight, Councilors will vote on the appointment of Personnel Director Christina Harmon-Duarte as City Clerk, replacing Andrea Bicki, who has served in the position since 2010. 

The appointment for the $63,915 job is the sole management decision in the hands of the Woonsocket City Council. In late November, Bicki told The Woonsocket Call she'd learned the majority of the City Council would not support her re-appointment.  

Bicki, who previously served as a paralegal in the City's legal department for a total of 21 years with the City, said this afternoon she was surprised by the development. Nonetheless, she said she was determined to continue performing her job through her last day. 

Bicki has served as clerk for the Council and also the Budget Commission, often drawing on her paralegal experience to write the City's laws as requested by the Council, a duty she said may have to be shouldered by the City Solicitor now.

During Tuesday night's 8 p.m. inauguration at Stadium Theater, 28 Monument Square, which Bicki helped organize, the Council will vote to elect a new Council President and Vice President. Mayor Elect Lisa Baldelli-Hunt will also be officially sworn in.

The Councill will also vote on several appointments made by Baldelli-Hunt, all of whom will serve in an acting capacity:
  • Joel D. Mathews as Acting Director of Planning. Mathews retired from the job in 2010 after starting in the role in 1973, with a brief hiatus in the 1980s, according to a Woonsocket Call report. He replaces acting Director of Planning Paulette Miller.
  • Linda S. Plays, Mayor Fontaine's de facto executive secretary, as Acting Director of Human Services. She takes on the human services duties previously filled by Economic Development Director Matt Wojcik, whom Baldelli-Hunt vowed to replace. Baldelli-Hunt has said she will take on Wojcik's Economic Development duties. 
  • Finance Director Thomas Bruce as Acting Director of Finance.
  • Alan Brodd as Acting Director of Public Works/City Engineer. Brodd is a former Planner in Cumberland, according to a Woonsocket Call report. He replaces DPW Director Sheila McGauvran.
  • Michael Marcello, (D- Dist. 41 Scituate, Cranston) as Acting City Solicitor. Marcello is co-author of the re-written Access to Public Records Act (APRA). He replaces former City Solicitor Joe Carroll.
  • Outgoing City Councilor Marc Dubois as Acting Public Safety Director, a role formerly handled by Fontaine. 
  • Baldelli-Hunt's Campaign Manager Richard Kearns as Acting Director of Administration. 
  • Susan E. Gaulin as Acting Mayor's Administrative Aide.
According to a memo attached to the Dec. 3 agenda docket, Baldelli-Hunt will name her five appointees to the School Committee at a later date. A change voters approved last year switched the elected positions to Mayor-appointed posts.

llaacc90 December 03, 2013 at 09:05 AM
I think it is a load of bull carp that not only is Andrea Bicki being fired after 21 years for no reason. But that she also had to sit there and take her own vote. After 21years of service she is being let go and no-one in the council has the balls to stand up for her because that is what the new mayor wants
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 09:41 AM
^ your info is misleading. Bicki is being replaced after 3 1/2 yrs as city clerk. During which time she was the direct cause of a lawsuit against the city, causing fines to be paid for by the taxpayers. She (The City) was sued by the Attorney General for failure to provide municipal documents. Her main job is keeping and providing municipal documents. Bicki failed her job. Her position receives tenure after 4 years. Is that reason enough for ya?
llaacc90 December 03, 2013 at 10:11 AM
If she failed at her job she should have been let go right away, it is a lot convenient that now there is a new mayor and now she has failed at her job so she is being fired. Like I said before a load of bullets. Also what about her having to sit at last night's council meeting to listen to the council vote her out, do u not have a heart because that was just cruel
llaacc90 December 03, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Bull carp not bullets sorry
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 10:28 AM
Fontaine supported her, why would he fire her? I'm not implying there is a conspiracy here, but the papers Bicki failed to provide were related to a $3 million lawsuit involving the proposed water treatment plant. Imagine you are an attorney and you show up to court without the documentation that is critical to your case...and those documents are still withheld for another 6 months by a city clerk. I imagine that could cripple a case. Again, maybe not a conspiracy, but a pretty timely "whoops, my bad" by a paper pusher. As for recording the vote: again, it's her job. She probably has to mail herself the pink-slip too...unless, of course, she conveniently forgets for 6 months.
llaacc90 December 03, 2013 at 10:40 AM
See what is wrong with u that's not funny in the least, and as a conspiracy those r your words not mine. And Lisa has a lot to do with the city losing a lot of money and she was just elected mayor, so what does that say
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 10:55 AM
FYI, I moved 6 months ago. City Hall still has not recorded it. The assistant in the clerks office had to check with the canvassers office to confirm my current address. The voting office has me, the DMV has me, the post office has me, even the place I donate blood has me. The City Clerk...still waiting.
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 11:13 AM
I needed proof of owner occupancy...that went well.
llaacc90 December 03, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Than get off your butt and go to city hall make a scene if u have to. It really is that simple
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Why would I make a scene? The Tax Assessor said I needed proof of owner occ for the exemption. So I went next door to the City Clerk to get that proof. The clerk said they hadn't updated it yet and to go next door to the Canvasser. So I got proof from the Canvasser, to give to the Clerk, to give to the Tax Assessor. I thanked them for allowing me the opportunity to tour City Hall and then went next door for some wieners.
llaacc90 December 03, 2013 at 01:15 PM
So why complain about it now
James LaRoche December 03, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Andrea Bicki is a paralegal and a very good clerk. No one is perfect, however--one wonders how many times her expertise kept us out of trouble? Additionally, one person can't compensate for many of the incompetent union protected people brought in under Susan's tenure as Mayor. Please, Still Hope, as a mouthpiece and defender of the new status-quo, let us know what assets Christina Harmon-Duarte brings to the job except that she works/worked part-time for one of the councilman?
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 04:09 PM
llaacc90, I'm not complaining. Just clarifying your original post and adding my own anecdote. James, when your main duty is to keep the city records and make them available at the public's request and you broke the law by failing to do exactly that duty...how is that a good job? Bicki was in charge of making sure that kind of stuff doesn't happen by having policies and procedures in place. When she was questioned by the AG on why she failed, she stated that her office had too much work, was understaffed, and she was on vacation. Keep in mind, this is the office that handles your birth certificate, marriage license, and the deed to your home. Imagine not being able to sell your house because the City Clerk is at Disney World. I don't who Christina Harmon-Duarte is, but if she can an office, she's good in my book.
Still Hope December 03, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Sidenote: if you've even read anything I've posted, you would know I am anything but the defender of the status-quo. Complacency and ignorance is what brought my great city to where it sits now. This city needs a fresh set of eyes and a strong injection of community to make it a home once again. We haven't been a mill town in over a half-century, let it go. Time for a new identity. Leo and John kept begging for more state welfare while watching business walk across the street. Is that what we wanted? A city on welfare? How bout we shake up city hall and build something we can be proud of. First stop: turn Park Square into a money maker. (and stop trying to put a strip mall in between a middle school and a bike path. How ghetto is that?)
Russell Archambault December 03, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Sorry that still hope moved out of Woonsocket. I miss you already and its only been 6 months. If you have any compassion still hope, would you please donate more blood, We are bleeding to death here in Woonsocket. My heart thanks you.
Dave F December 03, 2013 at 05:44 PM
Still Hope did you ever think there is more to the clerk not turning the papers over then she was busy or on vacation? Maybe she was told not to. I see we are going to have someone from the state house as our attorney does this mean anytime something with state comes up we will have to hire outside lawyer due to the conflict of intrest? Now we have a new public safety director how much does this job pay and where will the money come from. I thought the budget comm put a stop freeze on hiring how is she allowed to spend money without approval if i am not mistaking the mayor was not paid for being public safety director. Are we going further in the hole the first day she is taking office?
William Gray December 03, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Adding Dubois to her staff is a slap in the face to all the voters who decided he was a do nothing councilman. He was on her "team" and this is the only reason for the appointment...pay back is sweet to some folks in city hall.
James LaRoche December 04, 2013 at 09:22 AM
Still Hope--If your posts are anything like the gossip and sheer BS you posted against the former clerk then why would anyone bother to read them? Additionally, if the State Reps cut $50M from your budget while regulating and taxing everyone to the max--creating the second-worse business climate in the country--what can the local mayor do but advocate for a return of those funds while also reducing costs? I'm still trying to figure out why the clerk was fired because we now have an inexperienced clerk and are also paying the former clerk unemployment.. That's cutting city manpower costs?
Still Hope December 04, 2013 at 04:21 PM
James, you're drinking the Koolaid dude. First off $50M is totally made up. The only decreases in state funding came between 2009-2012 and those decreases weren't anywhere near $50M. Did you even consider how and why there was a decrease in those years? Try this: How many elementary schools were open in 2008? Do you remember we closed some schools since then? Doesn't it make sense, that when you close some schools, your school budget should decrease? A decrease in budget = a decrease in state funding. Same thing happened with all day Kindergarten. The city stopped the program and thus lost the state funding for said program, to the tune of over a million dollars per year. If you don't have the programs and the expenses, why on earth would the state keep giving you money? The state even gave the city an extra $500k this year to bring back all-day K and the city doesn't know what to do with this free money. Do me a favor, instead of using big fake bold numbers, like $50M...try using percentages that tell the real story. In fact, I'll do it for you: http://www.golocalprov.com/images/made/images/remote/http_media.golocalprov.com/News/Woonsocket+School+Funding_728_530.jpg
Still Hope December 04, 2013 at 04:41 PM
In addition to the above, also note that Federal funds are passed to the City through the State. Remember the Federal Stimulus, when the Fed dumped billions of dollars into roads, bridges, energy, housing, etc.? Remember those big Obama signs on the side of the road "America Recovery and Reinvestment Act"? Those signs are gone! The money is gone! On a balance sheet, the year after a stimulus like that would look like the City lost a ton of money, wouldn't it? It would also look like the State is screwing over the City.
James LaRoche December 05, 2013 at 09:32 AM
Still--seriously? You throw up a smoke screen of garbage and tell me I'm drinking kool aid? Cherry-pick much? I really liked the libelous statement alluding a lawsuit caused by the former clerk. But hiding behind a screen alia protects you, I guess? And since you like article, try this one--in it, the state treasurer confirms the 50M dollar cuts. Nice try. Still--you like article? How about this one. http://woonsocket.patch.com/groups/opinion/p/gina-raimondo-confirms-mayor-fontaines-statement-on-wnri
James LaRoche December 05, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Moreover, a quick look at the cities audited financials shows clearly that City Gov't costs have declined significantly over the last few years under the former Mayor--and budget commission. However, City revenues have decreased even faster... Sorry--I prefer facts to supposition, deflection and innuendo.
Russell Archambault December 05, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I wish people would stop using the STUPID term " drinking the kool aid"


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