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EG Town Manager: Woonsocket Budget Oversight Won't Be Easy

Bill Sequino discovered just after 4 p.m. Tuesday he'd been tapped as a Budget Commission member.


East Greenwich Town Manager Bill Sequino, one of five members of a budget commission to help Woonsocket deal with a looming fiscal crisis, knows he and his fellows have a tough job ahead of them.

 "I think they’ve got to increase cash flow," said Sequino Tuesday night. "As I’m told, they’re going to be out of money in two weeks."

The Budget Comission's first meeting is Friday. While he knew he was being considered for the post – which has no remuneration – he didn't learn he'd been named to the commission until late Tuesday afternoon.

Sequino has been town manager in East Greenwich since 1988. The only longer serving town manager in Rhode Island is Steve Alfred in South Kingstown.

In addition to Sequino, Rosemary Booth Gallogly, director of the Department of Revenue, appointed Peder Schaefer, associate director of the League of Cities and Towns, and retired school business officer Dina Dutremble. By statute, the other two members of the commission will be Mayor Leo Fontaine and City Council President John Ward.

Ward said he's comfortable with the group that's been selected for the panel, including Sequino. He said Sequino runs East Greenwich well.

City Councilman Albert Brien was not as enthusiastic as Ward. He said he wondered if Sequino and the other members of the commision were able to relate to the people of Woonsocket. "I'm not confident the answer is yes," Brien said.

When asked if he thinks it's ironic that Sequino is serving on the Budget Commission when some have criticized the disparity in state funding between more affluent municipalities such as East Greenwich and urban areas like Woonsocket, Fontaine said he can see that point. 

But, he said, Sequino is someone who has been involved in goverment a long time, with a lot of experience fixing problems. Also, "I think it will draw open his eyes as to the challenges our urban community faces," he said.

Sequino said he's honored to have been asked, but said, "It's not going to be easy, that's for sure."

Steve May 30, 2012 at 01:26 PM
"I think they’ve got to increase cash flow," said Sequino Tuesday night. "As I’m told, they’re going to be out of money in two weeks." Wow! These guys are all cut from the same cloth huh? It's amazing how they come up with these unique solutions to all of our problems.
Novan for Life May 30, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Well steve thats what they are paid to do! As for this commission it already won't work because the tandem of dumb(Mayor Fontaine) and dumber(CCP John Ward) are a part of this commission so good bye woonsocket hello ghost town :(
la_mouffette May 30, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I'm scared and infuriated by the "As I'm told" part of that sentence. Any out-of-towner who was considered for this board should have been given the chance, and strongly encouraged, to deeply inform HIMSELF of our condition. I do not want our Mayor and Council President to be the main conduit for his information about us. That may (without Sequino being aware of it) just make him another damned Yes man for more of the same failed approaches. I think I see now why Councilman Brien said he'd prefer a Receiver over a 5-man board, and why the later probably wouldn't fix our problems...
Misty Harbor June 01, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Well, Robert, you always make comments, but never suggestions, because you seem to love the WED, you must need their services. It would be nice to see some suggestions if you have any at all.
Mike Kind June 01, 2012 at 11:36 AM
A Budget Commission is the only state-recognized authority which can ask for appointment of a receiver. This is a necessary next step toward bankruptcy, which I believe to be the only way to address the City's systemic financial distress.
Novan for Life June 01, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Well Misty what options have you offered up? Ok because im a nice guy here are my suggestions, 1st City should've asked the state for state aid! 2nd WED has been underfunded for too long fund the darn education department, 3 get mayor Fontaine and CCP John ward out of office. GOOD ENOUGH Misty?
brendalee hartland mcgovern June 01, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I am not sure what these people are thinking --- Where is the accountability and fiscal responsibility? What do their personal bank accounts look like? Are they living within their means or are they stretching and taking out loans here there and everywhere? they need to STOP the SPENDING and relying upon the tax payers to fix the problems that this City is experiencing They need to hold those who have done corrupt things to this city (like those whom embezzled monies from the treasurers office and hid money problems that the WED had) accountable simply put - if they don't have the money they shouldn't spend the money
brendalee hartland mcgovern June 01, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Sequino this City of Woonsocket can NOT increase the cash flow...they have NO CASH!!!!!

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