Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas - Fall River is about to get itchy

What?! Government officials are getting bribed? .... Fall River wants in on that action.

A few months ago I read an article in the Providence Journal titled something like "City Councilors Arrested by FBI on Bribery Charges." I clicked on the article hoping it wasn't Fall River but with a suspicion that it was. It was not Fall River, it was North Providence so that was a bit of a relief.

The ProJo article told the tale of 3 North Providence city council members and a developer by the name of Richard Baccari. The councilors agreed to change zoning laws for Baccari's development in exchange for $25,000.

Having recently been implicated in a $25,000 bribery scheme, any sensible government officials would probably hesitate to deal with Baccari. But not our dear FROED/Ken Fiola/RDA/Mayor Flanagan. They have proposed to build the UMass biopark on land Baccari owns in Freetown.

Last year, it was brought to my attention that the offramps being built to the biopark originally had a different plan. For some reason unknown to me, the plans for the offramp were changed so that they would run directly through Baccari's land in Freetown. And, that Baccari could potentially make alot of money as a result of the new plan for the offramps. I thought nothing of it at the time because the biopark was coming along as planned. In retrospect, the offramp plan changes certainly seem suspicious.

How convenient for this private developer Baccari, recently implicated in a government bribery scheme, that he could potentially make a ton of money with FROED's (and Will Flanagan too) help.

"Flanagan acknowledged business talks with the company’s Richard Baccari, the company’s president and CEO." Fall River Herald News July 23, 2010

"Baccari's relationships have always drawn the attention of law enforcement" Channel 10 I-team investigates

Friday, July 9, 2010

My blog template is causing this video to have the right side cut short. Sorry about that. For the full size go here

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Menard in Action

Thanks to Beattie Ledge for creating this video and to Charlotte Despard for bringing it to my attention. And a very special thanks to Joan Menard for saying ridiculous things, for inspiration.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Lawyers and stuff

After a vote to give the part time Fall River School Committee attorney, Bruce Assad, a $32,000 raise, Assad now makes ($77,500) approximately double the median income of Fall River (for a PART TIME CITY JOB). I am not begrudging him for trying to get the most money he possibly can, I would probably try to do the same thing; BUT damn you School Committee for allowing this!! I hope when teachers are paying for classroom supplies out of their pockets, they think of you.

I think this quote from Tim McCoy, in support of Assad's raise, sums up the egregiousness of the raise pretty well, "...he is a guy that has spent several hours in negotiations during the past couple of months."

I am additionally frustrated because, on the city side of things, co-mayors Torres and Flanagan are about to add ANOTHER attorney to the legal department. I distinctly remember Flanagan selling the city a bill of goods that included cutting the costs of the "overpriced" legal department under the Correia administration. The city clearly survived all these years on one full time attorney and 2 part time attorneys....why do we now need 3 full times and a part time? On this subject, the law department proposes to pay the new Assistant Corporation Counsel $47,000 for a full time job. How does that reconcile with the $77,500 for the part time Assad?

These people are in the "public service" sector.....I always thought that meant they served the public, but it seems like it is the other way around.