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The PCC records all Council and School Committee Meetings View Portsmouth Town Meetings at The Portsmouth Record

Welcome to the Portsmouth Concerned Citizens website.

Serving the Town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island for 10 years



2012-11-30 PCC Newsletter
Here is the latest PCC newsletter.


2012-06-16 PCC Newswire
This PCC newswire discusses death of EBEC bill.


2012-06-13 PCC Newswire
This PCC newswire discusses the council's withdrawal of EBEC support.


2012-06-12 PCC Newsletter
Here is the latest PCC newsletter.


2012-05-08 Changing Course
This PCC newswire discusses the new town manager's budget strategy


2012-05-08 Council Votes to Support Energy Consortium
Please see the attached newswire the discusses this unwise vote of the Portsmouth Town Council.


2012-02-01 Attend the Members Annual Meeting February 7
The members of the Executive Committee and I wish to invite all PCC members to attend our annual meeting in February. We have planned this event to be interesting and an opportunity to get together socially. We hope that you will join us. The event is casual and there are no tickets.

Our annual members meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 7. This event will have a short business meeting, a social gathering and a panel discussion on pensions. Read More


2011-08-02  Hot off the press!
Here is the latest PCC NewsletterIsland Park takes center stage as DEM moves closer to ordering sewers and additional toxins into the neighboring landfill.  An assessment of this year's budget and the current status of regionalization are also included.


2011-5-28  School Committee Rejects Regionalization PCC Newswire – May 26, 2011 (Larry Fitzmorris)
The Portsmouth School Committee formally bowed out of the school district regionalization process at its Thursday evening meeting. In a unanimous, six to zero vote, the Committee passed a resolution ending its participation in the
Aquidneck Island Study Group and any further consideration of regionalization. The decision puts an end to the District’s two-year participation in the study and planning processes to consolidate Aquidneck Island’s three school districts.
The vote came as Committee member Tom Vadney, the group’s representative to the Aquidneck Island Study Group, proposed a resolution to end the Committee’s participation in the planning process, commenting to the Committee that “this is the decision point” for the district. David Croston seconded the motion. Mr. Vadney commented further that the Study Group was transitioning into a more formal proposal stage and that this was the time to withdraw, before the
Town entered into agreements that obligated the District to officially endorse consolidation.  Discussion among the members of the Committee and administration was uniform in opposition to regionalization. Mr. Croston cited the efficiency of the Portsmouth District, recently identified by the Center for American Progress as Rhode Island’s most efficient district.  Member Sylvia Wedge expressed her concern that the district’s quality would decline in a regionalized system. Committee Chair, Cynthia Perrotti commented that she was concerned that in a consolidated system, the quality teachers would gravitate to the problem areas and Portsmouth students would lose the benefits of the more successful Portsmouth teachers.  Senator Chris Ottiano, R- Portsmouth and Bristol, who attended, cautioned the Committee that the regionalization movement was strong in the Senate and that the Town must be ready to defend its decision and manage its budgets effectively. He also assured the Committee that he understood and supported the Committee’s decision and would defend it in the Senate.



2011-05-23 PCC FY 2011 – 2012 Budget Paper
Here this year's PCC white paper on the Portsmouth town budget.



2011-04-13 PCC Newswire

Impasse and Seniority


PCC Newswire – April 12, 2011 (Larry Fitzmorris) The prolonged labor dispute between the Portsmouth National Education Association and the School Committee took a new turn Tuesday evening.  At tonight’s meeting, the Committee declared the negotiations with the Teachers’ union to have reached an impasse by a 6 to 0 vote in Executive Session.  The Committee also decided to proceed to Arbitration with the union.

The contract between Portsmouth NEA and the Committee expired seven months ago.  It has been under active discussion off and on for the last eight months, a period that saw a change in the Committee’s makeup and leadership resulting from the November election.

The Committee also decided to pass, on a unanimous vote, the new Department policy regarding selection procedures to assign teachers to vacant positions.  The Committee adopted Policy number 4111 at a second and final passage in public session.  The second passage had been delayed since its first passage January 18.  The Committee delayed the second vote at the request of the Teachers’ union, who had pressed the Committee on the subject at a number of public meetings.

The new policy is in response to the decision by Rhode Island Commissioner of Education Deborah Gist that directed the State’s school committees to adopt policies that included additional criteria to seniority in teacher selection.  The new approach avoids the seniority dominated job fair process for selecting teachers to fill vacancies.  In the old procedure, as well as the new, teachers must be certified for the position they seek.  Seniority remains in the criteria required of the Superintendent, but is now one of a number that are considered.  The new policy also contains provisions for consultation with the union on procedures, but those discussions are not binding.

The Rhode Island Department of Education reviewed the new policy before adoption by the Committee.

2011-03-31 PCC Bylaws Revised
Here is the latest version of the PCC Bylaws.  The size of the Executive Committee has been reduced to ten (10) members.

2011-03-23 Portsmouth School Committee Approves Budget

PCC Newswire – March 22, 2011 (Larry Fitzmorris)  The Portsmouth School Committee passed its budget request for fiscal year 2011 – 2012 at its Tuesday evening meeting.  The budget resembled, in large part, the budgets passed in recent years.  The Committee is required by the Town Charter to submit its request by March 25.

The motion to pass the Operational Budget of $37,296,252, an increase of 4.31%, passed 6:0 with Mr. Harris absent on travel.

Next year’s request included a property tax revenue increase at the maximum allowed under the tax cap law.  The Committee is restricted by State law to a request that is a maximum of a 4.25% increase from the previous year’s property tax appropriation.  That is a request of $29,402,538, an increase of $1,198,665.  This request is just that – a request, and the Council will determine the department’s total budget and its tax appropriation. 

The Committee’s budget, as always, is submitted before the Assembly produces the actual budget and estimates State revenue to a substantial extent.

The Committee also adopted a Trust for its Other Post Employment Benefit program.  This effort is healthcare for retirees.  The move to begin adding funds to the Trust is a first, and important, move to begin to resolve the current $4.5 million shortfall in future obligations.  The Committee has previously conducted a pay as you go funding effort, which did not have the benefit of income from invested funds.


2011-03-23 PCC and Island Park Residents to Meet With the Govenor
The PCC and a neighborhood group protesting the dumping of arsenic laden soil at the old Portsmouth Landfill have arranged a meeting with Governor Chaffee.  This is the letter that was sent to the governor's office regarding the upcoming meeting.