Textbook Union Disruption in East Greenwich

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There ought to be a “dealing with government labor unions” workshop for prospective officials who set out to pull Rhode Island back from the edge.  The scene at last night’s East Greenwich Town Council meeting is absolutely textbook, as reported by Donita Naylor in the Providence Journal.  Out-of-town union thugs?  Check.  T-shirts printed for union members?  Check.

About seven minutes after the 7 p.m. meeting began Monday, the floor was opened for public comment. Resident William Higgins was concluding his remarks when someone shouted from the hall for him to speak louder. …

As Higgins sat down, Cienki asked the council’s solicitor, David D’Agostino, to explain why Corrigan could hire and fire, but people in the hall shouted that they couldn’t hear.

Cienki asked for quiet, but people shouted for her to move the meeting so they could all see and hear. “We cannot move the meeting,” she said, and tried to explain that the meeting had been advertised as taking place at Town Hall.

Her explanation was drowned out by the chant, “Move the meeting!” As the chanting trailed off, someone called out, “Why are you so afraid of the people?” and another urged, “You have to move the meeting.”

This scene could have been any public meeting at which the unions want to intimidate elected officials and enable the narrative that left-wing activist Bob Plain pushes on RI Future, that the town “doesn’t have a functioning government right now.”  To the extent that’s true, it’s because labor unions have deployed their six-figure-salary activists to disrupt it.  Plain provides the single biggest tell-tale sign:

“You have to move the meeting,” yelled NEA organizer [and former owner/editor of RI Future] Pat Crowley, from the balcony of the Council Chambers.

As I observed years ago in East Providence (audio here), the unionists just want a bigger venue so they can create a bigger scene.  One really can’t blame East Greenwich Town Council President Suzanne Cienki for attempting to reason and then argue with the people in the audience, but doing so only makes the poor behavior look like a mutual escalation.

Elected officials attempting to bring necessary reforms should look back to former East Providence School Committee Chairman Anthony Carcieri for an example:  Just accept it all as the staged performance that it is and move forward with business.  Of course, then the unions will just get their bought-and-paid legislators to change the law in their favor, but at least the people of Rhode Island will get additional clarity.



  • Rhett Hardwick

    Many years ago, I found myself in downtown Salem, MA, while teachers were marching/picketing city hall. I noted that they all kept their heads down and refused eye contact with the crowd. I did wonder.

  • Monique Chartier

    Yup, straight up bullying by public union leaders desperate to hold on to that dues stream. I thought of the East Providence School Comm meeting that Justin references as soon as I heard the reports out of EG. Major kudos to East Greenwich leaders for doing the right thing by taxpayers and trying to keep spending under control.

    In a related matter, the rumor is that it was a teacher walking around the meeting last night in a Grim Reaper costume. How do we know that it wasn’t, in fact, Robert Flanders doing so as a warning to the public unions that if they keep up this nonsense, Central Falls will happen to them? He did appear in a Providence Newspaper Guild Follies in this … er, role.

    • Merle The Monster

      Do you give Gail Corrigan the acting Town Manager “Major kudos” for doing the “right thing for taxpayers” as one of the East Greenwich leaders?

      From Turn to 10 in 2012

      Central Falls is Rhode Island’s smallest city and also one of its poorest. Boarded up homes line many streets and one-quarter of the city’s families live below the poverty line.
      “The people are not getting better. Five years of tax increases, people who make $14,000 to $20,000 a year,” said state Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, D-Central Falls.
      Some at City Hall make more money than that in a month.
      Chief of Staff Gayle Corrigan has essentially replaced the mayor as the executive in charge and answers directly to state-appointed receiver Robert Flanders.
      Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
      “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
      “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
      Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
      Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
      As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved employee morale. What’s missing is why she left in 2010, and that’s because she was fired.
      NBC 10 obtained a document from the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. In it, Senesco claims its CFO was pocketing company cash in a labor scheme.
      “Gayle Corrigan was terminated for cause as a result of violating her fiduciary duties to Senesco Marine, LLC while an officer of the company. Unbeknownst to Senesco, Gayle Corrigan had incorporated and was surreptitiously running a staff leasing company which provided contract labor to Senesco, from which she was profiting,” the document says.
      In short, sources said she started her own company while still CFO of Senesco, approving checks essentially written to herself.
      NBC 10 has learned that company was Perennial International Inc., again incorporated by Kates, the same lawyer who incorporated her current company.
      Sources said Corrigan’s mother, Patricia, who was also a Senesco employee, was also fired after company officials accused her of forging her daughter’s time records.
      Both left the shipbuilder and months later started working at Central Falls City Hall.
      Corrigan skipped our scheduled interview and left no reason why.
      Flanders did agree to an interview. NBC 10 asked if he knew that Corrigan was fired from Senesco Marine and why.
      “I know now that she was (fired), but I didn’t know that when I engaged her. I knew that she had left the job. In fact, I had met Miss Corrigan when she was working at Senesco. I was an attorney for Senesco. I was impressed with her abilities then, as I am now,” Flanders said. “My understanding is that there was no company policy against her doing that, that what she did in fact saved the company money.”
      Flanders said he could see how some people would question why she’s involved in municipal government based on her past.
      “Sure. Look, everybody can question what they want, but I think she’s done quite a good job. I think she has excellent financial and management skills. I have no questions about her integrity or competence,” Flanders said.
      State Rep. Agostinho Silva, D-Central Falls, said Friday that he wants a meeting with the Central Falls delegation and Gov. Lincoln Chafee to discuss Corrigan.
      “The fact that someone in such a high position of power in the receivership team may have been fired from her prior job because of a secret profiting scheme is a huge cause for concern. My constituents deserve answers, and that’s why I am requesting a meeting with the governor to sort this out,” Silva said in a statement.
      NBC 10 also spent time digging into payroll records, which show connected family and friends working in the bankrupt city.
      Article source: http://www2.turnto10.com/news/2012/feb/17/2/nbc-10-investigates-central-falls-receivership-ar-935523/

    • Merle The Monster

      So the Porky the Pig costume was unavailable?

    • Merle The Monster

      Do you give Gail Corrigan the acting Town Manager “Major kudos” for doing the “right thing for taxpayers” as one of the East Greenwich leaders?
      From Turn to 10 in 2012
      Central Falls is Rhode Island’s smallest city and also one of its poorest. Boarded up homes line many streets and one-quarter of the city’s families live below the poverty line.
      “The people are not getting better. Five years of tax increases, people who make $14,000 to $20,000 a year,” said state Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, D-Central Falls.
      Some at City Hall make more money than that in a month.
      Chief of Staff Gayle Corrigan has essentially replaced the mayor as the executive in charge and Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
      “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
      “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
      Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
      Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
      As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved answers directly to state-appointed receiver Robert Flanders. Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
      “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
      “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
      Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
      Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
      As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved employee morale. What’s missing is why she left in 2010, and that’s because she was fired.
      NBC 10 obtained a document from the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. In it, Senesco claims its CFO was pocketing company cash in a labor scheme.
      “Gayle Corrigan was terminated for cause as a result of violating her fiduciary duties to Senesco Marine, LLC while an officer of the company. Unbeknownst to Senesco, Gayle Corrigan had incorporated and was surreptitiously running a staff leasing company which provided contract labor to Senesco, from which she was profiting,” the document says.
      In short, sources said she started her own company while still CFO of Senesco, approving checks essentially written to herself.
      NBC 10 has learned that company was Perennial International Inc., again incorporated by Kates, the same lawyer who incorporated her current company.
      Sources said Corrigan’s mother, Patricia, who was also a Senesco employee, was also fired after company officials accused her of forging her daughter’s time records.
      Both left the shipbuilder and months later started working at Central Falls City Hall.
      Corrigan skipped our scheduled interview and left no reason why.
      Flanders did agree to an interview. NBC 10 asked if he knew that Corrigan was fired from Senesco Marine and why.
      “I know now that she was (fired), but I didn’t know that when I engaged her. I knew that she had left the job. In fact, I had met Miss Corrigan when she was working at Senesco. I was an attorney for Senesco. I was impressed with her abilities then, as I am now,” Flanders said. “My understanding is that there was no company policy against her doing that, that what she did in fact saved the company money.”
      Flanders said he could see how some people would question why she’s involved in municipal government based on her past.
      “Sure. Look, everybody can question what they want, but I think she’s done quite a good job. I think she has excellent financial and management skills. I have no questions about her integrity or competence,” Flanders said.
      State Rep. Agostinho Silva, D-Central Falls, said Friday that he wants a meeting with the Central Falls delegation and Gov. Lincoln Chafee to discuss Corrigan.
      “The fact that someone in such a high position of power in the receivership team may have been fired from her prior job because of a secret profiting scheme is a huge cause for concern. My constituents deserve answers, and that’s why I am requesting a meeting with the governor to sort this out,” Silva said in a statement.
      NBC 10 also spent time digging into payroll records, which show connected family and friends working in the bankrupt city.
      Article source: http://www2.turnto10.com/ne

  • Merle The Monster

    Do you give Gail Corrigan the acting Town Manager “Major kudos” for doing the “right thing for taxpayers” as one of the East Greenwich leaders?
    From Turn to 10 in 2012
    Central Falls is Rhode Island’s smallest city and also one of its poorest. Boarded up homes line many streets and one-quarter of the city’s families live below the poverty line.
    “The people are not getting better. Five years of tax increases, people who make $14,000 to $20,000 a year,” said state Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, D-Central Falls.
    Some at City Hall make more money than that in a month.
    Chief of Staff Gayle Corrigan has essentially replaced the mayor as the executive in charge and Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
    “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
    “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
    Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
    Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
    As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved answers directly to state-appointed receiver Robert Flanders. Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
    “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
    “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
    Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
    Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
    As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved employee morale. What’s missing is why she left in 2010, and that’s because she was fired.
    NBC 10 obtained a document from the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. In it, Senesco claims its CFO was pocketing company cash in a labor scheme.
    “Gayle Corrigan was terminated for cause as a result of violating her fiduciary duties to Senesco Marine, LLC while an officer of the company. Unbeknownst to Senesco, Gayle Corrigan had incorporated and was surreptitiously running a staff leasing company which provided contract labor to Senesco, from which she was profiting,” the document says.
    In short, sources said she started her own company while still CFO of Senesco, approving checks essentially written to herself.
    NBC 10 has learned that company was Perennial International Inc., again incorporated by Kates, the same lawyer who incorporated her current company.
    Sources said Corrigan’s mother, Patricia, who was also a Senesco employee, was also fired after company officials accused her of forging her daughter’s time records.
    Both left the shipbuilder and months later started working at Central Falls City Hall.
    Corrigan skipped our scheduled interview and left no reason why.
    Flanders did agree to an interview. NBC 10 asked if he knew that Corrigan was fired from Senesco Marine and why.
    “I know now that she was (fired), but I didn’t know that when I engaged her. I knew that she had left the job. In fact, I had met Miss Corrigan when she was working at Senesco. I was an attorney for Senesco. I was impressed with her abilities then, as I am now,” Flanders said. “My understanding is that there was no company policy against her doing that, that what she did in fact saved the company money.”
    Flanders said he could see how some people would question why she’s involved in municipal government based on her past.
    “Sure. Look, everybody can question what they want, but I think she’s done quite a good job. I think she has excellent financial and management skills. I have no questions about her integrity or competence,” Flanders said.
    State Rep. Agostinho Silva, D-Central Falls, said Friday that he wants a meeting with the Central Falls delegation and Gov. Lincoln Chafee to discuss Corrigan.
    “The fact that someone in such a high position of power in the receivership team may have been fired from her prior job because of a secret profiting scheme is a huge cause for concern. My constituents deserve answers, and that’s why I am requesting a meeting with the governor to sort this out,” Silva said in a statement.
    NBC 10 also spent time digging into payroll records, which show connected family and friends working in the bankrupt city.
    Article source: http://www2.turnto10.com/ne

  • Joseph Murphy

    Do you give Gail Corrigan the acting Town Manager “Major kudos” for doing the “right thing for taxpayers” as one of the East Greenwich leaders?
    From Turn to 10 in 2012
    Central Falls is Rhode Island’s smallest city and also one of its poorest. Boarded up homes line many streets and one-quarter of the city’s families live below the poverty line.
    “The people are not getting better. Five years of tax increases, people who make $14,000 to $20,000 a year,” said state Sen. Elizabeth Crowley, D-Central Falls.
    Some at City Hall make more money than that in a month.
    Chief of Staff Gayle Corrigan has essentially replaced the mayor as the executive in charge and Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
    “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
    “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
    Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
    Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
    As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved answers directly to state-appointed receiver Robert Flanders. Corrigan owns Municipal Management Solutions, a company aimed at righting the city’s sinking ship. For her services, she’s paid $100 an hour. Her deputy gets $60 an hour. That’s roughly $26,000 a month and more than $300,000 a year. All of it comes from the coffers of Central Falls.
    “That’s ridiculous. It’s not right when we’re not financially doing great in this city,” said Luis Lubo, a Central Falls resident.
    “No top employee in the city was ever paid that kind of money in one year. In one year. That to me is sinful,” Crowley said.
    Corrigan started Municipal Management Solutions in April 2010. Attorney Henry Kates filed the paperwork. Just three weeks later she landed her first contract, a lucrative one with Central Falls.
    Before that, Corrigan was the chief financial officer of Senesco Marine, a ship and tug boat building company in North Kingstown.
    As CFO, her resume says she led a turnaround of the company and improved employee morale. What’s missing is why she left in 2010, and that’s because she was fired.
    NBC 10 obtained a document from the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights. In it, Senesco claims its CFO was pocketing company cash in a labor scheme.
    “Gayle Corrigan was terminated for cause as a result of violating her fiduciary duties to Senesco Marine, LLC while an officer of the company. Unbeknownst to Senesco, Gayle Corrigan had incorporated and was surreptitiously running a staff leasing company which provided contract labor to Senesco, from which she was profiting,” the document says.
    In short, sources said she started her own company while still CFO of Senesco, approving checks essentially written to herself.
    NBC 10 has learned that company was Perennial International Inc., again incorporated by Kates, the same lawyer who incorporated her current company.
    Sources said Corrigan’s mother, Patricia, who was also a Senesco employee, was also fired after company officials accused her of forging her daughter’s time records.
    Both left the shipbuilder and months later started working at Central Falls City Hall.
    Corrigan skipped our scheduled interview and left no reason why.
    Flanders did agree to an interview. NBC 10 asked if he knew that Corrigan was fired from Senesco Marine and why.
    “I know now that she was (fired), but I didn’t know that when I engaged her. I knew that she had left the job. In fact, I had met Miss Corrigan when she was working at Senesco. I was an attorney for Senesco. I was impressed with her abilities then, as I am now,” Flanders said. “My understanding is that there was no company policy against her doing that, that what she did in fact saved the company money.”
    Flanders said he could see how some people would question why she’s involved in municipal government based on her past.
    “Sure. Look, everybody can question what they want, but I think she’s done quite a good job. I think she has excellent financial and management skills. I have no questions about her integrity or competence,” Flanders said.
    State Rep. Agostinho Silva, D-Central Falls, said Friday that he wants a meeting with the Central Falls delegation and Gov. Lincoln Chafee to discuss Corrigan.
    “The fact that someone in such a high position of power in the receivership team may have been fired from her prior job because of a secret profiting scheme is a huge cause for concern. My constituents deserve answers, and that’s why I am requesting a meeting with the governor to sort this out,” Silva said in a statement.
    NBC 10 also spent time digging into payroll records, which show connected family and friends working in the bankrupt city.
    Article source: http://www2.turnto10.com/ne

  • Merle The Monster

    Now this interesting. I’ve submitted a detailed comment from a 2012 Turn to 10 investigative report about then chief of staff Gail Corrigan , who had been hired by Robert Flanders who was the state appointed receiver to Central Falls three times or maybe four times spanning three to four days . The Center’s Communications Manager mentioned Robert Flanders in her comments. In addition Gail Corrigan who was the subject of my post is now acting town manager in East Greenwich tying in the revelancy to Katz’s fulminations about a meeting in East Greenwich. What happened to these comments ? I think those people who live and work in East Greenwich need to know some of what their new acting town manager has done in Central Falls and her previous work at Senesco Marine . Also I believe that given the slanted account offered by Katz additional facts should be known about why so many folks packed the meeting in the first place

    • Justin Katz

      Your comment was getting caught in the spam filter. It says because there’s a link, but that shouldn’t have done it. Maybe the length and the link combined. I’ve un-spammed the first instance.

      • Merle The Monster

        Thank you. Perhaps readers may have new information to balance your one sided attack against those representing the town’s workers and receive some historical context about the person who has benefited by another municipality’s misfortune .

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