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Providence Festivals Operating in Violation of City Ordinance

Friday, July 18, 2014

 

Agreements between festivals who owe tens of thousands in past due police detail bills and the City of Providence sidestep the language of a city ordinance -- and directly contradict a requirement listed in the city's event application, calling into question the legality of the payment plans. 

In 2012, the Providence City Council passed an ordinance to ensure that festivals and vendors were in current good standing with debts over 60 days paid in full, prior to being able to obtain a new permit.

"Whereas the City of Providence has an obligation to ensure public safety during special events taking place on city property, and whereas planning and staffing such events requires allocating substantial resources of city departments including police, public works, and others ... a special permit may be denied if the applicant has an outstanding balance of more than 60 days delinquent for police and fire details, or other city services."

At least three festivals have entered into special agreements with the City to extend the payback period on debts, including with the Puerto Rican Festival, Quisqueya in Action, which oversees the Dominican festival, and now the Cape Verdean festival.

The city's event application, however, states that "no event permit shall be granted to organizations with 60+ days overdue balance from any city department."

"The police did not sign off on the application document for the Cape Verdean festival, as the records show that they were not in compliance with that stipulation," said Taft Manzotti, with the Fraternal Order of Police.  "I inquired with the Board of Licenses about the paperwork, but they informed me that they no longer go to the planning board meetings, so that's why they didn't have the document.  How could they give an event license without that document?  I know the police's signature was not on it.  "

Document Called into Question

"Generally, I'm the one who signs those documents in planning meetings, but the finances have to be cleaned up, which for the Cape Verdean festival, they weren't, so I didn't sign it," said Sergeant Michael Martinous with Detail in the Providence Police Department.

"I won't sign anything until everything's in line," Martinous.  "Regardless, we still do what we have to do for detail.  I have a public service I need to execute, but I also have a code of ethics.  I could not in good faith sign that document."

"The policy should be straight across the board, you shouldn't have something unless you're caught up," said Martinous  "It puts me in a tough spot."

 

Related Slideshow: Providence Events that Owe Providence Police Detail Pay

The following data was obtained from a summary aging report from the City of Providence for the police detail fund, as of July 14, 2014.

City ordinance says that organizations with outstanding balances past due 60 days may not be able to recieve an event license while delinquent, and the Providence Public Event Application says no event permit shall be granted to organizations with 60+ days overdue balance from the Detail office.

Organizations have the opportunity to pay off all debts in full to become eligible for a new event permit. 

Prev Next

Dominican Festival

$26,882.89 over 60 days past due

* Under Quisqueya in Action, Inc.

Event:

Sunday, August 10, 2014 12-7:30 pm
Broad Street, Providence

See more here

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Bolivian Association

$6,141.26 over 60 days past due

Saturday, August 9, 2014 2-10 pm
Sunday, August 10, 2014 3-6 pm

See more here

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Puerto Rican Parade

$11,819.47 over 60 days past due

Sunday, August 17

Festival information coming soon

See more here
 

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Puerto Rican Food Festival

$2,213.89 over 60 days past due

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St. Patrick's Day Parade

$1,320.27 over 60 days past due

Saturday March 8th, 2014 at noon

See more here

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Puerto Rican Culture

$23,452.38 over 60 days past due

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African American Festival

$503.34 over 60 days past due

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Puerto Rican National

$4,065.76 over 60 days past due

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Guatemalan Center of N.E.

$2,125.26 over 60 days past due

The Festival Guatemala is scheduled to take place on Sunday, September 7, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Temple of Music at Roger Williams Park in  Providence. 

See more here

Prev Next

Central American Festival

$9,666.13 over 60 days past due

Sunday, September 14, 2014 12-5 pm
Roger Williams Park
Temple to Music, Providence

See more here

Prev Next

WaterFire

$156,636.83 over 60 days past due

Next WaterFire: Saturday, July 26th - Full Lighting
Sunset 8:11 pm

See more here

 
 

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