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City Council President Michael Solomon: 13 To Watch in RI in 2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


There are very few win-win scenarios for politicians, but Providence City Council President Michael Solomon finds himself in the fortunate position of having a variety of options when it comes to his political future.

If Mayor Angel Taveras runs for Governor in 2014, Solomon, who has the ability to raise money and is willing to pour a significant amount of his own cash into a race, instantly becomes a favorite to succeed him.

If Taveras stays put (he would be a lock to be re-elected Mayor) and Gina Raimondo runs for Governor, Solomon can run for General Treasurer, an office his father (Anthony Solomon) held for six terms in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

And of course, there is the very real possibility that Taveras and Raimondo run against each other, leaving Solomon with his pick of the office he’d like to pursue.

That’s not to say that he would be a guarantee to win either office, but for a guy who barely won his first Council seat in 2006, no one has seen their political stock improve more than Solomon. He’s done it by forging a close partnership with Taveras (who happens to be the most popular politician in the state) and by helping lead the city out of a $110 million structural deficit.

Look for Solomon to continue raising money in 2013 (those close to him say he is also considering loaning his campaign a chunk of money in an attempt to scare off potential challengers) and to make a decision on his future by the end of the year.


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I wouldn't vote for him, in fact if he was to be reelected to the city council in 2014, he wouldn't be reelected as council president again, thats for sure! He is no leader and it has been very clear to anyone who closely monitors the council and the issues, just look at the redistricting nightmare!

Comment #1 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 01

As a taxpayer it seems to me that both the Mayor and the City Council President made difficult decisions in 2012. They addressed things head on and refused to kick cans down the road. The city is lucky to have such strong leadership. Both Tavares and Solomon invariably articulate a positive vision for the city, a city that is on the road to recovery.

The comments on these blogs are often negative. It also seems that a handful of people are responsible for most of the negativity. I am sorry if you have been disappointed in life. Might I suggest that you focus on your own accomplishments in the New Year!

I am sorry about your “redistricting nightmare”. It seems that the new districts make more sense and increase opportunities fore minority representation on the City Council. Most civilized people would agree that this is a positive development.

Comment #2 by John Durst on 2013 01 01

power hungry.... he remembers when his father ran for governor

Comment #3 by jon paycheck on 2013 01 01

John, your funny. The redistricting vote that was won by 1 council vote, yes the same vote that Solomon had all his council members walk off the job because they didn't have the votes, remember that one, remember all the police at city hall at the meetings and councilman fighting with each other, yeah real leadership by Solomon!

Lets not forget how Solomon was trying to oust Igliozzi from finance committee and he couldn't get his way, so Solomon created the ways and means committee, yeah thats real leadership!

Lets not forget that Solomon took out his revenge on other council members and not appointing long time city council members to committees in 2010!

You want me to keep going lol.

Comment #4 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 01

Taveras gave his friends pay raises during the category 5 financial crisis, thats positive for his friends and remember how the tax payers are paying for the parking for his staffers at the Biltmore to the tune of over 100k, even the guy who is getting paid more than a US Senator his friend Damico, his chief of admin., now thats real positive for Damico but not the tax payers!

Then to top everything off Taveras goes and support cicilline, the guy who left him with the 110 million deficit lol

Sounds like real leaders????

Comment #5 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 01

The Hummel Report has also found that the oldest loan on record - 24 years - was given to a business partly owned by Providence City Council President Michael Solomon, long before he became involved in politics. The Conrad on Westminster Street, received a $500,000 loan from the city in 1988 and $3.5 million in private financing to develop condos.
Hummel: ``What was the pitch in terms of an investment?''
Solomon: ``Condominium use, like any other pitch, it's a business deal. It didn't go the way we'd like it to go, but we stayed committed to it. And we're committed to seeing the project through.''
In fact, Solomon and his partners took out another $100,000 for a total of $600,000 - and still have a balance of $454,000 owed to the city. Solomon says they sold 20 units on the upper floors to pay off the $3.5 million in private financing; and last spring converted the unit they own on the ground floor into a restaurant - hoping to generate enough money to pay off the remainder of the loan over the next decade.
Solomon and his partners repeatedly went to the city asking for payment moratoriums and for the last two years have been paying interest only on the loan. This month they go back to paying down principal as well now that the restaurant is generating money.
Hummel: ``The fact is you are the council president, you have a loan with the city and this loan is going on 23 years now. And the fact is it's almost $450,000 of a $500,000 loan. So what about the person who says why isn't the city council president making good on the loan to the city?''
Solomon: ``I am making good, we're making our payments, we're making our obligation and I'm committed to seeing this thing through. We could have easily walked away from this project and we didn't we stuck with it. And I'm proud right now that we're able to keep paying on it. And we went through some tough times in the early 2000s, in the first 10 years and it's been tough. But we're committed to moving this project forward and I'm pretty happy right now that we set out to do economic development and that's what succeeded doing.''- The Hummel Report

Comment #6 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 01

Mr.Solomon is my councilman and has been very responsive to the problems that arise in the neighborhood and he is accessible,unlike some other politicians.i have one serious reservation about him-he has signed on to an attempt by Seth Yurdin to make Providence residents unable to own semiautomatic firearms-this is an overreach beyond any law even contemplated by Sen.Feinstein and is totally unsupported by an facts(i.e. Howmany legally owned semiautos have been used by their legal owners to commit crimes in Providence?)-very few or none in the 28 years I've lived here.Mr.Solomon needs to exercise due diligence here.

Comment #7 by Joseph Bernstein on 2013 01 01

Anthony, it seems that you rely on logical fallacies to make your points. Also, you do a lovely job of cutting and copying your old comments over and over again; but back to your lack of cognitive clarity. Why does it matter if the redistricting passed by one vote? This is how parliamentary (it’s a big word, I know) forms of government operate. Sometimes things pass by only one vote. You fail to address the reality that the redistricting was good for the city. The redistricting reflects the current ethic makeup of the city. The districts make more sense.

As far as the conflict goes, I challenge you to show me a parliamentary government anywhere in the world that does not experience conflict.

While we’re at it, shouldn't the people in charge be able to appoint who they want to committees? Does being on the city council for a long time entitle a person to a position? Is there a rule about who can do what? You can attack the process all you want, but in big boy world, it is about results.

One last thing: I don’t know you. I am sure that you are a nice kid. Please refer to a grammar book. “Your” is possessive. You’re trying to use “you’re” the contractions for you are. I hope you learn this next year when you get to high school. You're funny, L.O.L.

Comment #8 by John Durst on 2013 01 02

I see Sionni riding his unicycle on Douglas Ave constantly.

Comment #9 by Moe Howard on 2013 01 02

lol John you said ,"I am sorry about your “redistricting nightmare”. It seems that the new districts make more sense and increase opportunities fore minority representation on the City Council. Most civilized people would agree that this is a positive development."

Yes it passed by one vote, so if it was so good for minority representation as you claim , why didn't the whole council support it, some of the council members are hispanic and they didn't support it! The question isn't about that it passed by one vote, the question is about leadership and how Solomon as the city council president couldn't bring people together and had to resort to having the council walk off the job because he didn't have his votes .Giving parts of federal hill and west end to yurdin who is the majority leader and represents the east side is not about minority representation . Its more about power grabbing and controlling downtown Providence and creating a sort of super ward for yurdin!

In regards to committee appointments, yes the person in charge should be able to pick the members for the committees, but excluding long term council members who have more knowledge and experience than Solomon has is not right. Solomon just playing politics , why exclude people, put everyone on committees, hes just trying to punish people who dont support him, thats hardly a leader!

In regards to copying and pasting, you dont like it, to bad, you dont like my grammar to bad!

"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

Oh and moe, what kid of a stupid comment is that lol I try and stay away from douglas ave, to much crime and I dont own a unicycle lol

Comment #10 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 02

heres another copy and paste

Mayor Has Too Much Power, Charges Veteran Councilman
Email to a friend Permalink
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Dan McGowan, GoLocalProv News Editor

The Taveras administration has too much control over the Providence City Council, the longest-serving member of the Council charged Tuesday.

Ward 3 Councilman Kevin Jackson, an early supporter of Taveras during his 2010 run for Mayor, said the cozy relationship between Council leadership and the administration has resulted in retaliation against Council members who speak out against certain proposals.

“Everything with this administration is, ‘we’re going to hurt you,’ ‘we’re going punish you,’” Jackson said. “That is not politics. That is a dictatorship.”
Jackson cited the efforts to remove outspoken Council finance chairman John Igliozzi as one example of Council leadership and Taveras working together to punish a Councilman who doesn’t always agree with the status quo. On Thursday, Council President Michael Solomon will appoint Council members David Salvatore, Sam Zurier, Sabina Matos, Terry Hassett and Luis Aponte to a special Ways and Means committee to essentially bypass Igliozzi’s finance committee.

Jackson’s comments came a day after a special meeting to vote on a $40 million bond proposal to help improve the city’s roads and sidewalks was canceled due to a lack of quorum. The proposal passed out of committee would divide roughly half the money among the city’s 15 wards and leave the rest for the administration, but Taveras has threatened to veto the plan because he does not believe dividing the funds by ward is efficient.

A majority of Council members were believed to have supported the plan passed out of committee, but it appears several members had a last-minute change of heart and decided to skip the Monday meeting. On Tuesday, the third consecutive finance committee meeting was canceled.

But Jackson’s gripe with the administration and Council leadership goes beyond sidewalk politics. The East Side Councilman, who until recently was shut out of all Council Standing Committees, said Taveras seems to only get involved in Council issues when it benefits his administration.

When Jackson led an effort to oust Majority Leader Seth Yurdin this spring, Taveras stepped in the calm the situation. But when several Councilmen, including Davian Sanchez and Michael Correia complained they were being treated unfairly during the city’s redistricting process, Jackson said the Mayor was nowhere to be found.

“You can’t be half pregnant,” Jackson said. “You either involved in Council politics or you’re not.”

Jackson is also unhappy with how efforts to move to an elected school board have played out. Taveras, Solomon and Yurdin are all vehemently opposed to the idea of letting voters decide whether to switch to an elected board, but the overwhelming number of Council members support the proposal. Taveras will likely veto that plan as well.

“In my 18 years as a Councilman, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Jackson said. “They say they want to be transparent. Even [Buddy] Cianci and [David] Cicilline never stifled us like this.”

Jackson said he still supports Taveras, but he doesn’t believe the Mayor has followed through on a commitment to work with the entire Council.

“I would say I still support him, but I’m confused, I’m upset,” Jackson said. “They say they want to work with all Council members, well, that’s not happening right now.”

The Taveras administration did not respond to a request for comment.

Comment #11 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 02

The Hummell report cited by Anthony is extremely troubling...havent we had enough of these kind of deals? At the very least this disqualifies Mr Solomon as Treasurer but then again.......

Comment #12 by michael riley on 2013 01 02

It is troubling, he has no money to pay the loan, but money to open a pizza place!

Comment #13 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 02

LOL. Here is my cut and paste: From Advocate.com:

An unpaid campaign worker for congressional candidate Anthony Gemma has been asked to step down after making a remark comparing Gemma's opponent, gay representative David Cicilline, to convicted child molester and former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky.

The Rhode Island Democratic Party asked Anthony Sionni to apologize to Cicilline. Sionni's comment originated on Twitter, where he replied to state party spokesman Bill Fischer, who said Gemma was smearing fellow Democrat Cicilline. Sionni countered that there was "nothing wrong with smearing a liar, thief, crook, Sandusky copy cat," the Associated Press reports. Sionni's comment was later deleted.

Comment #14 by Moe Howard on 2013 01 03

LOL this isn't about me, but have you seen the videos by Dr. Fadul from the DR relating to what I said?

Comment #15 by anthony sionni on 2013 01 03

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