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May 2023

Providence's 2024 Budget

The City Council's Finance Committee, chaired by Councilwoman Helen Anthony (Ward 2), spent all of May thoroughly reviewing and vetting Mayor Brett Smiley's $585 million budget plan. Click here, for the full proposed budget.

On May 16, the public had the opportunity to provide testimony in person or in writing during a public hearing in the council chamber.

The Council is in the process of proposing changes to the mayor's budget and will hold a second public hearing for residents to weigh in. That hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 13 at 5:30 pm, also in the council chamber at city hall. If you can not attend, testimony can also be emailed to


Parking Meters at the State House

Councilors passed a resolution requesting the Traffic Engineer and city Parking Enforcement either disable the parking meters or abstain from collecting payment in the spaces surrounding the Rhode Island State House while the General Assembly is in session. “Allowing the public to park for free around the State House while the General Assembly is in session would greatly improve access to the government and its representatives,” said Majority Whip Miguel Sanchez (Ward 6). “Residents shouldn’t be penalized with parking tickets for participating in the democratic process, testifying, and attending public hearings.”

Police Oversight

Members Elected to Civilian Board to Oversee the Police

Five members of the public were recommended and elected by councilors to the Providence External Review Authority (PERA), a civilian board established in 2002 by a city ordinance that oversees the Providence Police Department. PERA is charged with investigating allegations of misconduct, making findings of fact, and making recommendations of potential disciplinary action to the police chief.


Ivan Montanez Montoya – a community school specialist with the Providence Public School Department, a student at Rhode Island College studying secondary education


Rebecca Bucci, Ph.D. – a lifelong Providence resident, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the Dept. of Sociology, educational background in criminology and criminal justice


Night Jean Muhingabo – Providence Public School Board member, a refugee from the Republic of Rwanda, a multi-lingual student at Rhode Island College studying Public Administration


Susan Derita – a previous board member, an original member of the PERA board (served as Chair of the Policy Committee), and a Providence native


Machiste Rankin – a previous board member, a retired Rhode Island Department of Corrections officer, and a Providence resident

Council Hires Legal Firm to Review Properties Taxed at Lower Rates 

City Council President Rachel Miller announced the hiring of outside legal counsel Wistow, Sheehan, and Loveley to review the merits of a 2021 consent judgment that allowed the owner of 10 downtown buildings to pay significantly lower property taxes to the city in the amount of approximately $42,500,000 over 30 years.


A December 2022 report from Providence’s Internal Auditor identified several legal concerns regarding the settlement of a case without approval before the city council. The auditor recommended hiring outside counsel to review the matter. Through a resolution in March, the city council authorized the president to engage outside attorneys.


Wistow, Sheehan, and Loveley are now tasked with reviewing the merits of the case (Harrisburg Associates, LLC, et al. v. The City of Providence et al. PC-2020-04757), providing legal options to the council and, if necessary, to initiate legal proceedings to defend the city and taxpayers from the impacts of the consent judgment. The communication and engagement fee agreement can be seen here.

May Events

Council President Rachel Miller and Councilman Pedro Espinal toured the Orsted and Eversource wind construction hub at ProvPort. The work represents a $100 million investment in RI.

Councilwoman and Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris (Ward 11) helped spread the word about free private side water service line replacement in South Providence for homeowners. The federally funded program is being offered by Providence Water and focuses on homes in the Trinity Square and Washington Park neighborhoods. Many service lines contain lead in the lines. For more information visit or call 401-521-6303 or go through the city's 311 system. Check out the video below

Free lead line service replacement

Councilman Pedro Espinal helped officials break ground on Meeting Street's new Center for Earlyl Childhood Development on Eddy Street. The project will expand access to high quality early childhood ed.

Councilor Sue AnderBois (Ward 3) welcomed guests to the North Burial Ground for a wreath laying and marker dedication - commemorating Revolutionary War Patriots.

Council President Miller welcomed 150 students at the city's office complex on Westminster for Providence Public Schools Civics Day. Councilor Miguel Sanchez also spoke with students in the council chamber about getting involved with local government and helping your community.

The Providence City Council is the legislative body that serves the many diverse communities of the City of Providence. Each council member serves as an advocate for their neighborhood and as a liaison between residents and the various departments and services our city has to offer.

To find your Councilor, click here. Already know your Councilor? Learn more about their work here.

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Providence City Council