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5/5/2017 Representative Bob Quattrocchi Opposing Plans for Regional Water Board That Rewards First Southwest and Former Deloitte Employees
STATE HOUSE  --  Representative Bob Quattrocchi (R-District 41 Scituate, Cranston) joins House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R-District 26 Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) in opposing legislation that would create an eleven member regional board with the power to manage water systems and borrow funds to purchase or lease property.
The bill (H-6122) was heard by the House Corporations Committee on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
It was drafted by Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration and is currently before the House of Representatives.
“The purpose and structure of this proposal is alarming to all Rhode Islanders, especially residents of Scituate,” said Rep. Quattrocchi.  “I attended the hearing and brought with me, 900 signed petitions from residents of district 41 who are also against this legislation.  None of us have any interest in this legislation, which is clearly designed to bail out the city of Providence, from its financial crisis.  The Elorza administration hired First Southwest to develop the RFP for the valuation contract.  First Southwest is the same firm that the State successfully sued for its role in the 38 Studios scandal and ended up paying $16 million in penalties.  Now, Providence has hired them.” 
If this bill passes the General Assembly, the Rhode Island Cooperative Water Authority would authorize an unelected Board to use the assets of the Water Supply Board to raise money that would be deposited into the severely unfunded Providence Municipal pension plans. 
“Then, Providence hired New Jersey firm, MR Valuation Consulting, to help find a solution to its financial predicament.  The fact that 3 of MR Valuation Consulting’s principles, Dan Hoerig, Mark Rodriguez, and Peter A. Hoffman, are former Deloitte Consulting employees, is beyond troubling.  Deloitte is the firm responsible for the botched rollout of Rhode Island’s public benefits system, a $364 million computer system that launched in September and has been beset by technical problems, causing thousands of delays in distributing food stamp benefits to people across our state,” he added. 

“This bill calls for Providence to consider a one-time asset transfer, which would yield approximately $372 million, but it also puts control of the board into the hands of only two people, the Governor and the Mayor of Providence.  What troubles me most, is that this gives Rhode Islanders no say in the daily operations of a board that will impact a large portion of the available water supply in the state of Rhode Island.  If the General Assembly is not represented on this board, then who knows what could happen.” 

For more information, contact:
Raina C. Smith, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2259