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Providence Charter Review Commission Records
1979-80
RG 209

During the late 1970s citizen interest in amending the city's charter gained momentum. The election of the city's first Republican mayor in more than three decades led to an effort by the Democrat controlled state legislature and City Council to reduce the new mayor's powers. The city's legislative charter was amended to deprive the mayor of the item veto and his control over the parks department was reduced. Other attempts were made to shift control of several municipal departments to City Council control. Nearly eighty changes had been made to the city's charter since its passage in 1940--none with the approval of the local electoral electorate.

Mayor Cianci joined a coalition of citizens led by The League of Women Voters and East Side physician Melvyn M. Gelch to call for a new home rule charter for the city of Providence. A successful signature drive resulted in the election of the Providence Charter Commission in October 1979. This nine-member commission chaired by Dr. Gelch conducted more than one hundred public hearings and meetings between November 1979 and September 1980 conducting a line-by-line review of the old charter and debating numerous proposed changes to the operation of its municipal government. The drafted home rule charter was presented to voters on November 4, 1980 and passed by a vote of 18,053 to 12,245. The charter became effective in January 1983. A core provision of the new document now allowed the city the ability to change the structure of its own government without General Assembly approval. In addition to strengthening the administrative power of the mayor, other key elements called for the reduction of the City Council to fifteen members (one from each ward), enhancing the fiscal powers of the council, and a reform of the city's personnel policies. The charter also formalized the establishment of the city's Division of Archives and History.


Scope and Content
This collection includes five boxes of meeting minutes, hearing transcripts, correspondence, as well as drafts and final copies of the city's Home Rule Charter. The records cover the period from November 1979 to October 1980.

Size: 6 linear feet

PROVIDENCE CHARTER COMMISSION
1979 - 1980
RG 209
AN 20105 & 20106
BOX
NUMBER
FOLDER
NUMBER
CONTENTS DATE
1 1 Acquisition and Disposal of Property 1979 - 1980
2 Background 1979 - 1980
3 Board of Parks & Recreation 1979 - 1980
4 Brochure - Home Rule Charter 1979 - 1980
5 Charter Disposition Table 1979 - 1980
6 Charter Preamble 1979 - 1980
7 Charters - Other 1979 - 1980
8 Consultant's Research List 1979 - 1980
9 Correspondence Incoming January 16, 1980 - September 4, 1980 1979 - 1980
10 Correspondence-Outgoing December 12, 1979 - October 2, 1980 1979 - 1980
11 Draft-Original Articles: I - V
12 Draft-Original Articles: VI - IX 1979 - 1980
13 Draft-Original Articles X - XIV
14 Draft-Articles I - X

March 1980
- June 1980

15 Draft-Articles: II - IV July 1980
16 Draft-Articles: VII - VIII July 1980
Article V missing July 1980
17 Draft-Articles: IX, XI - XIII July 1980
18 Drafts-Articles: I - IX August 1980
19 Drafts-Articles: IX - XIII August 1980
20 Drafts 2 & 3 September 1980
21 Drafts & Final Copy-Articles VII - XIII 1979 - 1980
22 Financial Material/Appropriation Ordinance
23 Financial: Budget
24 Financial Material/Financial Statements
25 Memoranda
26 Options for Achieving Administrative Flexibility
27 Press Releases & Public Service Announcement
28 Provisions On Borrowing
29 Public Hearings - Schedules/Agendas
30 Purchase Requisitions - 1/6/1980 - 5/30/1980
31 Purchase Requisitions - 6/6/1980 - 10/24/1980
32 Purchase Requisitions - CPD
33 Questionnaires
34 Sign In Sheets
35 Tabled Sections
36 Testimony-Hearing List
37 Testimony - Summary of Taped Testimony
38 Votes Commission
2 Chapter 1 - General Provisions
1 Municipal Court
2 Probate Court
3 School Committee
4 Public Records
Chapter 2 - Powers of the City
5 Civil Service System
Chapter 3 - Mayor and Council
6 Mayor
7 City Council
Chapter 4 - Appointive Officers and Employees
8 City Clerk
9 City Treasurer
10 Recorder of Deeds
11 City Registrar
12 City Sergeant
13 Superintendent of Weights and Measures
Chapter 5 - Departments, Boards, Bureau and Commissions
14 Retirement Board
15 Board of Tax Assessment Review
16 Building Board of Review
17 Civic Center Authority
18 Department of Police and Fire
19 Department of Public Works
20 Department of Planning and Urban Development
21 Housing Authority
3 1 Board of Park Commission/Department of Recreation
2 Water Supply Board
3 Board of Sinking Funds
4 Board of Canvassers and Registration
5 Department of Public Parks
6 General Issues
Chapter 6 - Finances
7 Duties of Directors
8 Personnel Director
9 Budget
10 Purchasing and Contracts
11 Conflict of Interest
12 City Assessor
13 City Collector
14 City Controller
Additional Areas
15 Archives
16 Civilian Review Board
17 Human Relations Commission
18 Initiative, Referendum, Recall
19 Ombudsman
20 Residence Requirements
21 Sewer Authority
22 Traffic Engineer
4 Meeting Minutes
1 November 1979
2 December 1979
3 January 1980
4 February 1980
5 March 1980
6 April 1980
7 May 1980
8 June 1980
9 July 1980
10 August 1980
11 September 1980
5 Audio Tapes of Meeting Minutes
December 17, 1979 & December 26, 1979 (Building Inspector Office - No Date)
Police and Fire (No Date)
December 26, 1979
December 26, 1979 & January 2, 1980
January 2, 1980
January 2, 1980 & January 9, 1980
January 9, 1980
January 9, 1980 & January 10, 1980
January 10, 1980 & January 15, 1980
January 10, 1980
January 14, 1980, January 15, 1980 & January 16, 1980 - Public Hearing
January 16, 1980 - Meeting and Public Hearing & January 22, 1980
January 22, 1980
January 23, 1980 & January 29, 1980
February 6, 1980 Public Hearing
February 12, 1980, February 13, 1980 - Public Hearing and May 12, 1980
February 13, 1980 Public Hearing, February 19, 1980 &
February 20, 1980 - Public Hearing
February 20, 1980 Public Hearing
February 26, 1980 & February 27, 1980 - Public Hearing
February 27, 1980 Meeting and Public Hearing & March 4, 1980
March 4, 1980 & March 5, 1980
March 5, 1980 & March 11, 1980
March 10, 1980 & March 11, 1980
March 11, 1980 & March 12, 1980
March 12, 1980 & March 18, 1980
March 18, 1980 & March 19, 1980
April 1, 1980 & April 2, 1980
April 2, 1980
April 8, 1980
April 8, 1980 & April 9, 1980
April 16, 1980 & April 22, 1980
April 22, 1980 & April 23, 1980
April 23, 1980 & April 28, 1980
April 29, 1980, April 30, 1980 & May 6, 1980
May 7, 1980 & May 13, 1980
May 13, 1980
May 20, 1980 & May 21, 1980
May 21, 1980 & May 27, 1980
May 27, 1980 & May 28, 1980
May 28, 1980 & June 3, 1980
June 3, 1980 & June 4, 1980
June 4, 1980 & June 10, 1980
June 10, 1980 & June 11, 1980
June 11, 1980 Public Hearing & June 17, 1980
June 23, 1980 & July 23, 1980
July 3, 1980 & July 8, 1980
July 8, 1980 & July 9, 1980
July 9, 1980 & July 15, 1980
July 22, 1980
July 28, 1980
August 6, 1980
August 8, 1980
August 13, 1980
August 19, 1980
August 20, 1980
August 21, 1980 & August 26, 1980
August 26, 1980 & August 27, 1980
August 28, 1980
September 3, 1980
September 4, 1980




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