Letter: Town should follow formal process in hiring grant writer

16
1159

Monday evening, March 6, I watched the meeting of the North Smithfield Town Council as they discussed a variety of issues, including the Halliwell Committee, the police station, the need for an HR director and the hiring of a grant writer for the town.

John Beauregard introduced Lisa Andoscia, a former resident of North Smithfield, currently residing in North Providence. I watched the presentation by Ms. Andoscia. She seemingly has brought in significant monies to the towns which employ her and she has developed many relationships with our congressional delegations. She has a long history of working within Massachusetts and has counted as clients, Baystate Health and the Basketball Hall of Fame. While she has not presented her proposal officially, she did request a salary of $5,000 per month, which includes travel to meetings with congressional representatives in DC.  

Ms. Andoscia is also employed by the towns of Smithfield, Lincoln, Cumberland and North Providence.  According to The Valley Breeze, other towns have recently hired her. If Ms. Andoscia is currently receiving $5,000 per month from every town, city or organization that employs her, I would question the necessity of North Smithfield paying a salary of that magnitude per month. Every professional woman that I know engaged in grant writing. We served our organizations, developed relationships with our congressional delegations, including Patrick Kennedy, Jim Langevin, David Cicilline, Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed. We also received monies from The Rhode Island Foundation, The Champlain Foundation and The June Rockwell Levy Foundation. We learned grant writing by doing it.

The Town Council meeting also highlighted the success that the town planner and assistant planner have had securing funding. Obviously, they have the knowledge, skills and talent to do the very same type of work. Securing funding also requires, in-kind contributions, letter of support, memorandums of understanding, community buy-in and evidence of diversity and inclusion on town boards and committees. It must also include sustainability when funding is no longer received. Are we ready for the obligations required and do we demonstrate stability and responsibility to the funders?

There are many grant writers within the state of Rhode Island. Many of them have credibility. If we are going to hire one, I would suggest the formal process of posting an RFP, soliciting applications, interviewing selected candidates by committee and then making an offer, as is the traditional method of hiring.

Please, let’s stop putting the cart before the horse.

Mary Cimini

North Smithfield    

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam!

16 COMMENTS

  1. Good luck North Smithfield in finding a grant writer with the credentials that Lisa Andoscia has and the political power. North Smithfield has always been a town that learns the hard way. In one grant she secured 2.2 million to the town. I would pay her whatever she asked for.

    • Tom, Lisa’s political contacts are only in the RI legislation and are not in Washington so your statement is unfounded. Also how does he political power turn into a grant for NS when Lisa has many other cities and towns. Does Lisa choose or rotate the towns that receive the grant. Also the famous RI legislative grants are usually spoken for and are at the speakers digression for political favors but are usually given to same groups each year (just look at the list on the RI legislation website). Second this circumventing of the procurement process appears to be a favor for Lisa and not a favor for North Smithfield. I think it feels like someone was doing another person a favor. We need to follow a process and not just do it because that usually gets someone in trouble. Just look at Buddy C.

  2. Tony, I have driven bye your $2M football field and empty parking lot for the last 3 and 1/2 months at various hours every day and have not seen anybody using the field. I did see a few folks walking on the track so you better call the police, the superintendent, and Jim L. to make sure they paid the fee to walk on the taxpayer paid track. Also the company you speak of has told nothing by lies because no due diligence was done on this company because the usual process was not followed by your buddy. Also it did not cost $600,000 for that concession stand and bathroom that is never open during most games.

  3. The potential return on investment makes this an easy decision. As far as Mary Cimini and Mike Clifford are concerned the worst thing that could happen is this grant writer gets hired and turns out to be a big success. That would make JB look good and they can’t have that. This is no different than putting the parking lot at the football field. They would rather see the town lose out on potentially millions of dollars than see JB succeed, yes they are that obsessed and they have both proven it over and over. And they are not the only ones.

    • Tony, the parking lot deal was a dog. The Superintendent already announced that the department got a quote for expanding the parking lot with blacktop for roughly $141k. John’s friend suggested his costs would be $400k and in exchange we would have had an easement on the property for 40 years. The solar array built by John’s friend never brought in the big bucks that were dangled as bait either. There’s no doubt in my mind that you believe the silly claim that the concession stand cost the developer over $600k to construct.

    • The potential is the issue, NS could win every grant, NS could lose every grant. I’m hoping that the town sees the ROI almost instantly, but that’s where the problem is. So I ask these questions to you, just because the town wins a grant, will it get used for that purpose and right away? When will the grant money need to be spent by in order for the town not to pay it back? Will the town have 20 unfinished projects, just to gain money to show it was worth hiring this person? How long will it take per project/grant to see the results? She did say that she would write grants specialized for the town’s needs, but who’s needs? Needs of the many (infrastructure, clean water and etc) or the needs of a few (parking lots, ice rink etc).
      How is expanding a parking lot, next to two other parking lots that don’t get filled (maybe 50% at NSMS, less than 25% at NSHS) during game nights a good use of resources where people are needing clean water? How is putting a parking lot at the football field going to give the town money? How were lights and a proper path from those parking lots an oversight? Speaking of paved areas, I was on Lester St yesterday, which was given a rating of 8 back in 2013 from the road survey, and that street is bad, probably untouched. There’s so many needs that need to happen, and somehow they aren’t. How many more surveys have to get done, before the town starts seeing the results?
      I want to see everyone succeed in life especially for the town, even if they tell me that I don’t belong here (even though they may not be from the town originally either) or that I’m too stupid, but the needs of many get drowned out (wish it was drowned out by construction for repairing the roads). The reason for them succeeding, should mean the town succeeds, a win-win if you will.

    • Tony, the parking lot deal was a dog. The Superintendent already announced that the department got a quote for expanding the parking lot with blacktop for roughly $141k. John’s friend suggested his costs would be $400k and in exchange there would have been an easement on the property for 40 years. The solar array that John promoted never brought in the big bucks that were dangled as bait either. There’s no doubt in my mind that you probably believe the silly claim that the concession stand cost the developer over $600k to construct.

      • Mr Clifford – I think his name is Jimmy, not Tony.
        And why are you seemingly advocating to waste taxpayer dollars on DPFJAC parking lot construction and expansion when a developer could potentially make improvements at no cost to taxpayers? Have you seen the new parking area at URI? It’s just terrific and generating green energy to boot. Perhaps your issue is personal and not objective? Why do you want to see taxpayers dig deeper? And why does the private contractor expenditure even matter?

        Hatred can be blinding, right?

        • Tony, I have driven bye your $2M football field and empty parking lot for the last 3 and 1/2 months at various hours every day and have not seen anybody using the field. I did see a few folks walking on the track so you better call the police, the superintendent, and Jim L. to make sure they paid the fee to walk on the taxpayer paid track. Also the company you speak of has told nothing by lies because no due diligence was done on this company because the usual process was not followed by your buddy. Also it did not cost $600,000 for that concession stand and bathroom that is never open during most games.

        • I’m not advocating for the parking lot. It would be just another “nice to have’ item rather than a “true need”. As others have pointed out there are many parking spaces already located on the school campus. I mentioned the cost to highlight the exaggerated “deals” that always come with John’s friend’s offers.

    • Not sure why you are so offended that I would suggest the hiring process should be followed. No one should be able to show up at a meeting and be hired by the Town Council without the opportunity for other candidates to apply. As a former professional that hired, I was obligated to judge the resumes and credentials of individuals, along with their salary requirements. This is not about making John look bad, it’s about John learning to follow proper procedure. If Ms. Andoscia is the exceptional candidate after a review of candidates, I would expect that after reviewing all resumes and proposals, the Town Administrator, along with other personnel would make the recommendation to the TC. If Ms. Andoscia is the selected candidate, the process has been followed.

      • I never said anything about making JB look bad, I think the Breeze article actually had the opposite effect. I said you and Mike Clifford are against anything that would make him look good. See the difference? Your LTE actually makes you look bad, your motives are very obvious. Everyone I have spoken to is very happy that the town is finally doing something about this.

        • Jimmy you’re starting to sound like JB. Why don’t you tell us where you live and use your real name?

  4. Let’s analyze the facts, no competitive bid was performed, the person who introduced the grant writer has a history of circumventing policy and procedures, and NS will be competing for the same grants as Smithfield, Lincoln, Cumberland, and North Providence. So this is what I see happening, the grant writer, writes one bid, collects the plans and specifications from someone who is already too busy that does 90% of the work, changes the town name, and submits pretty much the same bid as the other communities except for the plans and specifications. So I ask what value did the grant writer add? Sounds like typical RI politics, I know a guy. Another $60K down the drain and I can guarantee NS will not win many grants unless a current town employee takes charge and writes a more complete plan than the other communities. Also from my experience Human Resources adds very little value in employee disputes and lawyers always get involved at a hig cost.

    • I’ll argue that the HR person is a check and balance, hopefully deterring future harassment/assault. Unfortunately things do happen and lawyers do have to get involved, but that’s what happens when the wrong person gets put in the position and abuses it. Giving the employees a voice goes a long way.

  5. Mary Cimini is right! The Town should follow the normal process of advertising for bids and proposals instead of just going with the first person or company recommended by any council member. What about the promises of fiscal responsibility, due diligence and getting the best deal for the taxpayer we always hear about right before an election? Those promises are filled when the established procedures are followed. Mrs. Alves raised a good point when she expressed concern about one grant writer working for multiple cities and towns which are all submitting applications for the same competitive grant. Hopefully, at the next meeting a decision will be made to advertise and solicit other proposals.

Leave a Reply