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LETTER: Nick Williams: Managing the City Manager

I've served as the public sector Business agent for Teamsters Local 251 for the past 5 years. In my role as Business Agent, one of my duties is to negotiate labor contracts with many towns, municipalities and quasi public sector agencies throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

Recently, the Independent Townie ran a story on interim East Providence City Manager, Tim Chapman. The article suggested a possible conflict of interest and one City Councilor, Anna Sousa, alleged possible ethics violations based on some legal work that Mr. Chapman was performing for the City of Pawtucket.

Based on my experience dealing with multiple Cities and municipalities I have to disagree with this assessment or, at the very least, suggest this type of activity is much more widespread and accepted than most are aware, according to the comments I have read. I have seen many examples of City Managers moonlighting on other projects, but one such circumstance stands above all the rest.

Seekonk Town Manager, Shawn Cadime, also serves as an elected member of the Fall River City Council. Mr Cadime served as Fall River City Council president in his previous two year term, while employed full time as the Town Manager of Seekonk. The citizens of Seekonk and Fall River are both well aware of this, and there have been ethics charges levied against Mr. Cadime. None of them have stuck, despite ordinances that would suggest the contrary in both Seekonk and Fall River. The language in these documents, which is similar in wording to our City Charter, simply isn't restrictive enough to force The Town Manager/City Councilor to pick a role and drop a role. I would predict the same outcome to come of any charges or ethics violations levied against Mr. Chapman.

Nick Williams
East Providence

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect The Independent Townie's editorial policy.