Brodd, Mathews could leave City Hall next month

Brodd, Mathews could leave City Hall next month

WOONSOCKET - Two valued members of Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt's administrative team will have to leave their positions next month if they don't want to lose the pensions that they earned during previous stints in municipal government.

Planning and Development Director Joel Mathews was appointed to the job after the mayor took the oath of office in December and has worked for the past five months under a rule that allows municipal retirees to return to the public sector for up to 75 full days, or 150 half days in a calendar year. Mathews served as the city's planning director almost continuously from 1973 to 2011 and retired during a stint under former city Mayor Leo Fontaine.

Public Works Director Alan Brodd, meanwhile, came to Woonsocket in December after resigning from the same position in Cumberland. He had also previously held the director's position in Woonsocket from 2006 to 2008.

According to Baldelli-Hunt, both directors have worked limited hours over the past several months in order to extend their stay in Woonsocket. State retirees have their status suspended if they choose to return to municipal jobs permanently.

"I would love to keep them both on staff," Baldelli-Hunt told The Breeze. "They're extremely talented men and their knowledge is a huge benefit to the community."

Mathews estimated that his allowed time on the job would run out around May 15.

"There's a very good chance that will be the end of my tenure," he said. "If I was able to, I would want to stay. I've enjoyed my time back."

According to unverified pension data available online, Mathews is expected to receive a total of $854,697 in payments.

For Brodd, who has put in less time in past municipal positions, the case is a little less clear, but the mayor did not deny that his departure is a possibility.

"Both directors have years of experience in their areas of expertise," Baldelli-Hunt said. "It's not easy to find replacements for people like Director Brodd."

Finance Director Thomas Bruce verified that both Brodd and Mathews are working under the 75 day rule, and that their paycheck is given out on a per diem basis. Neither, Bruce said, has exhausted the 75 day maximum.

Bruce also verified that the individuals serving as Baldelli-Hunt's security guards and chauffeurs are not on the city payroll.

"We have a lot of volunteers at City Hall," Bruce said.

The mayor said she has no concrete plan yet as to who could fill Brodd and Mathews positions.

Comments

$854thousand,is that a typo or what?

Did I read this right? She has chauffeurs? Even if they are volunteer....who does Baldelli-Hunt think she is? Already disconnecting herself from the average person in Woonsocket.