Rudd, Kallman absences increased in 2020

Rudd, Kallman absences increased in 2020

PAWTUCKET – Seven City Council members missed one or zero meetings in 2020, while Councilor Tim Rudd was last in attendance for a second year, with Councilor Meghan Kallman just ahead of him.

Rudd attended 56.67 percent of meetings, missing 13 of 30 meetings. The only other councilor to miss more than one meeting, Kallman, attended 66.67 percent of the time, missing 10 total meetings.

Council President David Moran had perfect attendance, never missing a meeting in 2020, according to meeting minutes, while all other council members missed one meeting apiece, for a 96.7 percent attendance rate each.

The 29 total missed meetings from the entire council was a slight improvement on 2019, when councilors missed 31 council meetings.

The totals do not include the many subcommittee meetings, where absences are more frequent than at regular meetings.

Rudd and Kallman, who is now a state senator in District 15, were also the bottom two for attendance in 2019, with 18 absences between them, and that number jumped to 23 combined missed meetings in 2020. Rudd had 11 absences out of 28 meetings in 2019, and Kallman had seven absences.

Former Councilor Albert Vitali Jr. was the only one with perfect attendance in 2019.

City Council members are paid $7,000 annually, while the council president receives $8,000.

After his spotty attendance of 2019, Rudd told The Breeze that many of the absences were related to stressful situations related to family, saying last February that things had settled down and “I don’t foresee missing any more meetings unless for an emergency.” He then missed two of three meetings in March and five of six meetings in May.

Rudd said this week that he does his best to attend all the meetings he can and the 2020 absences were connected to an ongoing family emergency that has taken him away from special sessions and regular meetings.

“I’m doing my best to rearrange my schedule to attend all meetings, as I’ve been attempting the last few meetings that I have been able to attend,” he said.

Rudd said he follows up on any and all issues that constituents have and has been a vocal voice on the council for District 6, especially as it relates to quality of life issues.

Kallman explained this week that, toward the end of 2020, there were quite a few extra council meetings scheduled related to riverfront development issues. When special meetings are scheduled, it isn’t done in advance because they are in response to an immediate need, she said. There are simply calls around to make sure there are enough council members for the minimum required number of attendees.

“I need to earn a living and I have teaching obligations during the semester, which are organized to accommodate the regular meeting schedule,” she said. “However, when special meetings were scheduled in the fall that conflicted with my regular teaching, I needed to miss.”

According to meeting minutes, Kallman had one missed meeting in February, two in March, two in May, one in June, one in July, two in August, and one in November.