CITY OF WOONSOCKET, RHODE ISLAND James C. Cournoyer City Council
PRESS RELEASE – February 23, 2018
Potential Sale of Woonsocket Social Street School
WOONSOCKET, RI: City Councilman, James Cournoyer, announced today that he will be submitting a resolution at the City Council’s next regularly scheduled meeting on March 5, 2018 that instructs the Mayor to notify in writing all parties who have expressed interest in purchasing the former school house located at 706 Social Street that they should submit a final best offer to the City through the City Clerk, with a copy to the Mayor, by no later than March 23, 2018 so the Council may decide in early April which offer, if any, to accept.
Cournoyer said "unfortunately, on February 5th, the Council was blind-sided when it was revealed that the Mayor had received a bona fide written Offer to Purchase the subject property way back on September 14, 2017 from Mr. John Lippolis of Blackstone, MA, but that the Mayor never notified and presented the offer to the Council."
Cournoyer said, "the Mayor had an unequivocal duty to notify and inform the Council of Mr. Lippolis’ offer, along with all the relevant details, but she failed to do so. Her actions in this regard were wholly unacceptable, inexcusable and indefensible." Economic development is not a game, said Cournoyer.
Cournoyer went on to say "This is not a complicated matter. A written offer was hand delivered to the Mayor on September 14, 2017. At that point, she had a duty to immediately forward the offer to the Council for their consideration. She did not do that. That’s the beginning, the middle and the end of the story. No amount of mayoral spin, story-telling or revisionist history can justify this outrageous behavior."
Cournoyer concluded by saying that "the majority of the Council ran on a platform of open, honest and transparent government and that the Mayor’s actions are the antithesis of the type of government we expect and deserve." On behalf of the City, Cournoyer apologized to Mr. Lippolis and the other developers who have expressed interest in the property only to see their pursuits delayed by the Mayor’s improper actions. He further assured them that they will indeed all have a fair shot on a level and transparent playing field and that the Council will not tolerate bullying and rude behavior from the Mayor toward investors of our great City. 2
CC: Honorable Woonsocket City Council
Honorable Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt