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Town Manager Butts Heads With Professor Over Trash Collection Study

Peter DeAngelis Jr. says professor's analysis is flawed and that's why he contacted president of Roger Williams University; she said he threatened her by his action.

Barrington Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr.
Barrington Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr.

Barrington Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr. is butting heads with a professor over a case study of privatization of trash and recycling collection in town.

Roger Williams University professor Lynn Ruggieri of Barrington analyzed the financials of the now private program and shared them with the Barrington Times. She learned shortly thereafter that DeAngelis called the president of the college because he believed the professor was attacking him with an inaccurate analysis.

Ruggieri said she interpreted the town manager’s call to the RWU president as a personal attack on her and "completely inappropriate." She said she would have feared for her job if she wasn’t a tenured professor.

DeAngelis said he attempted to meet with Ruggieri first about her analysis. Instead, she asked for more information about the privatization of trash and recycling collections in Barrington.

After completing her analysis, Ruggieri said, she found that privatization had cost taxpayers money – not saved them anything. DeAngelis disputes that analysis. 

The town manager said that he, finance director Dean Huff and DPW director Alan Corvi all have a problem with the way she crunched the numbers, which led to inaccurate conclusions. Read the complete story by clicking here.

P. Dulchinos October 04, 2013 at 10:20 AM
Rather than reading a story covering cross accusations with no substantive facts or figures, I would have loved to have seen actual cost analysis data. For example, did the Professor’s case study include the positive effect outsourcing will have on the town's unfunded pension liabilities in the out years, or did it only examine simple annual operating expenses. It should also be noted that trash collection services have been expanded under privatization. Recycling is now collected weekly. Was this taken into consideration when looking at the overall best value of the initiative? Since the privatization of trash collection in Barrington, the overall quality of service has improved: recycling is collected weekly; there has been less wear and tear on my trash receptacles; the employees are friendly and respectful; and everything taken to the curb is collected without stipulations. I would propose that the town needs to examine other functions that are not inherently governmental for additional privatization. Only those functions that involve public safety, contract oversight and the obligation and expenditure of public funds need to be performed by entrusted public servants.

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