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Cranston, Rhode Island

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Transparency grading process

Cranston is a municipality in Rhode Island.

Website Evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Rhode Island city websites

This website was most recently evaluated June 26, 2012.

The good

  • Contact information for elected officials is posted.[1]
  • Most recently adopted budget is posted.[2]
  • Audits are posted.[3]
    • Audits dating back to 2005 are available.
  • Tax information is posted.[4]
    • Tax rates and tax exemption information is listed.
  • Contact information for administrative officials is posted.[5]
  • Meeting minutes and agendas are posted.[6]
    • Agendas and minutes date back to 2004
  • Information on how to file a public records request is posted.[7]

The bad

  • The current operating budget and previous city budgets are not posted on the website.
  • Although there is a website section for bids, nothing is posted on it.[8]
  • Building permits and zoning information are not posted on the website.
  • Information on taxpayer funded lobbying efforts are not posted.

Public Employee Salaries

In 2009 Mayor Allan Fung earned $80,765 according to a 2009 Rhode Island Salary Survey.[9]

Public pension

Main article: Rhode Island public pensions

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Democracy is focusing research and analysis on the City of Cranston's municipal pension crisis.

According to analysis, Cranston police and fire retirees receive higher pension benefits than their statewide peers, as well as details of the generous Holiday Pay that Cranston retirees continue to receive at taxpayer expense. Cranston has a pension funding level below 25 percent and reported unfunded liabilities of $245 million, placing it among the worst-funded in the state.[10]

Municipal and non-teacher school employees receive an average of $13,628 per year in Cranston, but $13,285 in the state system, a 2.58% difference. For teachers, the difference is greater, with $44,425 for Cranston and $43,027 overall, a 3.25% difference.[11]

The premium paid to Cranston retirees explodes for police and fire: Combining Cranston’s local system with its handful of retirees in the state plan yields an average payment of $50,654 for the city, compared with $28,057 for the state system overall, or an 80.54% difference. The generosity gap becomes greater still if only widows and other beneficiaries are considered; for Cranston the annual average is $31,529, while for the state fire and police category, it’s $11,876 (a 165.49% difference).[12]

External links

Find information for this town and the local public school at the Transparency Train Portal to Government Transparency - an online database of information provided by the Ocean State Policy Research Institute.

References