Mayor James Diossa today thanked three Roger Williams University law school students, Mackenzie Collins, Kathrine Morin and Alexander Joyal who just spent a full-time week in the Central Falls' Law Department as part of the law school's "Alternative Spring Break" program. Students in the program dedicate their spring break to serving the public interest.
Collins is currently a 1L at Roger Williams University Law after graduating from Saint Anselm College. Collins worked under the supervision of City Solicitor Matt Jerzyk ('08) on a project reviewing the Home Rule Charter for the City of Central Falls, analyzing the 2012 amendments to the Charter and proposing potential amendments to the Charter to be voted on by city residents in November 2018. Collins specifically targeted ways to integrate good government and ethics language into the Charter. His work product will be forwarded to a Charter Review Commission and will likely appear on the 2018 ballot.
Morin, a Rhode Island native from both Cumberland and South Kingstown, is currently a 1L after graduating from Cornell University. Morin worked closely with Jerzyk and the Director of Human Resources, Jackeline Parra, to research and rewrite the city's employee handbook on several different matters. Specifically, Morin drafted important changes to the City's HR policy regarding drug and alcohol testing both before and during employment. Her amendments will be circulated to the city's labor unions and then promulgated as official policy in the employee handbook.
Joyal is currently a 2L at Roger Williams University Law after graduating from Penn State University. Joyal worked under the supervision of Assistant City Solicitor and Executive Director of the Central Falls Nuisance Task Force, Robert Weber ('12). His project involved researching the city's laws regarding abandoned property and the non-utilization tax authorized by Rhode Island law. Ultimately, Joyal produced a memo to the Mayor outlining how to amend the city ordinance so that it is in conformity with state statute and also the ordinance amendment itself. His efforts will be introduced to the City Council at their next meeting for public consideration. He also researched and produced a memo on whether the City should change its taxation laws regarding renewable energy in lieu of the recent Rhode Island Supreme Court decision in DePasquale v. North Kingstown.
"I can't thank these three law school students - Alex, Katie and Mackie - enough for taking time on their spring break to help continue our comeback as a city. And, I also want to thank Roger Williams University Law School for again offering this experience," said Mayor Diossa. "The students focused on areas of great importance to me and our administration: strengthening ethics and transparency in government, improving our HR policies to better protect our taxpayers and our employees and tackling and getting rid of nuisance properties.
Pictured here: Robert Weber, Matthew Jerzyk, Mackenzie Collins, Alexander Joyal, Katherine Morin, Mayor James Diossa outside of well-known Central Falls restaurant La Casona.
Pictured here: Jerzyk, Morin, Collins, Joyal and Central Falls State Representative Shelby Maldonado, who introduced and thanked the students on the floor of the RI House of Representatives.