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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — After applauding the strength of his resume, the Narragansett Town Council appointed resident Rupert Friday to the Planning Board’s expired position Monday on a 3-2 vote.

Friday narrowly earned the council’s hand over the seat’s incumbent Robin Plaziak — a candidate who councilors supported for her parental experience of raising children in town.

The appointment of Friday was supported by Council President Ewa Dzwierzynski, President Pro-Tem Jill Lawler and councilor Steven Ferrandi.

Councilors Susan Cicilline-Buonanno and Deborah Kopech favored a reappointment of Plaziak for a second term, a motion that failed, 3-2.

Plaziak, who is a teacher and parent of two school-aged children, has been a Narragansett resident since 2007. She also served as a planning board representative on the Coastal Access Board, officials said.

“She has a different perspective to the board – and I know she doesn’t have a huge background in planning but it’s a love of hers and she knows an awful lot about the comprehensive plan,” Cicilline-Buonanno said.

“…it’s a different (perspective) she’s brought to the board that isn’t currently represented … she’s passionate, she’s researched on all the projects. I think she would be a strong reappointment to let her finish out the term that she’s entitled to as we quantified the terms.”

Kopech agreed with Cicilline-Buonanno, citing a need for a “unique perspective.”

Kopech added a re-appointment of Plaziak would keep a representative of a different social demographic on the board as the current planning board is otherwise made up of men.

“Rupert Friday would be a valuable addition to the board, however, Robin brings a unique perspective,” Kopech said. “Robin is a part of an underrepresented demographic in this town. She has interest and engagement with the education sector of our town, she also works for the education sector of our town and she’s the only one with young children of this group.”

Lawler described Friday’s resumé as “exemplary.”

“We have many housing issues, as we’ve discussed, coming up. His qualifications are outstanding,” Lawler said. “Robin has done a great job but when you have a candidate of Rupert’s caliber, when you know you’re facing so many issues on the planning board, I can’t see how we could not … appoint him to this board.”

Prior to the vote, Dzwierzynski also supported the motion of appointing Friday to the board, adding, “I am for women, but I also look at qualifications, as well.”

Kopech reiterated her thoughts on Plaziak.

“Rupert is excellent,” Kopech said. “But, there’s one thing (Friday) doesn’t have … that is a perspective of a parent. One of the things you said, Ewa, was that you like the idea of promoting women. I think the voice makes a huge difference. I think it would be inappropriate to remove Robin.”

Ferrandi said Friday gave the council “common knowledge” and insight of his career history, specifically in planning and collaborating with other agencies.

“Robin’s a good candidate too,” Ferrandi said. “I just think that Rupert – his outside experience is a little bit ahead.”

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