Democracy is based on the right of each declared candidate an equal amount of public time before an election. In Narragansett we hold two elections. The first one occurs if more than 10 candidates file for the Town Council and/or the School Committee. The object of the first (or September) elections is to drop the number of candidates to 10.
On July 1, I read an article in The Independent where North Kingstown Town Councilor Mary Brimer, advocates moving the Christopher Columbus statue, recently removed from Providence, to North Kingstown.
Five hundred years ago Columbus, as all the rest of us, was flawed; fair enough. Columbus was also a risk-taking, daring, accomplished navigator who led a group of sailors on a quest across an uncharted ocean to find a new route to Asia for European industries.
The Mayor of Providence has recently chosen to hide away that city’s statue of Christopher Columbus rather than expose it to escalating attention from the mob. In contrast, the North Kingstown Republican Town Committee has made a serious offer to put that statue proudly on display here on the shores of the Narragansett Bay.
The current budget referendum has been causing quite a stir in town. The town is divided into two camps, those opposed to the decrease and those in approval of the decrease. The money in question: $1.1 million transportation savings, from early school closings.
In the article entitled “NK Republicans say town should offer to take Columbus statue” that appeared on Page A5 of the July 2, 2020, Independent, Town Councilwoman Mary Brimer states: “Our annual budget affords a significant contribution to historic preservation, (such as) Smith’s Castle, (and) Gilbert Stuart’s Birthplace.” The Cocumscussoc Association d/b/a Smith’s Castle receives no Town, State, or Federal subsidies.
I am writing to ask that South Kingstown voters support the budget recommended by our Town Council for the School Department and municipal government. These budgets were painstakingly crafted after months of public input, study, discussion and compromise.
There will be a referendum held on July 14 to determine the amount of town funding allocated to the school district via property tax transfer (PTT). In reality, there will be no change to funding in the next fiscal year regardless of whether or not the referendum passes.
I am happy to announce my candidacy for the R.I. State Senate this year. In the weeks after St. Patrick’s Day, stemming the spread of the coronavirus took up a great deal of my attention as the president of the Narragansett Town Council. Protecting the health and safety of our residents is paramount and I worked closely with our town manager, town clerk and other town staff to maintain town operations in this new environment. As weeks turned to months, I also realized that it was important to return to normal and not let the virus change our way of life.
The referendum on July 14 has been long in the making. For as long as I remember, the people in South Kingstown have always supported our schools. Even the reductions we will consider still represent spending increases, just not as high as have been asked.
As we approach the celebration of our independence from Great Britain I have noticed a number of American flags with a blue or red stripe replacing a white one. One EMT is flying a flag with a combination red and blue stripe. I assume the display is meant to show support for law enforcement and fire department personnel.
Lockers slamming shut... The constant ringing of the school bell. The chatter of conversation on everything from test answers to relationship problems.
These are just some of the sounds that you hear during your typical high school day.
Our state is beautiful, yet small. Our residents are bound by close ties of family and friendship. The downside to this familiarity is that these same ties provide fertile field for governmental favoritism, insider dealing and corruption.