We know that sometimes politicians make promises during their campaign. These promises may be ignored and forgotten after the person is elected.

Seldom do these broken promises result in hardship to thousands of people.

Unfortunately, with Councilor Ewa Dzwierzynski’s recent vote to support the three college student limit ordinance, she has broken her promises and negatively impacted thousands of people – students, parents and families, homeowners and voters.

In a Nov. 3, 2020 Narragansett Times interview, she was asked if she supports the town’s recently passed three-college-student ordinance.

She answered:

I support limiting unrelated parties living in a single household, but I do object to some of the language in the new ordinance, and the manner in which the Council dismissed public input and rejected the advice of the Planning Board. I think the key to improving safety in our neighborhoods is to establish a Code Enforcement Task Force including participation of public safety and URI officials.

I reached out to the Dean of Students at URI about this issue. The University offered to participate in recurring dialogue to address the concerns of residents and hold students accountable. In fact, in recent years, there has been little communication to the University from the Town on enforcement issues. I think the question of three or four students is the wrong question…what we should be asking is: “how do we better enforce our laws and make seasonal renters more accountable to be good neighbors?” I am very sympathetic to residents who live in neighborhoods that have a lot of seasonal rental units and have to endure certain noise and parking nuisances. I do not believe the answer is to implement poorly crafted discriminatory and exclusionary housing policies that make the Town vulnerable to housing discrimination lawsuits...

Oddly, Counselor Dzierzynski’s rationale for her reversal on the ordinance was that she had spoken to a resident during her campaign and now has an open mind since she was elected.

The wording of the proposed new ordinance is exactly as the previous ordinance which she said she opposed. It appears in her comments that she studied this ordinance during her campaign. There shouldn’t have been any surprises.

So what happened? Pressure from neighborhood groups? A promise of support from these groups should she run for another office?

And what are the initiatives with URI that Counselor Dzwierzynski referenced in her interview? Another broken promise.

She has chosen to turn her back on her alma mater with which she has strong ties and on a thousand URI students seeking housing. Students who may be your sons and daughters, relatives, friends and neighbors. Students whose goal is to experience living on their own in the beautiful town of Narragansett. Students who have been demonized by neighborhood groups who call students a “cancer” and accuse them of “invading” the neighborhoods. Students that add to the diversity of Narragansett, clearly the goal of the town’s new Diversity Committee.

The advice of the professionals on the town’s Planning Board who unanimously rejected this ordinance as not being in line with the town’s comprehensive plan, should be accepted.

People vote based on campaign promises which should not be broken!

Unite, don’t divide!

Joseph Lembo

Communications Director , Narragansett 2100

(1) comment


Narragansett2100 Communications Director Joseph Lembo's attack on Narragansett Council Member Ewa Dyzwiersnksi published on 9/1/2021 in the Independent is 'deja' vu all over again'.

In 2016 ,when Town resident Donald Leighton was chosen over non-resident Lembo for a position on the Narragansett Planning Board ,Mr Lembo launched into an Independent published attack on Mr.Leighton. Mr.Lembo asserted he was more qualified than Mr.Leighton to serve on the Planning Board of a Town which was not, and still is not, his legal domicile. In evidence of his deluded sense of self-entitlement ,not only did he want a Narragansett Planning Board appointment, he wanted it in addition to his seat on the Narragansett EDC. 

Even more bizarre was Mr.Lembo's contention that he was a legal resident of both Johnston RI and Narragansett -a belief he still maintains.  Maybe Mr.Lembo cloned himself or maybe he is yet one more investor in student rentals who is ready to advance any argument ,no matter how convoluted, to bolster his self-interests . Mr. Lembo, along with those he speaks for ,is an owner of multiple student rentals in Narragansett. A limit of three clearly affects their bottom line.

Ms Dyzwiersnksi is a newly elected Council member . The statements Mr Lembo quoted were based on previous feedback from URI. URI has backed away from those representations including those made before the Planning Board during a pandemic. In fact, URI has done nothing but give lip service to Narragansett over the many years the Town has tried to engage them .   It has not contributed one cent toward the 10 extra POs the Town has hired to deal with student rental issues. URI has consistently maintained ,by word and deed ,it is not legally responsible for its off campus students. 

At the 8/18/2021 Public Hearing Council President Pugh scheduled to adopt a 3 Student Ordinance ,Ms. Dyzwiersnksi made a clear ,well researched statement which spoke to why she believed a 3 Student Ordinance was right for the future of the Town of Narragansett. 

At that same Public Hearing Mr.Lembo's behavior was disruptive to the point that the Sargent at Arms had to step between Mr Lembo and this writer . During my testimony ,Mr Lembo rushed the podium causing Mr Pugh to stop the Hearing for 6 min and to come down off the dias and ,along with Solicitor Callaghan and Town Manager Tierney ,attempt to calm down Mr Lembo. Even Mrs Lembo tried to get her husband back into his seat. 

Mr Lembo's attack Ms Dyzwiersnksi is just one more instance which proves Mr Lembo is a sore loser.

Reality check Mr Lembo : No one likes a sore loser.

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