ELECTION YEAR ALERT – ALN CALL FOR QUESTIONS

Twenty-seven civic-minded Newport citizens have filed to run for seven City Council and seven School Committee seats this election year promising strong contests for all openings.

As it has since 2008, Alliance For A Livable Newport (ALN) will conduct free public forums to give Newport voters an opportunity to assess the qualifications of the candidates.

At this point, we anticipate holding three forums – one for candidates for the three Ward Council seats, one for candidates for the four at-large Council seats and one for candidates for the seven School Committee seats.

In addition, two online questionnaires — one for City Council candidates and one for School Committee candidates — will be given to the candidates, and their responses will be presented on ALN’s website, www.newportalliance.org.

We want to hear what Newport’s voters are interested in learning about the candidates.

ALN is requesting the public to submit questions to be answered by the candidates. Questions for the forums and questionnaires will be selected from those received.

To allow time for the questionnaires to be prepared and given by the end of July to the candidates for their responses, your suggested questions must be submitted no later than July 15.

Please send your questions to info@newportalliance.org

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

For over 10 years, the Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) has promoted and enhanced the quality of life in its city by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing our community.

Please support ALN today!
To pay online go to http://newportalliance.org/join/
Or mail your check to ALN, PO Box 2636, Newport, RI a 501(c3) non-profit organization.

PUBLIC FORUM – Students of Newport Public Schools Speak Out

  • DATE: Tuesday, May 1st
  • TIME: 6-7:30 PM
  • LOCATION: Claiborne Pell Elementary School | 35 Dexter Street, Newport, RI.

A Public Forum Presented by the One Newport NPS Strategic Plan Subcommittee And Alliance for Livable Newport (ALN)

Listen to our Thompson and Rogers School students talk about their future aspirations and
the roles education and the community play in making life choices. Here’s an opportunity to
understand the perspectives of Newport’s young people as they navigate technology, social
media, classroom traditions, extracurricular activities, family pressures and a rapid change in
the labor market.


You have heard from the Newport City Council and the School Committee, and about the
Newport Public Schools’ Strategic Plan. Now is the time to hear from our most important
educational constituents.

Panelists:
Students from Rogers High School and Thompson Middle School

If you could ask them a question what would it be? Now is your opportunity.

Questions may be submitted via email before the forum or in writing the night of the event.
info@newportalliance.org

You do not have to be present at the forum to have your question chosen.

The One Newport Subcommittee is a group of volunteers who are committed to helping improve the Newport Public Schools.

They believe that a superior educational system is critical not only for the children of Newport but also for the future of the City.

For over 10 years, the Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) has promoted and enhanced the quality
of life in its city by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing our community.

CONTACT For Immediate Release: April 13, 2018
Isabel Griffith, Co-President
Alliance for a Livable Newport
Igriffith38@verizon.net
401.849-6444

ALN Hosts First Annual ‘State of the City’ Forum Addresses Governance, Safety in 2018

Watch the VIDEO HERE 
CREDITS: By Joseph T. O’Connor | 2018-03-01 / Front Page | Newport This Week


In an effort to reflect on the year that was and to look ahead at the year to come, Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) held its first “State of the City” forum on Feb. 27, providing a chance for open dialogue between citizens and the city’s top officials.

More than 100 Newporters turned out at Pell Elementary School to hear Mayor Harry Winthrop, City Council Vice-Chair Lynn Ceglie and City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson, Jr. present the city’s accomplishments and the challenges it faces, and to discuss what they say will be a promising 2018.

City leaders took questions submitted by citizens and read by ALN moderators John Hirschboeck, co-president of ALN, and Tom Hockaday, who sits on ALN’s executive committee. The nonprofit had solicited questions based on topics that citizens identified as issues they wanted addressed: the armory, schools, traffic and parking, other city properties, communications and governing processes, hotels and other issues.

“Hopefully [this] was an audience that appreciates our openness,” Nicholson said in an interview following the forum. “I want to work with people. I want people calling me. I want them to understand what’s going on with the city.”

The forum began with the city officials commenting on Newport’s accomplishments, its investments, and developments, as well as the challenges facing the City by the Sea.

Winthrop cited more than $190 million in citywide public investments, including the water and wastewater treatment plants, the Pell Bridge Ramp Realignment Project, Freebody Park, Broadway, the Gateway Center and Sheffield School, among others.

In addition, he noted the benefits that $350 million in private investment has had on local properties, among them the Breakers and Mrs. Astor’s Beechwood mansions, Gurney’s, the Marriott, Sail Newport and the Opera House.

“One thing that shows confidence in the city and the city government, I believe, is what type of personal investment people are willing to make in their community,” Winthrop said.

Along with upcoming hotel development, infrastructure investments and North End redevelopment, as well as major Newport events that attract more than 3 million visitors per year to the area, including the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in May, and the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals, the city is seeing major accomplishments, Winthrop said.

But Winthrop, Ceglie, and Nicholson also identified significant challenges for Newport, among them a $2 million-plus investment into repairs on Bellevue Avenue, a declining population, the relocation of the Newport Grand Casino that displaced 225 workers, and $2 million in needed repairs to the Edward King House. One issue, in particular, is the sea-level rise in low-lying areas of the city.

“Sea-level rise … has been a topic for quite a while now, and things need to be done,” Winthrop said. “But of all of the challenges, that to me is the one at the top of the list.”

Ceglie said the city is making strides in infrastructure through $425,000 in grants to stem the rising tide by helping to commission a study and preliminary design, and beginning a pilot program that looks at tide gates, which could allow water to flow out of storm drains but not back in. “We’re working on this challenge but there’s certainly more to go,” she said.

Another challenge city leaders identified is the potential repair or replacement of Rogers High School that Winthrop said could cost $50 million. But, he added, change will take time, and he urged Newporters to be patient as city and school officials navigate complex options.

“There’s going to be a lot of time and a lot of effort [invested in] building a high school that will hopefully be here for another 50 years,” he said.

Question and Answer Period

The first topic addressed was the Armory building and its potential sale to the National Sailing Hall of Fame, currently located in Annapolis, Maryland. The city officials reiterated that the council has maintained its position since talks of a sale began.

“There’s no change to policy,” Winthrop said. “The city took title to [the Armory] in 2010 because the redevelopment agency could not afford the repairs. We reluctantly took it on and immediately attempted to sell it. This is not something new.”

In the shadow of a renewed national debate over guns and safety in American schools, city officials were asked what steps were being taken to develop and implement a comprehensive safety plan for schools.

Nicholson said he has been discussing the issue with Newport Schools Superintendent Colleen Jermain and Police Chief Gary Silva.

“As it stands today, we have a police presence in all three schools, but it’s an ongoing discussion,” Nicholson said. “In past years, my first reaction would be it’s about the money. But it’s no longer about the money. It’s the new normal.”

Ceglie said Newport has two “very safe schools” in Pell and Thompson and that, in addition to staffing police at all three schools, city officials are allocating money to the 50-year-old Rogers High School for locks and cameras, among other safety features.

“I’ve said over and over again, my number one priority in the city of Newport is public safety,” Winthrop said. “Without public safety, none of this other stuff we’re talking about really matters.”

In an interview at the conclusion of the forum, Hockaday said, “They may see their own councilperson at a neighborhood meeting, but you rarely get the two top elected officials… and the city manager together at one time to collectively participate in answering those questions.”

Hirschboeck said some people might be upset that their questions weren’t answered, but he added that all questions had been submitted electronically to the Newport City Council for councilors’ input and reference.

“We have a great relationship with [ALN’s] board,” Nicholson said. “It was a nice turnout, and I thought it was a great exchange. A good way to get things off your chest.”

Read moreALN Hosts First Annual ‘State of the City’ Forum Addresses Governance, Safety in 2018

Mayor, City Manager to participate in the ‘State of the City’ forum

*Questions may be submitted in writing at the event, or via email to info@newportalliance.org

You do not have to be present at the forum to have your question chosen.

“The State of the City, Newport, Rhode Island”

A Public Forum Presented by The Alliance for a Livable Newport

  • How are we doing in our “City by the Sea?”
  • What has been accomplished over the past months?
  • As a function of the city’s Strategic Plan, what are the successes?
  • Where did the city fall short?
  • What can the residents and taxpayers look forward to?
  • Any warning signals to look for?

Here’s an opportunity to get the perspectives of Newport’s elected officials and of the City Manager about the issues they have been addressing over the past year and expect to be facing in the current year, and to challenge them with your questions* about the future of Newport.

Panelists:

  • Mayor Harry Winthrop
  • City Council Vice-Chair Lynn Ceglie
  • City Manager Joe Nicholson

DATE: Tuesday, February 27

TIME: 6-7:30 PM

LOCATION: Claiborne Pell Elementary School

35 Dexter Street, Newport, RI.

Ample free parking directly across the street from the school

CONTACT            For Immediate Release: 02/12/2018

Isabel Griffith, Co-President

Alliance for a Livable Newport

Igriffith38@verizon.net

401.849-6444

 

 

 

ALN Public Forum – Newport Utilities Department – Monday, February 27, at 5:30 Edward King House

DATE: Monday, February 27
TIME: 5:30pm 
LOCATION: Edward King House, Ballroom – 35 King St, Newport, RI 02840

The Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) will be holding its first Public Forum of the year featuring Julia Forgue, Director of the Newport Utilities Department, and her staff will talk about their department’s responsibilities and operations.

The Department of Utilities is comprised of two divisions, the Water Division and the Water Pollution Control Divisionhttp://www.cityofnewport.com/departments/utilities

The Water Division operates and manages the source water reservoirs, treatment plants, storage tanks and distribution system. The City’s water distribution system also services the Town of Middletown and a small portion of the Town of Portsmouth. We also sell water wholesale to the Portsmouth Water and Fire District and Naval Station Newport.

The Water Division is responsible for providing drinking water that meets standards established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). The Water Division is licensed by the RIDOH as a Public Water Supplier, License # 1592010. The Water Division is also required to report to the Rhode Island Water Resources Board.

The Water Pollution Control Division is responsible for providing wastewater treatment for the residents of Newport. In addition we provide wastewater treatment on a wholesale basis to the Town of Middletown and Naval Station Newport. The Water Pollution Control Division also manages the storm drainage system within the City.

ALN Public Forum – Newport Utilities Department – Monday, February 27, at 5:30 Edward King House

DATE: Monday, February 27
TIME: 5:30pm 
LOCATION: Edward King House, Ballroom – 35 King St, Newport, RI 02840

The Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) will be holding its first Public Forum of the year featuring Julia Forgue, Director of the Newport Utilities Department, and her staff will talk about their department’s responsibilities and operations.

The Department of Utilities is comprised of two divisions, the Water Division and the Water Pollution Control Divisionhttp://www.cityofnewport.com/departments/utilities

The Water Division operates and manages the source water reservoirs, treatment plants, storage tanks and distribution system. The City’s water distribution system also services the Town of Middletown and a small portion of the Town of Portsmouth. We also sell water wholesale to the Portsmouth Water and Fire District and Naval Station Newport.

The Water Division is responsible for providing drinking water that meets standards established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). The Water Division is licensed by the RIDOH as a Public Water Supplier, License # 1592010. The Water Division is also required to report to the Rhode Island Water Resources Board.

The Water Pollution Control Division is responsible for providing wastewater treatment for the residents of Newport. In addition we provide wastewater treatment on a wholesale basis to the Town of Middletown and Naval Station Newport. The Water Pollution Control Division also manages the storm drainage system within the City.

All ALN Forums are videotaped and appear on the ALN website athttp://newportalliance.org/videos/ and on COX TV, Channel 17.

Gateway Center Updates Forum – Nov. 28th @ 6:30pm – 23 America’s Cup Ave, Newport, RI 02840

 

Alliance for a Livable Newport to Hold Community Forum on Planned Improvements to the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center

The Alliance for Livable Newport (ALN) will host a Community Forum and Information session on the upcoming improvements to the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center (Gateway Center).  The forum will be held on Monday, November 28 at 6:30 pm, in the lobby of the Transportation and Visitors Center on America’s Cup Avenue.

Representatives of the team leading the effort will discuss the planned work, provide renderings of the upcoming project, and answer questions from the audience.  The construction and restoration work will include improvements to parts of the Transportation and Visitors Center damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as well as the installation of Green Infrastructure to assist in storm water runoff management. 

gateway-center

Lillian Picchione, Director of Capital Development of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), will lead the presentation.  RIPTA is the state agency working with the City of Newport on this project.   Picchione will be joined by colleagues from RIPTA who have worked with Newport City officials on the plan; representatives of the Newport City Council; and Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport and the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center.  Representatives from W.E. Marchetti Consulting, LLC (consultants on the project) and Newport’s Northeast Collaborative Architects (architects who worked on the project), will also be available to answer questions from the audience.

The purpose of the Transportation and Visitors Center Exterior Repair and Resiliency Project is to restore overhead protection for the hundreds of thousands of people who each year pass through the Newport intermodal transit and tourist facility on America’s Cup Avenue in Newport.  The project is also intended to make the structure more resilient to future storms, and to include installation of green infrastructure to improve drainage and assist with storm water runoff.  

RIPTA was awarded federal funding for the repairs and improvements to cover 90% of the roughly $6 million project.  The city of Newport is providing the 10% matching funds to complete the project.   For more information on the project, go to http://www.ripta.com/newport-gateway-center.

Public Forum – ELECTION 2016 – NEWPORT CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE

 

aln-forum
Candidates ‘civil’ as they air ideas
By Sean Flynn Staff writer Newport Daily News – Page 1A
Newport City Council at-large candidates, from left, Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Harry Winthrop, John Florez, Justin S. McLaughlin, Claude Andrews Lavarre and Jamie Bova participate in a forum Tuesday night at City Hall sponsored by the Alliance for a Livable Newport.
NEWPORT – The six City Council at-large candidates faced off in the council chamber of City Hall on Tuesday night with little conflict on ideas and proposals. Close to 100 people filled the chamber, with most of them on the first floor and close to 40 in the two upstairs balconies.
“They were very civil,” said resident Chip Leakas after the forum, which was sponsored by the Alliance for a Livable Newport, a neighborhood advocacy group.
The only new face on the dais in this council election cycle was Jamie Bova, an electrical engineer and product manager at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, who is making her first run for municipal office.
Claude Andrews Lavarre, a Navy captain who had 23 years of active duty until he retired in 1989 and ran unsuccessfully for an at-large council seat in 2014, is making his second run. He has worked as a consultant for a defense industry company since retirement and now has his own consulting firm.
Henry “Harry” Winthrop, who has served about 10 years on the council, is seeking to return. He served on the council in the 1990s, ran again in 2010, was chosen as mayor by his colleagues in August 2012 and held the office until the end of 2014, after he failed to win reelection that November.
Three of the four incumbent at-large City Council members are running for re-election: Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, John Florez and Justin S. McLaughlin. The fourth incumbent, Naomi L. Neville, is not seeking re-election.
There were some slight flashpoints as candidates answered questions posed by Jill Kassis, first vice president of the League of Women Voters of Newport County.
Florez said he would propose a resolution later this month calling on the council to pass an ordinance that would have the effect of reining in panhandlers in the city. He said Providence attorney John Tarantino has drafted an ordinance that would stand up to legal scrutiny. The ordinance would target exchanges between occupants of vehicles and people outside the car as a safety issue. To the extent the proposed ordinance applies to panhandlers, it wouldn’t allow them to do it on a roadway or a median.
Napolitano pointed out that anti-panhandling ordinances have been declared unconstitutional in federal courts and she would not want to burden the city and its taxpayers with a costly lawsuit.
Just this year, the American Civil Liberties Union successfully opposed a Cranston panhandling ordinance in a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of a veteran with disabilities.
Napolitano said she would rather have social service agencies work to help panhandlers meet their needs so they would not have to be on the streets. “We have to be very careful,” she said. “I don’t want to put our residents on the line.” “We did not make it to the moon by being careful,” Florez responded. “We don’t want to be held hostage by the ACLU.”
Florez was the only candidate who favors having a popularly elected mayor, instead of having a mayor chosen by council members from among their colleagues, as is presently done. The council also includes three ward representatives.
Winthrop said he believes the Gateway visitors center should be moved from downtown Newport to the north end and a user-friendly intermodal transportation plan developed there to keep cars out of downtown.
He said he believes a bike and pedestrian path along the rail corridor should be a component of a proposed plan for the re-alignment of the Pell Bridge entrance and exit ramps.
If the land where Newport Grand is located opens up because the slots license is moved to Tiverton – if voters approve the statewide and local referendums in November – there would be about 76 acres that could be developed, Winthrop said.
Bova said research shows that many communities have benefited from alternative transportation projects and there is substantial economic growth associated with bikeways. Federal grants are available for infrastructure projects and could be used to fund the project, she said. Local and national bike advocacy groups work with cities to identify funding options, she said.
Bova also said the city should acquire the Naval Hospital property and establish a park along the waterfront, a proposal supported by all the candidates.
Lavarre had the most far-reaching proposals. He would establish an underground parking facility in the north end and have a tunnel dug for about a mile for rail transport of people into the downtown.
“They did it under the English Channel,” he said.
Lavarre is the only candidate who favored privatizing municipal water services. He said several times that he believes in the invisible hand of capitalism, which helps demand and supply of goods reach equilibrium in a free market.
“The hidden hand beats government every time,” he said.
He would favor splitting government into “current operations,” to deal with maintenance needs such as potholes, and “future operations” to deal with planning.
Lack of parking in the city was an issue during the forum.
McLaughlin said when he and others explored constructing a parking garage at the Mary Street municipal lot, it would have cost about $100,000 per space and was not financially feasible.
“We need a reliable trolley system,” he said.
McLaughlin said the city has to deal with the policy regulating short-term rentals. Currently, rentals in most areas of the city are not allowed for less than 30 days, but he knows of a home on Historic Hill that advertises rentals for $500 a night.
He would have city staff and the zoning officer review the policy and make recommendations to the council.
Benjamin S. Kessler and Kimberly L. Shute both returned declarations of candidacy for an at-large council seat, but have apparently withdrawn from the race.
Flynn@NewportRI.com

2016 School Committee Candidates Survey Responses

*An “embedded version of the survey” is shown below – however, different browsers and computers may require 2 different SCROLLING bars to view the all the results – so we recommend viewing these responses by clicking the first link above!

***Notice 2 tabs! (2 different views of the surveys >>

  1. “Question Summaries” tab allows you to view each question with ALL of the candidates responses to that question
  2. “Individual Responses” tab allows you to select a candidate and view that candidate’s responses to all of the questions.”

“ALN Announces Local Public Candidate Forums and Online Questionnaires”

NEWPORT LOCAL ELECTIONS – NOVEMBER 2016 –
NEWPORT CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES – NEWPORT SCHOOL COMMITTEE CANDIDATES TO ADDRESS KEY ISSUES IN PUBLIC FORUMS

For over 10 years, the ALLIANCE FOR A LIVABLE NEWPORT (ALN) has worked to promote and enhance the quality of life in Newport by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing our community.

In this year of Newport Municipal Elections ALN has developed questions designed to help voters decide about their choices for City Council and School Committee. As in the past several years the questions and answers can be viewed on the ALN website at newportalliance.org.

The two questionnaires, one for City Council candidates and one for School Committee candidates, can be examined by viewing each candidate’s responses to all the questions or by focusing on a question and seeing all the candidates’ responses to that question.

Be a confident, savvy voter! There are a number of new names on the candidate lists. We hope our questions and their answers will be an important addition to the information you need about local elections to make informed choices.

October 4, 2016
Newport First Ward City Council Candidates
6:30 at the MLK Center
Martin Luther King Community Center
20 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd.
Newport, RI 02840

October 11, 2016
Newport At Large City Council Candidates
6:30 in the Council Chamber at City Hall
43 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840, Second Floor

October 18, 2016
Newport School Committee Candidates
6:00 at the Pell School Cafetorium
35 Dexter St, Newport, RI 02840, First Floor

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