2017-12-28 / Front Page

Meet the Candidates for City Council

By NTW staff

By the Dec. 15 filing deadline, 11 area residents had tossed their names into the hat to replace former Councilor John Florez on the Newport City Council. Florez, who has served on the council for the past three years, announced his resignation in a letter to the council on Nov. 22, and vacated the seat on Dec. 15.

The city council interviewed 10 candidates on Dec. 19 and 21. The 11th candidate, U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Turner, withdrew his application, since he is not registered to vote in Newport. According to Mayor Harry Winthrop, the city council plans to make a decision before or during the first council meeting of the new year, slated for Jan. 10, 2018.

In order to introduce readers to the candidates, Newport This Week asked each applicant to respond, in 50 words or less, to one question: What makes you the best candidate for the open Newport City Council seat? Here are their answers:

David Allard

I believe that now, more than ever, we need committed, kind leaders in local government who can restore the people’s trust. While I am impressed with all the applicants, my knowledge of local issues, my commitment to this community, and my energy make me the most qualified candidate for this appointment.

Marco Camacho

I have city council experience and a record of continued nonpartisan public service with the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, Discover Newport, and the Newport Prevention Coalition. I’m not beholden to special interests. I’m a quiet professional who knows that a policy disagreement is not disloyalty, or disrespect.

Roland Chase

I have a strong interest in three issues that should be of citywide concern, including the gentrification of Newport, which prices out of the housing market many children of longtime Newporters, creating a more favorable climate for small businesses, and preparing for inevitable climate change that is especially threatening to island communities like Newport.

Neyda DeJesus

I am the best candidate for this position because I believe I can make a difference. I strongly believe the city belongs to the residents and that their voices need to be heard. I am committed to prioritizing the voices of Newport’s residents.

Adrienne Haylor

Civic-centric and deeply involved in our community, I attend council meetings and forums, and keep my finger on the city’s pulse. As I councilor, I would have a fresh outlook on economic opportunity and environmental management, as well as senior and low-income family concerns. I believe government transparency leads to the people’s trust.

Justin McLaughlin

My 10 years as a ward and at-large councilor and my extensive engagement and participation in city council and community organizations constitute a strong basis for consideration. My prior service shows I am committed to making good decisions, based on careful consideration of facts, that are in the best interests of our residents.

Kim Ripoli

I believe that 2018 will echo the social and political similarities of 1968, and my 30 years of diverse public service from Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman to Pentagon Action Officer to Associate Director will benefit the citizens and City Council of Newport.

Brian Rochelle

My experience in government contracting, budget setting and time on the planning board are a few [reasons] why I believe I am the best candidate to fill the council vacancy. Most importantly, I desire to see the city I grew up in be a place [where] my two daughters can remain.

Richard “Wick” Rudd

I feel that I am the best candidate because of my experience, as well as fresh ideas. I served on the planning board for five years, which included drafting the comprehensive plan, and currently serve on the zoning board. My north star as councilor will always be what’s best for all Newport residents.

Nancy Stafford

I have a passion for Newport, its history and diversity. I bring fresh perspectives to the council and will tirelessly represent the voice of the people. My legal, finance and business experience, and my extensive background in advocacy and consensus building are essential skills for serving on the council.

Return to top