Newport city hall newport city council

Just three hours before the Alliance For A Livable Newport is scheduled to host a public forum between Newport City Council Candidates, word is out that the elevator at City Hall is down and may not be operating by the time the event starts.

“We were informed at mid-afternoon about a problem with the City Hall elevator and that it might not be operating for ALN’s forum tonight, although every effort is being made to effect repairs. Those unable to reach the second floor of City Hall are urged to view the videotape of the forum on our website. We will make every effort to have it uploaded for viewing as soon as possible,” Alliance For A Livable Newport posted on their Facebook Page around 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The elevator needs to be fixed or move the forum. All citizens should be able to participate, not just watch,” Annette Bourbonniere ,an activist for the rights of persons with disabilities, told What’sUpNewp just after the news came out that the elevator may be down.

Ron Becker, Co-President of the Alliance For A Livable Newport, shared the following information with Bourbonniere following her request to have it moved;

We did not find out about this until 2:30 this afternoon.  It was too late to move or reschedule.  We will strive to have our videotape up on the ALN website as soon as possible.  Also, John Florez will live-stream the forum on his Facebook page.  We are trying to get notices out about both of these options.

There is no audience participation in the forum.  The format has the questions being asked by a moderator from questions suggested weeks ago by ALN members and subscribers.  No questions will be taken from the live audience.  The live audience also will be cautioned not to demonstrate for or against the candidates or their responses to the questions.

Laura Swistak assured me that every effort is being made to have the elevator operative by the time of the forum.  I received a call from Mayor Napolitano as well telling me that a repair crew is on the scene and trying to effect repairs.

We are not happy with this situation and its effect upon some of Newport’s voters, but our options are limited at this late time.

The Newport City Council Candidates Forum is still scheduled to take place this evening starting at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at Newport City Hall.

The Alliance For A Livable Newport is a local nonprofit that works to promote and enhance the quality of life in Newport by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing the community.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.