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 Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).