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The following Letter To The Editor was written by Jamie Bova, Newport City Councilor At-Large.
I have always believed “that’s just how it’s been done” is not good justification for a decision, and that belief is reflected by my actions on the city council. It is why the voters of Newport chose me to represent them a second time, and why many councilors-elect have asked me to serve as council chair. Our city needs an open, inclusive, transparent government led by a council of seven equal members working together to tackle the issues facing our city. As elected representatives, we have the responsibility to our constituents and ourselves to hold each other accountable to this standard. I wholeheartedly accept this responsibility serving in any capacity on the council.
If my colleagues – your representatives – elect me to serve as council chair at the upcoming caucus, I will strive to lead above and beyond “the way it’s always been done.” The city must address dynamic issues, and we should continually review our previous actions in the light of the present to find the best path forward. It is important that each of your representatives are empowered and encouraged to raise your concerns before the council. Better information leads to better decisions, and I will prioritize transparency within the council and with the public to help us take on the most challenging issues together.
We should draw upon the past for lessons and inspiration. We should carry forward what is serving us well. We can avoid mistakes of years gone by, and rediscover great ideas that fell to the wayside. Newport is full of history and there is much that we can build upon. But I firmly believe that we cannot be tied to the past at the expense of our future. We must work together to carry our community forward, and we must look beyond “the way it’s always been done” to get there.