open letter newport ri

The following was written by John Shea, Executive Director of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission (AIPC).

As we enter 2020, I think back to less than two years ago, when I first came to Aquidneck Island to lead the AIPC. I didn’t really know anybody, wasn’t well-versed in many of the Island’s issues, and not familiar with the communities which the Commission serves. But since my arrival, I have felt a part of our Island community and have worked with the AIPC Board and staff to strengthen the AIPC’s effectiveness in addressing the key concerns facing our residents.

In 2020, the AIPC will continue to bring in resources to support the Towns of Middletown and Portsmouth and the City of Newport in mitigating the impacts of stormwater run-off and threats to our clean water reservoirs. Through the EPA/DEM Island Waters program, the AIPC has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to our communities to address these issues.

The AIPC is also leading a regional initiative to re-imagine the West Side of the Island and support the transfer of Navy properties to state or municipal hands. The West Side not only holds the economic and community-building potential of Aquidneck Island, it can be an even greater engine for Rhode Island’s state economy.

AIPC will continue to convene Island residents and stakeholders to access the success of addressing housing needs on the Island and developing shared approaches to creating, safe, affordable and appropriate housing.  AIPC plans to reconvene a Housing Summit in Spring 2020.

These are just a few of the key issues, projects, and civic activities which the AIPC will be leading in the coming year. We hope that our Island community will continue to engage with and support the AIPC as we work together to build a future of a healthier, happier, and more prosperous Aquidneck Island in which all its residents can live, work, play, and thrive.

John Shea

Aquidneck Island Planning Commission

Executive Director