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Hi,

Last week the City Council interviewed eight applicants for School Committee over two days. We had truly impressive candidates, all who applied because of their desire to contribute to their community. All eight interviews were held in the City Council Chamber and all applicants were asked the same questions so that the Council would be able to fairly compare their strengths when making the choice on who will fill the vacancy on the School Committee. We will be meeting in Executive Session on Tuesday to discuss the applicants and determine who the Council believes is the best equipped to fill the vacant seat. We will then vote on and appoint that person on Wednesday evening. The new School Committee member will serve until the next School Committee is elected and inaugurated in December.

This week we will be welcoming a delegation from our sister city of Kinsale, Ireland. This year marks the 21st anniversary of Newport’s sister-city relationship with Kinsale, a historic port and fishing town on the coast of County Cork, Ireland. Newport and Kinsale have much in common, including our military history, seasonal tourism economy, and restaurant scene. This relationship has been strengthened by Newport’s proud Irish community and we have regular cultural exchanges centered around St. Patrick’s Day and Kinsale’s celebrated annual Gourmet Festival, in which many chefs from Newport have taken part over the years. Newport and Kinsale have also developed a Chef Exchange, and there are several chefs from Kinsale in town this week. Please join us at the Edward King House on Thursday at 6:00 pm to officially welcome our friends from Kinsale.

During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, we will be appointing the new School Committee member. We also will be considering a few other items of note:There is a resolution that calls on National Grid to improve its communication with City officials and residents. All too often, residents learn about utility work on their street by National Grid trucks pulling in and beginning construction; we need to do everything in our power to keep residents informed.Another resolution is requesting action by our State Legislators to introduce legislation that would allow the City to create different tax classification for short-term rental properties.We will be receiving an update from the consultant on the North End Urban Plan and the continued work to develop the plan and engage the community. A second public forum will be held at Innovate Newport on March 18 from 5 – 7RSVP here.The full docket for Wednesday’s meeting is available here, and you are invited to come and voice your questions and concerns at the meeting.
-JB

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