Newport city hall newport city council

The Newport City Council hosted their first virtual Regular Council Meeting on Wednesday, April 8th at 6:30 pm.

The meeting was open to the public by phone and Zoom. While the public was invited to attend/watch, there was no public comment.

All seven city councilors were present for the meeting, which lasted nearly two hours.

What’s Up Newp has copied the official agenda and pasted it below. We’ve provided notes and updates below each item in italics.

Mayor Bova made the motion to table items #2, #4, and #5. It was seconded by Ceglie. The motion passed 6 -1 with Leonard voting nay.

Mayor Bova stated that there is a plan to host a workshop on #2, that #4 still requires RIDE approval.

1.Estimated FY2021 Budget Revenues

Budget Revenues

City Manager Nicholson said this is a “huge work in progress” during to the current challenges with COVID-19 and will continue to change. The following document was shared and discussed.

The budget revenue was received from City Council (vote 7-0).

2.School Bond Presentation

Bond Presentation


3.Communication from City Solicitor, re:  Proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance-Float/Base/Map (Receive and refer to the Planning Board for a recommendation)

Zoning Ordinance

This was received and referred to Planning Board for recommendation. Vote 7-0.


4.Memorializing the General Assembly to Enact Legislation Authorizing the City of Newport to Issue not to exceed $114,500,000 General Obligation bonds, notes and other evidences of indebtedness to finance all costs relating to the construction, renovation, improvement, alteration, repair, landscaping, furnishing and equipping of :  (I) an addition to the Claiborne Pell Elementary School, including but not limited to, classrooms and associated support space, site improvements and parking and (II) a new school facility for the William S. Rogers High School, provided that the authorization shall be reduced by the amount of certain grants received from State bond proceeds, from the Rhode Island Department of Education or from the Rhode Island School Building Authority

Bond Resolution


5.Covid-19 – Business Support System – K. Leonard

Business Support System


6.Moratorium Extension


After discussion, Justin McLaughlin amended resolve to substitute “approves” to “calls on City Solicitor to draft an amendment”. Vote on amendment 5-2 (Ceglie and Napolitano nay).

Resolution as amended was voted 5-2 (Ceglie and Napolitano nay).


7.Amending Chapter 14.04.020 of the Codified Ordinances, entitled, “Moratorium” (First Reading)

The motion passed 4 – 3 on first reading (Ceglie, Leonard, Napolitano nay).


8.Action Item #5925/20 – RE:  FY2020 -Current Year Budget Reductions


The motion passed 7-0.

9.Action Item #5926/20 – RE: North End Urban Plan – Consultant Services – Contract with NBBJ


Amended to include that the contract can not exceed $20,000. The amendment was approved 7-0.

The motion as amended was approved 7-0.

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.