opinion Newport Rhode Island

In a survey sent to Middletown Town Council and School Committee candidates by the Citizens Exploring School Unification (CESU) group, the candidates were asked whether they supported an updated study of school regionalization between Middletown and Newport.  

Seventy per cent of the candidates replied YES.  From the Council candidates, they were: 

Terri Flynn                    Audrey MacLeod-Pfeiffer

Lawrence Frank           James Miller                        Barbara VonVillas

Gregory Huet               Daniel Titus                          Arthur Weber Jr.

Christopher Logan                  Kathleen Ventura               Thomas Welch III           

School Committee candidates replying YES were Vanessa Ellermann, Tami Holden and Frances Marie Connolly Moldveen.  

Those responding NO to conducting a study are Council candidates  Theresa Santos and James Heaney; and School Committee candidate William O’Connell.

The following candidates running for Town Council responded “MAYBE” with conditions:  Paul Rodriques, Robert Sylvia and Dennis Turano.  Council candidate Antone Viveiros and School Committee candidate Cynthia Perry did not respond to the CESU survey.  (However, in a public, on-line forum of Middletown candidates sponsored by various organizations,  Viveiros said NO and Perry replied YES to a similar question regarding an updated school regionalization study.)

You can find the reasons why each candidate responded as they did to this survey on school regionalization by going to the CESU web site: https://cesu.news/.  Also, on this website you can view and listen to the public forum in which in which each candidate participated.

Ten per cent of Middletown voters signed a petition last year requesting the Town Council to conduct a school regionalization study, but five of the councilors (Robert Sylvia, Theresa Santos, Paul Rodriques, Dennis Turano and Henry “Rick”Lombardi) rejected the idea.  Such a study would provide the information needed to make an informed decision on school regionalization.  The results of such a study would be non-binding.  Regionalization of schools would only be enacted if a majority of voters in each community agree and pass a referendum.

CESU urges you to support Middletown candidates who favor conducting a study on school regionalization.

Ronald G. Heroux


CESU Secretary