In the interest of full disclosure, I want to start this letter by stating that I have not lived full time in Newport for over a decade. That being said, Newport will always be “home” to me. My parents were born and raised on the island and my father’s family have been Newport residents for centuries. So why would someone like me write a letter to the editor about the upcoming election? I’ll be honest, I have not paid close attention to the city council and what has been working over the last 10 years, so I will not comment about it specifically. What I can speak to is Kevin Michaud’s character. Kevin is a lifelong Newporter who takes more pride in his city than anyone else I know. He has shown this over the years with his commitment to various charitable organizations as well as his work at Easton’s Beach and the Newport Recreation Department. But above all, Kevin cares about people.
I have been lucky enough to consider Kevin one of my closest friends for 25 years. Throughout those years, Kevin has always been there for myself as well as my family. He is also the type of person who seamlessly becomes a trusted friend to anyone he meets due to his genuine and approachable nature. I believe Kevin will take the same approach to every one of Newport’s citizens. Throughout the campaign process Kevin has focused on listening to the citizens of Newport and not just rattling off opinion after opinion. It is his ability to hear what the citizens are saying that will make him a great councilman.
Like many other New England communities, Newport is in a position where they must have sustainable growth. This is not just growth to ensure we do not ruin what makes Newport beautiful aesthetically. This growth is to ensure Newport does not lose its identity. Newport is not only special because of the mansions, downtown, Ocean Drive, etc. Newport has and always will be special because of its people. Kevin is one of the few people I know personally that can grow Newport in new progressive ways while also remembering what truly makes Newport great: its citizens.