opinion Newport Rhode Island

This election Newport has eleven Town Council candidates for five seats and ten School Committee candidates for seven seats.  Middletown has seventeen candidates for seven Town Council seats and five candidates for two School Committee seats.  Portsmouth has eight candidates (seven incumbents) for seven Town Council seats and three candidates for three School Committee seats.  Why the lack of interest in Portsmouth?

Portsmouth is one of the only remaining towns in Rhode Island that still has partisan elections.  The recent Portsmouth Charter Review committee recommended nonpartisan elections because they increase competition and allow government employees to run for elective office.  The current Town Council is aware of these facts and voted against a nonpartisan election referendum.  

Self-preservation trumps the best interest of the people. 

This same Town Council voted to increase our taxes by $1.2 million during a pandemic and record unemployment.  Citizens wrote letters and emails questioning the increase.  The concerns of these citizens were not even acknowledged by the Town Council.  Newport, Tiverton and Middletown refused to raise taxes.

Our state legislators were in the state house only once during the whole pandemic.  Where are they when we needed them?   Absent!   

Do not vote for someone because he or she is the only choice.  Vote for no one or write in a name so someone who will listen to the residents and remember to fill in the oval beside the write in name.  

This Town Council and local legislators do not deserve your vote. 

Nancy Howard, Portsmouth