Jamie Bova announced today that she will not seek reelection to Newport City Council.

The former Mayor provided What’sUpNewp with the following statement this evening;

“In 2016, I launched my campaign for City Council as a 26-year-old engineer with the slogan “A new perspective for Newport.” Since then, Newport residents have come to expect that new perspective and desire for change in their candidates. During my time in office, I have worked to make our local government more accessible; there have been more public meetings and workshops and increased discussion on the Council floor since I took office. For the last three years, I have sent out a regular newsletter keeping our residents informed on City business, meeting my constituents where they are.  Today, I am announcing that I have decided not to seek re-election to City Council next term. I am going to finish my term to place Newport on a positive trajectory, and I plan to take some time out of public office to focus on my family and explore opportunities for the future. 

Throughout my time on the Council, I have had the privilege of working with many individuals, community groups, and organizations from across Newport. The work I have done on the Council to help Newport progress as a community has only been possible because of that collaboration. Our community has accomplished much over the past few years. We have a North End Urban Plan and zoning that reflects the will of our residents, promoting development that benefits our community. Short-term rentals are no longer permitted in our residential zones, and we are taking steps to revamp our tax structure to incentivize year-round residents, disincentivizing temporary and speculative rental operations from displacing permanent housing for residents. We are building a brand-new high school for our students, demonstrating that Newport is committed to investing in our future citizens. The first Transportation Master Plan in over twenty years is in development, building a community-focused strategy by engaging the locals who use our streets every day. 

The overarching focus of my time in office has been transparency and process. My mission has been to promote public discussion and debate on the Council dais, and Newport has benefitted from it. This consistent focus has helped me build trust and foster resident engagement. It was this focus on good governance that my colleague cited when they appointed me as Mayor in 2018. Our residents have come to expect open discussion from the Council and that they will be able to participate in decision-making processes and policy shaping. As we continue forward, it is up to the voters of Newport to elect more candidates that will continue to fight to keep those debates from returning to back rooms. There is still much work to be done, and it takes passion and community to make progress. As I look ahead to the next chapter in my story, I know that there are others in our community who can take the mantle and continue to bring new ideas, passion, and perspectives to the Newport City Council. “

Candidates had up until 4 pm to file their declaration of candidacy for local and statewide offices.

Bova wasn’t the only incumbent not to seek reelection, At-Large Councilor Elizabeth Fuerte and School Committee Chair Ray Gomes also did not declare candidacy this week.

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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 - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

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 ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.