Mark Aramli. Contributed photo

Overview:

Aramli provided What'sUpNewp with the following statement on Wednesday;

Mark Aramli is among seven candidates running for one of the four At-Large seats on Newport City Council.

The group includes two incumbents and five “newcomers”, which includes Incumbent Lynn Ceglie, Incumbent Jeanne Marie Napolitano, Eames Yates, Stephanie Smyth, Mark D. Aramli, Katherine Jessup, and Xaykham Rexford Khamsyvoravng

Aramli provided What’sUpNewp with the following statement on Wednesday;

“Many of you know of me as “that BedJet Guy”. I am an entrepreneur, an engineer and a local business owner. I am also father of 3 young children all born in Newport Hospital, as well as a tenacious and relentless fighter for causes I believe in. 

Eight years ago, I launched the BedJet company from my kitchen table in a small condo above an ice cream shop in Newport. When appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank, I was told the business would fail and was “dead already”. Through a combination of passion, sweat and common business sense, I grew my company from a simple belief into a highly successful global brand now sold in 40 countries and used in over 160,000 homes. 

The City of Newport and the quality of life and well-being it provides for all of us is another cause I believe in deeply. I’m running for City Council because I want to bring that very same level of passion, ingenuity, tenaciousness and strong business capability to Newport city government. I wake up every morning feeling blessed that I get to live, work and raise my family together with my wife Ida in this amazing City of Newport. But it’s not enough to appreciate the place we call home, we must do our part to make it the best possible community to live, work and thrive. 

Being a contributing resident of Newport was important to me long before ever considering participation in City Council. In the early months of COVID when N95 protective masks became critically unavailable, BedJet supplied many thousands of them free of charge to our local police, fire and health care workers, donated to ensure their safety. 

Several years back, I directed a substantial ongoing portion of BedJet sales to be donated to local community organizations that support our underprivileged communities. In just the last year and a half we’ve contributed over $200,000 to local Newport organizations like MLK Community Center, Child and Family, Boys and Girls Club and many others. I was surprised to learn this far exceeded the City of Newport’s own funding support to these organizations, which is something I would work to change as a City Council member. 

Newport doesn’t just have a housing affordability problem; we have a housing affordability crisis. I, along with other local businesses, have employees with good jobs being forced to leave Newport, heartbroken they can no longer afford to rent or buy here. I will push for faster and firmer policies with a sense of urgency that will add to our stock of affordable housing and keep rents from spiraling upward. 

I will fight for lower property taxes and city service fees for year-round Newport residents. There is a special magic on this island and we recognize the vital role visitors and summer-home renters play in bringing vibrancy to our city and tourism dollars to support our economy. Yet full-time residents bear the brunt of taxes that support city services required for destination cities like ours and it’s time to give year-round residents a break. 

My experience in growing large businesses that require profitable operation gives me the depth and financial expertise needed to keep a watchful eye on our taxpayer money. I will relentlessly pursue areas of waste and ensure we get the most out of every single penny we pay into city government.

Our city is mired in incredibly long wait times for homeowners needing zoning board or historic district permitting. The city’s historic district review process has become so difficult, inconsistent and overbearing with its frequency of denials, property owners are forced to hire expensive attorneys to navigate the process. HDC denials are frequently overturned on very lengthy appeals processes. I will push to streamline and speed up these processes and bring a fairer balance to the very basic and sacred rights of Newport property owners to simply repair, improve and enjoy our own homes. We can no longer accept dysfunction and failure in this basic city service. 

The climate change crisis is real and our oceanfront city remains vulnerable to rising ocean tides. I am confounded by the lack of progressiveness in recent anti-solar City of Newport policies. Home owners wanting green energy for their homes via rooftop solar have been getting denied by Newport City government on even non-historic homes. We must seek common sense strategies for integrating the historic fabric of Newport with progressive and modern green energy technologies and I will bring a better balance to these anti-solar City policies. 

Feeling safe in your neighborhood is essential. Did you know Newport ranks in the bottom third of cities in America when it comes to crime? I will push to increase focus on public safety programs to keep every part of our city secure while ensuring our law enforcement professionals respect citizen rights. 

My laundry list is long. Drinking water that is actually drinkable. Reasonable water utility costs. Strong educational and school systems. Homeless housing. Streamlining sustainable development that respects and compliments the historic beauty of Newport. Business friendly policies to attract and retain new high paying jobs that aren’t only hospitality related. As an experienced job creator, I bring particular strength to our city in this area. 

Vote for me for City Council and I will focus on positive change. I will fight to represent your interests, I will listen to your concerns, and I will ensure common business sense prevails in Newport city government.”

More on Election 2022

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

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.