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Who will be Newport’s next Mayor? The conversation and jockeying have begun among those newly elected and we’ve already seen two opinion pieces on it – both calling for the top At-Large vote-getter to get the spot.

Newport’s Council-elect will be meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15th at 6 pm in the 2nd Floor Conference Room at Newport City Hall for the purpose of informally electing a Chair and Vice Chair for the 2022-24 Council term.

The Caucus will also be considering appointments for City Solicitor, Probate Judge, and Municipal Court Judge.

The meeting is open to the public.

More Background

The City of Newport operates under a Home Rule Charter, and operates under a City Council – City Manager form of government.

The seven members of the Council must choose one of its four At-Large members to serve as Mayor/Chair.

The Role of the Mayor

According to the City of Newport’s Code of Ordinances, The Chair “shall have the Title of Mayor and shall preside at all meetings of the Council and shall be recognized as the official head of the City for all ceremonial purposes. He or she shall sign and execute all contracts or other evidences of indebtedness on behalf of the City, make all proclamations in the name of the City and shall be the executive head of the City to the extent required by this Charter. In the absence of the Mayor, or in case of a disability, the Vice-Chair of the Council shall perform all duties of the Mayor”.

Top Vote Getters

There had been a recommendation from the Charter Review Commission that would have made the selection of Mayor easier – it would have automatically been the top vote-getter. But the current council did not send that question to the ballot.

The top vote-getters in Tuesday’s election were – Xaykham Rexford Khamsyvoravong – 4,866 votes (23.0%), Jeanne-Marie Napolitano – 3,189 votes (15.1%), Mark Aramli – 3,121 (14.7%), and Lynn Underwood Ceglie – 2,986 votes (14.1%).

Current Mayor

Jeanne Marie Napolitano currently serves as mayor, it’s her third time doing so since joining the council in 1991.

Xay Issues Statement

With the news of the caucus, Xay Khamsyvoravong provided What’sUpNewp with the following statement regarding the meeting;

“The stories and hopes for the future of Newport I’ve heard firsthand from the community showed up at the polls this week with historic results.

Given that outcome, I am looking forward to having an open discussion on how to build a unified team to capitalize on the diversity of perspectives and experience of this new council.

We will deliver results while serving the community humbly, with respect, and with fresh eyes toward the future. Through this campaign, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know my fellow councilors and councilors-elect and I’m confident we share that vision.

It will take all of us working together to move Newport forward and I am hopeful for what lies ahead.”

With all that said, who would you like to see serve as Mayor of Newport for the next two years?

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and 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...