I am writing to wholeheartedly endorse Wick Rudd for election to the Newport City Council. Newport is at a crossroads in its existence. Newport has gone through successive waves of change (Colonial Seaport; Victorian Resort, Navy Town and Tourist Town.) however, through all of those waves of change Newport remained a thriving “Family” Town with generations of middle class families able to afford to buy a home and to work and live in this City we all love.

Unfortunately, we are entering into a wave of change that I call the “Nantucketization” of Newport, whereby local families are getting forced off Aquidneck Island as wealthy individuals and wealthy retirees drive the price of housing up on the Island beyond what young families can afford. Pretty soon we will be a City of “Dark Houses” from November to June as the “New” Newporter’s retreat to Florida to establish their residency there to avoid paying Rhode Island income tax and the dwindling winter population makes it harder and harder for local businesses to survive. It is okay to have housing for the wealthy and housing for those who are less fortunate but Newport also needs to retain its middle-class families to create balance and a steady workforce. Luckily Wick Rudd has made middle-income housing and middle-income jobs a priority in his campaign. Wick has two children living in Newport and wants to help them and the rest of their generation to have an opportunity to stay here if they so desire.

Wick spent 6 years on the Planning Board and is currently on the Zoning Board. Wick Co-Authored the City of Newport Comprehensive Land Use Plan and most importantly he is a consensus builder who “Plays well with others.” Wick is the right person at the right time to battle “Nantucketization” and help create opportunities to keep our families in Newport. If you want your children and grandchildren to be able to stay in Newport, vote for Wick Rudd this Tuesday. Thank you.

William J. Corcoran