As a three-term Middletown Town Councilor who is not running, I’d like to take this opportunity to address the upcoming election and several of the candidates running for Town Council. I will keep this letter focused on what is best for the town of Middletown.
Disregarding personalities and negative personal comments, our system of elections is part of the democratic process, grounded in our constitution for decades, and is the most important right that we have. Everyone should exercise their right to choose the individuals who represent them.
With that said, I would encourage the voters of Middletown to consider four incumbent candidates I’ve had the honor of serving with for six years. While I haven’t always agreed on every issue, I can say these councilors always supported what was in the best interests of the ENTIRE town.
They did not advocate for one group or neighborhood and never advocated for the sole purpose of personal benefit. They advocate for the masses. I’d ask voters to consider Paul Rodrigues, M.
Theresa Santos, Robert Sylvia and Barbara VonVillas. They love the town of Middletown, and they have selflessly given many years of their personal time to serve you, the residents of Middletown, and deserve your support.
I would like to support former Council President Arthur Weber. Art has been serving the town for many years, one term on the council, many years on the Planning Board and on the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission. He has given back to his community and deserves your support. Finally, I would like to endorse newcomer Christopher Logan, he’s a lifelong Islander, has served in a voluntary capacity with youth groups and is a Marine Corps veteran. Chris has a fresh view for Middletown and will bring a much needed change to the dynamics of our Council.
Lastly, I cannot support Terri Flynn and Dennis Turano of the current council. My main issue is their lack of support for real tax reform, a Homestead Act that would have benefited all residents who make Middletown their primary residence. Turano’s tax plan would have shifted the tax burden from those who could afford it most to those who could least afford it, as was clearly stated in the RIPEC study commissioned by the town. Flynn voted against the Open Space Bond, which would preserve areas of our town from development and support passive recreation. She was the ONLY vote against the firefighter’s contract, which adds firefighters to our understaffed fire department. It was very clear what the public wanted and she chose to be the lone vote against the public’s wishes.
These are fact-based issues, and they are issues that will not allow me to support these two individuals.
Henry “Rick” Lombardi