Note: This letter comes to us from former Newport City Councilman John Florez.

Change is sometimes a good thing. A little over a year ago I made the difficult decision of moving my family to Austin, TX. I felt it was imperative, given my business ambitions, to make this difficult choice. While I call this new city my home, I’m still a Summer resident of Newport and am proud to say that starting in February, my company’s Operations Division will be relocating to Newport TechWork’s Innovation Center at the Sheffield School.

Needless to say, my love for this great City by the Sea will never waiver, regardless of where I call home. I originally ran for the position of Councilor-at-Large because I wanted to create change for the better. I’m proud to have been the author of numerous pieces of legislation, including initiating the ban on single use plastic bags, police body cameras, the hiring of the city’s first Communications Director and soon the city will have a new state of the art website.

Being on the City Council is not easy work. It takes a lot of effort and it takes you away from your job and from your family and friends, it’s a sacrifice. But it’s a sacrifice that serves the greater good and it is well worth it.

That’s why it’s important that whoever leads this city as its next Mayor, has the time and dedication to serve not just after normal work hours but throughout the day and when their services are required.

I also hope that the next Mayor is responsive to their constituents, whether they see eye to eye politically or not. But most importantly, the next Mayor should lead with honor and honesty. They must stick to their word because in politics, as well as in life, it’s all we have.

John Florez