To assist Newport voters, the Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) has asked challenging questions of the 12 At Large candidates and three 3rd Ward candidates vying for the Newport City Council Primary election on September 8. (The four candidates competing for the 1st and 2nd Ward seats in the General Election on November 3 have been asked the same questions.)
All Ward candidates have been asked an extra question specific to their respective Ward.
These are the questions submitted to all candidates:
1.) Do you support the November ballot question for Newport to issue more than $100 million of bonds to be used to expand The Pell School and replace Rogers High School? If no, explain your reasons. If yes, what do you say to Newport residents and business owners concerned about the impact on their property taxes? If yes or no, what action(s) would you promote if the ballot question is defeated?
2.) Traffic and parking problems in Newport persist and seem to be getting worse despite being the subject of countless studies and ad hoc committees. What specific measures (other than forming more committees and conducting more studies) would you promote to alleviate the problems?
3.) Newport’s economy is closely tied to tourism. The risk of that dependence has been made abundantly clear by the COVID pandemic. What, if any, alternatives do you see to the reliance on tourism? Based on your answer, what specific actions should be taken to further promote tourism and/or what specific actions should be taken to expand the economy beyond tourism?
4.) The closure of the Visitors Center was announced recently. What do you propose should be done with the property?
5.) A Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) template is being considered as part of the North End Urban Plan (NEUP). What would you like to see included in the CBA template? What measures will you promote and support to put the NEUP on a clear path to implementation?”
6.) What do you most want Newport voters to know about you?
In addition to these questions asked of all candidates, Ward candidates have been asked the following:
7a.) Question for Third Ward Council Candidates ONLY: Ocean Drive is the scene of traffic problems, speeding, illegal parking, and (primarily at Bretton State Park) loud noise and trash. Although these problems are at their worst during the summer months, they persist to some degree throughout the year. What specific measures would you promote to deal with these problems?
7b.) Question for Second Ward Council Candidates ONLY: The intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and Memorial Boulevard is the scene of congestion and multiple accidents every summer. The traffic overflow from the north to Memorial is now affecting Red Cross and Gibbs as well. What measures should be adopted to handle this problem?
7c.) Question for First Ward Council Candidates ONLY: The preferred plan for the Pell Bridge Offramp Realignment is now known. What measures should the City of Newport plan and enact to minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhoods both during construction and, more importantly, after project completion?
In addition to the written survey, ALN, Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Newport County, Newport Buzz, Newport This Week and WADK radio have combined forces to host on-air “Zoom” forums for candidates in each of the race. The first of these forums can now be seen with those running in the primary for state representatives:
Voters can view the forums which will be posted on each of the organization’s websites once confirmed. It is also hoped that follow-up questions posed by voters will later be answered by candidates on WADK radio’s “Talk of the Town” program with Bruce Newbury, which airs daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Since its founding in 2006, ALN promoted and enhanced the quality of life in Newport by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing our community.
Visit the ALN website, newportalliance.org, to become a member and to make a donation in support of ongoing efforts. Or mail a check to ALN, PO Box 2636, Newport, RI a 501(c3) non-profit organization.