Amid Controversy, Newport Mayor Khamsyvoravong Calls Emergency Meeting to Expedite Hiring of New City Manager

In the wake of revelations from Newport Buzz concerning Mayor Khamsyvoravong’s efforts to appoint a $225,000-a-year city manager lacking municipal experience, Khamsyvoravong has called an emergency meeting to expedite this controversial hiring

Scheduled to convene immediately following the regularly scheduled City Council session on Wednesday, May 8th, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 43 Broadway, the emergency meeting has stirred significant interest and concern among residents.

According to the City of Newport, Mayor Khamsyvoravong, along with Councilors Aramali, Holder, and McCalla, have thrown their support behind Colin Kennedy, a retiring Naval Commander with no prior municipal experience. Conversely, Councilors Ceglie, Napolitano, and Carlin have voiced their backing for Interim City Manager Laura Sitrin, who has 23 years of experience.

The decision to swiftly call this emergency meeting underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgency perceived by the mayor and some council members in finalizing the selection process for the City Manager position. However, the move has also raised questions and prompted skepticism from segments of the community.

As the deliberations unfold, the outcomes of this meeting are anticipated to have far-reaching implications for the governance and administration of the city. Residents and stakeholders are urged to attend the meeting, enabling them to witness the proceedings firsthand and engage with council members this matter of critical community interest.

If hired, Kennedy’s $225,000-a-year contract will make him the highest-paid municipal executive in the State of Rhode Island, despite having the least amount of experience.

Former Newport City Manager Joe Nicholson retired in 2023, making $187,000 a year with 37 years of experience.

Note: Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee makes $163,295-a-year.

Make you voice heard!

Mayor Xaykham (Xay) Khamsyvoravong
Cell: (401) 935-0588
City Hall: (401) 845-5436

Vice Chair Lynn Underwood Ceglie
Cell: (401) 556-4490
City Hall: (401) 845-5494

Councilor Jeanne Marie Napolitano
Home: (401) 439-4240
City Hall: (401) 845-5493

Councilor Mark Aramli
Cell: (401) 236-4994
City Hall: (401) 845-5499

Councilor Angela McCalla
Cell: (401) 290-8370
City Hall: (401) 845-5497

Councilor Charlie Holder
Cell: (401) 236-7098
City Hall: (401) 845-5498

Councilor David Carlin
City Hall: (401) 845-5495
Cell: (401) 862-5027



Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!