Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 12-06-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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16 WOONSOCKET DECEMBER 6-12, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION office, swearing in Baldelli-Hunt for her third term as mayor and incum- bent council members Jon Brien, James Cournoyer, Daniel Gendron and Denise Sierra for another term. Also taking their seats on the council were former Council President John Ward and city businessman David Soucy, along with Julia Brown, a substitute teacher whose 15-vote win over former Councilor Roger Jalette Sr. was lauded as "the biggest surprise of the year" by former Mayor Charles Baldelli. Leaving the council are Melissa Murray, who will take her seat in the State Senate, and Richard Fagnant, who did not win re-election. Christopher Beauchamp, an 11-year councilor who did not seek another term, also served his final City Council meeting Monday night, earn- ing sendoffs from fellow councilors and speakers. On the school side of government, Ruggerio swore in the city's first elected School Committee since 2013 after voters approved a return to an elected board in July. Paul Bourget and Donald Burke, both of whom served on the appointed committee, reclaimed their seats, as did Eleanor Nadeau, who served on the com- mittee in previous years. Rebecca Capwell and Lynn Kapiskas were also elected. The evening featured appearances by several of the state's elected offi- cials, including a video message from Gov. Gina Raimondo and remarks by U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, who told local officials it was up to them to restore the faith of residents in the democratic system. "I think more than ever we're living in a time when people really need to see elected officials working on their behalf," he said. "Government really needs to work for the people, and we need to all work together to restore the public's faith in our institutions." Cicilline also urged local officials to take a conciliatory approach and work together during their upcoming term, a theme repeated throughout the evening. Speaking to The Breeze after the ceremony, Gendron said improving the relationship between Baldelli-Hunt and a majority of the council is his "biggest dream" for the upcoming term following some years of hostility. He also named the next city budget as one of the largest chal- lenges facing councilors. "We know that we have a monu- mental task ahead of us with the new upcoming budget that will be chal- lenging to keep Woonsocket on a path forward, but with the dedication and the intellect of the new council, I believe that we can achieve," he said. Following the remarks, councilors held a brief reorganizational meeting, re-electing Gendron as council presi- dent and Brien as council vice presi- dent by unanimous votes. Councilors also reappointed Howard Portney as city probate judge, Thomas Dickinson as municipal court judge and Lloyd Gariepy as alternate municipal court judge. Bourget, who served as vice chairman of the previous School Committee, told The Breeze the com- mittee will select a chair and vice chair at its upcoming meeting on Dec. 19. He added the board is looking to reform the negotiating commit- tee for the ongoing teacher contract dispute, as the negotiations are now the responsibility of the newly elected School Committee. "The biggest thing we're tackling is the contract, and we want to settle that as soon as possible because we want to get our teachers back on track to do what they normally do, which is teach the children," he said. Bourget added the district's ongoing struggles with attendance rates are also high on the new committee's list of priorities, and members will look to work cooperatively with each other and members of the council and administration. Noticeably absent from the eve- ning were performances by any of the city's traditional public schools. Also absent was a vote on the reap- pointment of City Solicitor John DeSimone, a position that has been announced at previous inaugurations. Reached for comment earlier in the week, Gendron declined to comment on whether DeSimone will have the votes necessary to be reinstated to another term, saying only that the council will take up the question of a solicitor at a future meeting. WOONSOCKET From Page One BREEZE PHOTOS BY ROBERT EMERSON Woonsocket Mayor LISA BALDELLI- HUNT delivers her inaugural address at the Stadium Theatre on Tuesday night. State Senate President Dominick Ruggerio swears in the WOONSOCKET CITY COUNCIL during ceremonies Tuesday night at the Stadium Theatre. From left, are Ruggerio, John Ward, David Soucy. Denise Sierra, Daniel Gendron, Jon Brien, Julia Brown and James Cournoyer. Do you have a family member who loves their Valley Breeze newspaper, but is heading south for winter? Yes, the Breeze is online, but many prefer "the newspaper in their hands." We'll put The Breeze in an envelope and mail it First Class for $4 per week, postage and handling. (They usually arrive in 2 days.) Just stop in or call our office with your check or credit card, with: • Your "snowbird's" name, full address while away, which edition they would like, and when to begin and end delivery of the paper. That's it! Visit The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. To 5 p.m. or Phone 334-9555 and ask for Rhonda or Deb during office hours. Thank you. Send 'A Warm Breeze' to Snowbirds… Mail 'The Valley Breeze' for Christmas Winter Ball Christmas Ball • Solstice Ball • Company Party Tis the Season to be Jolly & Smart... 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