Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 03-28-2019

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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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | MARCH 28-APRIL 3, 2019 THE VALLEY 7 BLACKSTONE – Voters will head to the polls next Monday, April 1, to cast their ballot in the annual town election. Residents face two contested races for Board of Selectmen and consta- ble along with several uncontested races. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations: • Precinct 1: Senior Center, Lower Level, 15 St. Paul Street • Precinct 2: St. Theresa's Parish Hall, 630 Rathbun Street • Precinct 3: Main Conference Room, Upper Level, 15 St. Paul Street In the Board of Selectmen race, sitting Selectmen Robert Dubois and Michael Catalano Jr. will defend their seats against challeng- ers Stephen Goudreau, Catherine Norcross-Melson and Taylor Greene. The five-member board has two positions open for three-year terms. Dubois first took his seat on the board in 1986, while Catalano has served since 2013. In a press release to The Breeze, Dubois highlighted his long experience in town gov- ernment and his involvement in infrastructure and revenue projects, including the negotiation of the orig- inal American National Power plant PILOT agreement in the 1990s. Catalano emphasized the town's financial stability as a result of the efforts of the current board and the challenges faced by improvements to municipal buildings in the future. Though none of the other three candidates have experience serving on the Board of Selectmen, both Goudreau and Norcross-Melson currently serve on the Finance Committee and made unsuccessful bids for Selectman in 2017. In com- ments to The Breeze, both candidates advocated bringing change to the elected board and controlling spend- ing and tax increases. Greene is a political newcomer and former Woonsocket police offi- cer who named school buildings and other infrastructure concerns among her top priorities. She told The Breeze she supports both marijuana dispen- saries and solar farms as alternate sources of revenue for the towns. In the constable race, four con- stables, including Joshua Edward Benjamin, Cheryl Marino-Page, Rye Rivet and John Therrien, are seeking election to another three- year term. James Cunningham and Frederick Gremza are also compet- ing for one of five open positions. Sitting Constable Frederick Stone is not seeking re-election. Town officials are hoping this year's election draws a larger turn- out than last year's uncontested races, when only 147 residents, or 2 percent of registered voters, cast ballots. Voters can check their registration status and view a sample ballot by visiting the town clerk's page on the town's website at www.townofblack- stone.org or by calling the town clerk's office at 508-883-1500 ext. 146. Candidates running for uncon- Blackstone's annual town election is Monday By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer lauren@valleybreeze.com process, pointing out that the city's public works, engineering and law departments all reviewed the request for proposals before it went out to bid and the full council was involved at sev- eral points during the selection pro- cess. Members also defended the use of the Narragansett Bay Commission as a consulting agency, pointing out the group has extensive experience in renewable energy and offers free consulting services on the subject to many cities and towns in the state. Brien said he was surprised by Baldelli-Hunt's objections and believes the committee acted trans- parently over the past year-and-a- half. "I was a little surprised by last night only to the extent that it seemed as though there was an attempt to paint this process as non-transparent, and that is obviously not the case. The facts don't support that at all," he said. Baldelli-Hunt pointed out that while the city has been working on energy upgrades over the past several years, this is the first time the administration and council have attempted to bring in green energy improvements such as a solar farm. The latest process, she said, has given the city a better understanding of how to proceed. "As I stated on Thursday evening, it is very difficult for companies to respond to an open-ended (request) that does not name at least some spe- cific sites, if not all, that would meet the necessary requirements," she said. "In the best interest of the city, I feel it is best to 'hit the reset' button and go back out to bid." According to Brien, members of the subcommittee plan to meet with Green Development in closed session in the coming weeks to hammer out the details of the proposal and settle on a location. If the subcommittee chooses to move forward with the company, the proposal will move to the full council for consideration. DEPASQUALE From preceding page See ELECTION, Page 18 Masonic lodges dinner to benefit Pink Heels NORTH SMITHFIELD – The Masonic Lodges of Smithfield, Chepachet, Lincoln, Cumberland, Woonsocket and surrounding areas are hosting a charity dinner and raffle benefiting the Rhode Island Pink Heels at the Village Haven, 90 School St., Forestdale, on Saturday, April 6, from 4 to 8 p.m. Entertainment for the evening will include the mentalist and mind reader, Christopher Grace. Rhode Island Pink Heels assists families struggling with cancer treatment bills and associated costs. The Masonic Lodge hopes to raise more than $3,000 for the event. Pink firetrucks will be brought in for the event for cancer patients and survivors to sign. Raffle prizes include gift cards from restaurants like Chelo's and Marchetti's, as well as a gift bas- ket from Pixie Salon, and a PGA instructed golf package, plus much more. Tickets are $50 each or $85 per couple. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Ryan McNelis at jr.mcnelis.esq@gmail. com .

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