Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-25-2020

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 | JUNE 25-JULY 1, 2020 CAMPAIGN TRAIL 7 Bono to run for District 49 WOONSOCKET – Vincent Bono, the local businessman best known for his efforts to bring passenger train service to the Blackstone Valley, has declared candidacy for state represen- tative for District 49. Bono is running as an independent candidate for the seat, which is cur- rently held by Rep. Michael Morin, a Democrat. Morin announced earlier this month he does not intend to seek re-election in the fall. "As many of you may know, a good friend and person I have immense respect for decided to retire from serving the people of Woonsocket as their District 49 representative after six years of service," Bono said in a Facebook announcement last week. "After careful consideration and some (not so) gentle prompting from an admittedly flattering number of friends and colleagues, I have decided to run for representative in the Rhode Island General Assembly for the District 49 seat." Bono said his platform will focus on state education aid and reforms aimed at helping small businesses. "My focus will be on ensuring that Woonsocket is better compensated for shouldering the bulk of northern Rhode Island's special and disadvan- taged education burden, small busi- ness incubation and reform and more and better community support initia- tives," he said Bono is best known as the founder of the Boston Surface Railroad Company, a startup train company trying to establish passenger rail ser- vice between Providence, Worcester and Woonsocket. The company has its offices in the state-owned train depot located at Depot Square. Roselli announces candidacy for District 23 BURRILLVILLE – Paul Roselli, a Burrillville resident active in envi- ronmental efforts in the state, has declared his candidacy as a Democrat for Senate District 23. Sen. Jessica de la Cruz currently holds the seat in Distrct 23, which covers parts of North Smithfield, Burrillville and Glocester. "This is a challenging time for all those in our district and our state," Roselli said in a campaign announce- ment last week. "Our greatest chal- lenges and opportunities lie ahead: Paolino pursues re-election for District 17 LINCOLN – Sen. Thomas J. Paolino has announced his re-elec- tion campaign to the Rhode Island State Senate District 17 represent- ing Lincoln, North Providence and North Smithfield. Paolino said his focus "contin- ues to be exceptional government for the residents of our district. Eliminating wasteful spending, sup- porting realistic budget initiatives and lowering taxes while opposing tax increases and deficit spending has been my ultimate goal." "The COVID-19 pandemic will result in a very challenging fis- cal and economic environment," he said. "I have been entrusted to work on several important commit- tees, including the Senate Finance Committee, Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and the COVID-19 Joint Task Force, giv- ing the residents of our district a seat at the table when discussing these important issues." Paolino asked voters to support "ongoing efforts promoting policies aimed at economic growth and job creation while keeping our district safe and pristine." He promised to continue to work to lower the cost of living and doing business in the state post-pandemic, utilizing the "billions of dollars in resources from our federal govern- ment to provide the financial assis- tance without long waits and red tape." "We must deliver the quality of life our residents have not only earned, but deserve, and they should expect nothing less," he said. "Success never comes before hard work and I am confident by working together, we will move R.I. forward to pride and prosperity." "In closing, thank you for having placed your trust in me. The experi- ence I have gained will allow me to provide strong leadership as we move forward. I humbly ask you for your support and vote once again, and I pledge to continue to serve and represent all of us with ethics, transparency and accountability," he said. See ROSELLI, Page 11 NORTH SMITHFIELD – Voters appear to be in for a competitive election season this fall after both veteran and newcomer candidates declared their plans to seek office this week. As of Wednesday morning, two candidates had filed paperwork to run for town administrator, while a third had confirmed his plans to run to The Valley Breeze. Paul Zwolenski, current vice president of the Town Council, told The Breeze on Tuesday he plans to run for the position, while Paul Jones, a current member of the School Committee, and Jason Allard, a first-time candidate for elected office, filed paperwork with the town clerk's office this week. Town Administrator Gary Ezovski does not plan to seek another term. Candidates had from Monday at 8 a.m. until Wednesday at 4 p.m. to file their candidacy paperwork with the town clerk's office. Due to press deadlines, The Valley Breeze was not able to include all candidates who declared on Wednesday in this arti- cle, but updated information is avail- able at . Zwolenski is an eight-term town councilor who has served on various town committees since 1994. Allard, a lifelong resident and local business owner, is running for his first elected position, while Jones, a senior care professional, is currently serv- ing his second term on the School Committee. In the Town Council race, two incumbents, Council President Paul Vadenais and two-term Councilor Claire O'Hara, had declared their candidacy as of press time. The race also drew at least four challengers, including Christopher Simpkins, Stephen Corriveau, Christopher Chamberland and Ana Parsons. Simpkins is a political newcomer who said in a press release this week he's been disappointed in a number of recent town decisions. Corriveau, Chamberland and Parsons also appear to be new to the Town Council race, though Corriveau cur- rently serves in an appointed posi- tion on the Economic Development Commission. In the School Committee race, all three candidates whose terms expire this fall, including Chairman James Lombardi, Vice Chairwoman Jean Meo and Secretary Margaret Votta, have declared their candidacy for re-election. The remaining elected committee members have terms that will expire in 2022. In the General Assembly seats, all three state senators representing parts of North Smithfield, includ- ing Jessica de la Cruz (Republican, District 23), Melissa Murray (Democrat, District 24) and Thomas Paolino (Republican, District 17), have declared their candidacy for re-election. In District 23, de la Cruz will face a challenge from Democrat Paul Roselli, a Burrillville resident and environmental activist who ran for office in 2018 but lost in the Democratic primary. Rep. Brian Newberry (Republican, District 48) has also declared his candidacy for re-election to the House of Representatives. Town council, administrator races shaping up By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer WOONSOCKET – City residents are in for a busy election season in November, though for most, that comes as no surprise. As of Wednesday morning, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and challenger Jon Brien had both filed papers to run for mayor in the fall. Baldelli-Hunt will be seeking her fourth term, while Brien, current vice president of the City Council and a former state representa- tive, will be making his first bid for the city's highest elected position. Both candidates had previously indi- cated their plans to run for office, and the race had already begun to heat up, with Brien establishing a campaign headquarters on Main Street earlier this year. His father, Albert Brien, lost a mayoral challenge to Baldelli-Hunt in 2018. Candidates had from Monday at 8:30 a.m. to Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to declare their intent to seek office. Due to press deadlines, The Valley Breeze was not able to include all can- didates who declared on Wednesday in this article, but as of press time, a large number of candidates had already filed papers with the Board of Canvassers. Updates will be available at . In the City Council race, incum- bents Daniel Gendron, Alex Kithes, David Soucy, John Ward, Denise Sierra and James Cournoyer all plan to seek re-election. A group of can- didates who announced their plans to run earlier this month, including newcomers Marlene Guay, Vaughan Miller and Charmaine Webster, also filed paperwork. Along with Kithes, the three candidates plan to run under the title "Woonsocket Democrats" and are sponsored by the Rhode Island Political Cooperative. Garrett Mancieri, a former coun- cilor and local Realtor who currently serves as chairman of the Autumnfest Steering Committee, is also running for City Council, as is Roger Jalette Sr., a former council president who lost in a special election to Kithes last year. Michael Disney, a local resident who has run for most elected posi- tions in the city without success, is also seeking a seat on the council. In the School Committee race, incumbents Paul Bourget, Lynn Kapiskas and Donald Burke have all declared their candidacy for another term. Current member Rebecca Capwell told The Breeze on Tuesday she does not plan to seek re-election. In the race for House District 49, Vincent Bono, president of the Boston Surface Railroad Company, announced last week he plans to run as an independent. Steven Lima, a former mayoral candidate who resigned his position as director of the city's Department of Planning and Development earlier this year, filed papers on Wednesday to run for the seat as a Democrat. State Rep. Michael Morin, who currently serves in the seat, announced earlier this year he does not plan to seek re-election. Other General Assembly races remained uneventful at press time, with only incumbent candidates declaring for the seats. Sen. Melissa Murray (Democrat, District 24), Sen. Roger Picard (Democrat, District 20), Rep. Stephen Casey (Democrat, District 50) and Rep. Robert Phillips (Democrat, District 51) all plan to seek re-election. Candidates file papers in Woonsocket By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to:, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865.

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