Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 10-15-2020

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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6 ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL OCTOBER 15-21, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION the Town Council and do some seri- ous damage, dividing people up," he said. "I don't want to see that come to Lincoln." Azar countered that the Lincoln Town Council "does everything in a non-partisan way." "Serving on the local level, you tend to forget about the politics. It's all about coming together as a council to do what's best for the town. It really has nothing to do with party affilia- tion," she said. Leahy said he believes Azar to be "too far left" based on "some of her associations," including with Congressman David Cicilline, who campaigned with her last weekend. "I think she embraces David Cicilline, I find him repulsive and partisan, constantly dividing his con- stituency. I'm on his mailing list and I've never seen a guy lie and mislead people so much," he said. On being considered too progres- sive, Azar said she's voted Republican in the past, and said she considers her- self to be "an independent democratic thinker." "When it comes to my being on the council, there's no infighting. We don't see it as red and blue, we see the town of Lincoln as one piece," she contin- ued. "We all get along. You can't get anything done if you argue." "And, when you think about it, how can you get anything done if you aren't willing to extend an olive branch to the state representatives, no matter what party they belong to? If our congressional delegation was Republican and I'm a Democrat, I would still respect them enough to ask for their help," she added. "To hate someone on the basis of politics is ridiculous. Hate is not in my vocabu- lary, it's just a wasted emotion." In addition to her associations, Leahy said he also takes issue with Azar's first-term performance. "I've been hearing from the resi- dents in Lincoln that she's not very responsive," he said, adding that while knocking doors in Quinnville, "I walked into a hornet's nest that I didn't expect of angry residents saying Pam wasn't responsive when National Grid tore a checkered mess in the road there." He added, "I have a different approach. My approach is to get out there and meet people face to face. I'm absolutely committed to, and look- ing forward to, taking people's calls and hearing their concerns." Azar said accusations about her not being responsive are false. "I've returned every phone call I've ever gotten," she said. "The same month I was elected, I was called by people in Quinnville about unfinished work by National Grid. I got in touch with the town engineer immediately and we worked together to fix it." She added, "If someone fell through the cracks, I'm not perfect, I'm only human, but I don't recall anyone I didn't get back to." On the issues, both candidates agreed that fixing Lincoln's roads and enhancing safety are among their top goals. "Some of Lincoln's road issues have existed for decades. School Street may be a state road, but I believe it's the responsibility of the Town Council to reset those priorities and make sure the roads most in-need of repair receive the attention they deserve," Leahy said. Azar said she recently completed a national traffic-calming course, and has teamed up with the Lincoln Police Department to "come up with ideas that fit Lincoln" to help cut down on speeding. She also spoke about pavement issues on School Street, saying improvements need to be pushed. "I'm going to get it done," she said. Both candidates also expressed concerns with "over-development" in Lincoln, promising to fight to pre- serve open space and historic proper- ties in town. If elected, Leahy said he would ensure that the Town Council does not make decisions based on "political correctness, instead doing things that make sense for our town." "It's very important to listen to, understand and have civil discourse with people. If Lincoln politics trends the way Woonsocket and other places have, it becomes very partisan, and I'm trying to safeguard against that," he said. "I want to preserve the peace, safety and wellbeing of Lincoln resi- dents." Asked why he has earned the vote, Leahy said he would be the voice of his constituents. "No matter the party, I will try to resolve any concerns you have and work with you to ensure a solution. I'll do whatever it takes to be responsive and meet the needs of the people." Azar said she's proud of the work she's done in her first term on the council, including fighting to re-open the Albion Post Office and advocating for Lincoln's historic properties. "Getting elected made me so happy, and it still does, because I love help- ing people," she said. "It's my passion serving my community, and I respect- fully ask that the people of Lincoln give me additional time to prove myself and to work on behalf of the people of District 4." DISTRICT 4 From Page One protect people with pre-existing condi- tions and against keeping children on their parents' healthcare policies until age 26." "That one issue was the start of the genesis to get me to the point to run against him," Barr added. Paolino said he voted against the "tax on Rhode Islanders who do not want the health insurance that was included in that proposal, and the millions of dollars of fees associated with it," and said it is simplistic for his opponent to conflate the issues. He said he is in support of both covering pre-existing conditions and covering people under the age of 26 on their parents' health plan. "I have immediate family members that fall into both categories and I would not do anything to rob them of their healthcare coverage," he said. "I am a strong supporter of the specific provisions mentioned and continue to be ready to vote in favor of codifying them into state law." Paolino said feedback on his per- formance from constituents has been positive, and that he has earned sup- port on both sides of the aisle in his four years in office. "I've been proud of my work get- ting things done for my district, whether it's repaving roads, getting the Blackstone bike path fixed, or helping constituents throughout the COVID pandemic, answering their questions or assisting with unemployment," he said. "I enjoy working on behalf of my constituents." Beyond their individual stances on the Affordable Care Act, Barr said he and Paolinno fall on opposite sides of many issues. "When you look at the politician or candidate I am and look at the one he is ... these candidacies are diametri- cally opposed to each other," he said. Though the candidates were close in age when they entered politics in their early 20s, Barr said he has decades of experience under his belt now. "As a small business owner, I know what it's like to have to make your bills week in and week out," he said, noting that he has been pledging to people during his campaign that he will not increase taxes or fees in any way. Barr said he wants to fight to make the state more business friendly, espe- cially for smaller endeavours, by sup- porting microloans and waiving fees for new businesses and lowering busi- ness taxes during the first few years of a new company's life. "When you look at what my oppo- nent has introduced, there's very little of substance ... nothing to move the state forward," he said. "He hasn't passed any pertinent legislation, rarely asks any questions. I see that as extremely problematic." The issue on the forefront of peo- ple's minds this campaign season has been the pandemic, with both can- didates agreeing that recovering the state's economy and budget shortfall SENATE 17 From Page 3 See BARR, Page 8 FRESH GRADE A CHICKEN TENDERLOINS $ 1.99 LB Michael ' s Meats ' M M A Family Tradition Since 1972 2130 MENDON ROAD, CUMBERLAND 401-305-5555 Thursday, October 15th - Wednesday, October 21st ALL NATURAL CENTER CUT PORK CHOPS $ 2.59 LB NEW HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. | Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. LOIN END AVG. 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