Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 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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Page 28 of 47

NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | OCTOBER 15-21, 2020 LETTERS 29 Clifford: 'It makes one wonder' When Town Council candidate John Beauregard was running for re-election in 2018, he accepted six $1,000 campaign donations. Mr. Beauregard contended at the time that the six $1,000 contributions were given to him in support of his stance on the infamous Nike resolu- tion which brought negative national attention to our town. We're all supposed to believe that six people, impressed by John Beauregard's resolve to push the Nike resolution, all instantaneously decided to pay tribute to Mr. Beauregard by sending $1,000 contributions for his re-election campaign. Remarkably, all six people were in a financial position to make $1,000 contributions. Maybe I'm out of touch and the majority of those who read this letter have sent such generous donations themselves for similar reasons, but personally I'm not buying that story. While Mr. Beauregard served as council president, a solar overlay district ordinance was approved by the Town Council at the request of solar energy developer Green Development. The ordinance fast tracked approval and enabled Green Development to swiftly move forward on the controversial solar array. The language in the ordinance limited the authority of the Planning and Zoning Boards. Mr. Beauregard said the ordi- nance was needed because he was concerned the boards would make the "wrong" decision. One of the $1,000 donors was a man employed by Bay Crane, a company which does work for Green Development. The young man's mother-in-law, along with her sister, also donated $1,000 each. The owner of an auto body shop donated $1,000. He lives in a home in Cranston which was previously owned by an employ- ee of Green Development. The last two $1,000 donors were a commercial Realtor and a Providence attorney. Poor decisions are sometimes dis- missed as a "temporary lapse of good judgment" but it appears to me Mr. Beauregard has a propensity to make poor decisions. Prior to accepting the $1,000 con- tributions, he accepted campaign contributions from 11 attorneys, including four who were appointed by the Town Council to do legal work. Three received payments rang- ing from $900 to roughly $36,000 and the fourth lawyer was our town solicitor who was paid $62,000 in FY2018. Mr. Beauregard claims the attorneys sent donations because they knew him from his previous career. He claimed he was unaware that some were being paid by the town for various legal services even though the Town Council (of which he was a member) approved payment of their bills monthly. I'm not suggesting Rhode Island has stringent laws which prohibit any of the contributions I discussed. Unlike other states, Rhode Island doesn't have "Pay to Play" laws that severely restrict questionable contri- butions. That said, I do believe that some actions that are legal may not be ethical or appropriate, and we should be electing leaders who know the difference. It's unsettling to see some elected town officials defend their friend by pointing out no law was broken and choosing to totally ignore the ethical issues. It makes one wonder. MICHAEL CLIFFORD North Smithfield Beauregard puts North Smithfield's best interests first Knowledge of community issues and hands-on experience are essen- tial qualifications for all town lead- ership positions. North Smithfield needs dedicated and involved citi- zens who have proven their commit- ment and their understanding of our town's needs to help steer its future course. John Beauregard has the necessary qualifications. He made a mistake several years ago, and he admits it and has learned from it. John was merely seeking support and empa- thy for his fellow police officers, no more, and his intent was blown out of proportion. The NIKE issue became something more than it was intended to be, and John was not re- elected as a result of it. It was a loss to North Smithfield. Since he left office, John has con- tinued to contribute to our commu- nity. In the past two years alone, he still serves or has served on the Parks and Recreation Committee, North Smithfield Days Committee, Police Chief Search Committee, Veterans Memorial Stadium Committee, to name a few. He organized and sup- ported the town's July 4th fireworks displays in 2018 and 2019 as well as the 2020 high school graduation finale. He was the assistant coach of the Middle School girls' softball team. Most notably, he thought outside the box and sug- gested the idea that Green Development construct bathrooms and a concession stand at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in lieu of a one-time payment to the town – an exciting opportu- nity for much-needed and long-awaited upgrades to the high school fields. John has proven his commitment to North Smithfield in many ways. He has always had our best interests uppermost in his deci- sion-making. He has the experience need- ed to lead our com- munity forward. He believes in the future of North Smithfield. North Smithfield should believe in him on Nov. 3. JEAN AND BOB MEO North Smithfield Remillard: We raised our voices in prayer for life It was my distinct pleasure to par- ticipate in the annual Life Chain at St. Joseph Church, Woonsocket, on Sunday, Oct. 4. It was wonderful to participate with about three dozen other clergy and laity in public prayer for an end to abortion and for the respect for life from conception to natural death. Events such as this were hap- pening in many parishes throughout Rhode Island at the same time. In a culture of death, we were pleased to raise our voices in prayer for life. And we were not particularly trou- bled by the lone heckler across the street. Her constant refrain was "Not your body, not your choice." One of the women in our group remarked how she was effectively summariz- ing our position on abortion. For we believe the truth, inconve- nient to some, that life begins at the moment of conception. And that the child in the womb is a person, not a mass of "tissue" as some would argue. Accordingly, the body of that child is sacred. It should not be the mother's choice to end that baby's life. Not her body, not her choice. DEACON LIONEL (BUD) REMILLARD Woonsocket Remillard is a deacon for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence Lamothe: Thank you to nursing staff at Landmark Medical A public letter of thanks to the awesome nursing staff at Landmark Medical. During my five-day stay, I encountered the most profes- sional, caring, and dedicated nurses one will ever find. The care they gave me was always for my comfort and safety. True dedication. Thank you in the nursing field for being so great. RONALD LAMOTHE Woonsocket Do you like to read The Valley Breeze? Then please shop with our advertisers, and tell them 'I saw it in The Breeze!'

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