2018-10-25 / Election News

Newport Ward 2 Candidates

Lynn U. Ceglie

57, married with two children

Resident of Newport 34 years

Public offices: Ward 2 Councilor, 2014–present

#1) Over the past four years, I find issues such as speeding, parking, street and sidewalk improvements, Memorial Boulevard pedestrian safety, and the effects of Airbnb in neighborhoods to be of major concern to residents of the 2nd Ward.

I work continuously with police and city staff to increase traffic and zoning enforcement. I have been working with RIDOT and the city to accelerate the timeline for much needed safety improvements on Memorial Boulevard. Citywide, I am an advocate for economic development that will create full time job opportunities for residents. We need to balance the cost of living in Newport while providing necessary services and quality education.

#2) We need a new high school that will serve our students in a safe 21st century environment. I am currently on the Rogers Building committee working with a building consultant, administration, Newport Public School parents and residents on building a new high school. The cost of fixing Rogers is far greater than building a new school. We are exploring locations for a new high school but Newport has very little available land. I would be open to looking at using land that would be available when the Pell Bridge ramps are aligned, but doing so would most likely delay the building of a much needed new high school. To defray the cost to taxpayers, I would be in favor of working on regionalizing with Middletown but it seems that Middletown is not open to the idea. I am still hoping that financial incentives would motivate Middletown and Newport to work together.


Lynn U. Ceglie Lynn U. Ceglie CANDIDATE STATEMENT


Valerie Larkin Valerie Larkin Since joining the council in 2014, I welcome constituent concerns and strive to be fair and accessible. Residents can readily reach me and I am responsive to their concerns and work to solve their problems. I meet with neighborhood, business and community groups including the Edward King House Senior Center, Newport Partnership for Families, and the Chamber of Commerce retail group to continue to discuss the needs of Newport residents and businesses. I worked with the Broadway merchants in overseeing the reconstruction of Broadway and developing a plan with RIDOT to lessen the effects of the reconstruction project on their businesses. I now work with the Broadway merchants on the planning of Broadway Street Fair. I enjoy public service and helping my fellow 2nd Ward residents with issues of public safety and livability. I am honored to represent Newport’s 2nd Ward and am asking for your vote on Nov. 6.

Valerie Larkin

61, single with two children

Resident of Newport for 36 years

First time running for public office

Technology Transfer Manager, Naval Undersea Warfare Center

#1) Our most critical concern is to provide the best possible quality of life for the people who live in Newport, while attracting new residents. There are a lot of factors in this mission statement- affordability of housing, infrastructure, traffic and congestion, schools, jobs. We need a holistic approach to address all of these issues. We must address the proliferation of short-term rentals in Newport which reduces the stock of longterm rentals and drives up prices. We should encourage smart development projects that will best use our very limited developable land to provide more affordable housing. Creating alternatives to cars downtown- parking lots away from downtown with shuttles, improved infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists, etc.- will improve the experience for tourists as well as making it easier for residents to get around the city. While we do have a lot of exciting projects in the works for Newport, my concern is that the people who are longtime residents, especially limited income people and working families, are not forgotten in our quest for progress. Whenever the City Council is making a decision, it must ask “how will this improve life for the people of Newport?”

#2) My sense is that Rogers is at the point where fixing it is not the most economically prudent alternative, and that building a new school or combining it with a regional school is the best solution. However, at this point I would consider any proposal. I have discussed this issue with many Newporters, but I don’t feel that I yet have all of the facts, and thus would not lock myself into choosing one option over the others. The overriding objective is to provide the highest quality of education possible to our students.

CANDIDATE STATEMENT

I am proud and fortunate to call Newport my home. While it is an extraordinary place, I feel that it has unrealized potential. We will always be a tourist destination, and we can expect that the Navy will have a continued presence for some time, but we need to transition to an information-based economy if Newport is to remain vibrant and viable. Projects such as the proposed Innovation Hub and the technology incubator at the Sheffield School will create the skilled, high-wage jobs that will attract young professionals.

Our city government needs to be forward-thinking in developing smart solutions to the issues faced by Newport. While Newport is a city with a glorious past, we must be focused on the future. And most importantly, our city government must be totally open and transparent, and inclusive of ALL Newporters. That is why I am running for City Council.

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