2018-11-08 / Front Page

Neary, Boatwright, Leary In, Carlin Voted Out

Election Tallies Are In
By James Merolla

Newcomer Aida Neary was the top vote-getter, joining first-time candidate Louisa Boatwright on the Newport School Committee, as incumbent David Carlin was voted out in the Nov. 6 election.

Neary and Boatwright were elected along with Robert Leary, who served on the committee for many years before being voted out of office two years ago. They will serve the next two years, joining re-elected incumbents Raymond Gomes, Kathleen Silvia, Sandra Flowers and Rebecca Bolan.

First-time candidates Karlie Cesarini and Kelly Lohrum trailed the field.

Neary said she was going to think about the future. “I have trust in the people in charge of the buildings, and trust in the superintendent, [and that] the daily management should be up to the schools,” she said. “We need to think forward 10, 15 years, and I hope then there will be change.”

“I’m excited, we have a great team,” said Boatwright. “Now the School Committee, administration and teachers will need to work together to ensure a quality, 21st century learning environment for all of our students. I want Newporters to be proud of their school system.”

The 10 candidates vied to serve on seats as difficult as any on Aquidneck Island, given current issues, which include school deficits, the need for a new Rogers High School, rancor among certain members of the committee and Superintendent Colleen Jermain, and the constant pressure to balance budgets and finances while preserving a quality education for city school children.

With the resignation of Chair David Hanos, Jr. in June and the retirement of longtime member Jo Eva Gaines, the board was guaranteed at least two new faces.

"I'd like to thank the people of Newport for their trust and confidence in me. I appreciate that," Leary told Newport This Week. "There is going to be a lot of collaboration and a lot of purposeful approach to governing the city schools going forward. That being said, as a fiscal conservative, I will be their fire wall between them and overspending."

Carlin was praised during his four years on the committee for his watchdog approach in controlling and accounting for overspending in the school budget and lauded by groups like the neighborhood opposing the cell tower at Rogers High for whom he advocated. Carlin was, however, criticized in many circles for his confrontational style that often left him at odds with Jermain.

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