Town Council Candidates Make Final Pitches for Your Vote
An incumbent independent, two Republicans, two Democrats challenge for two seats on the Barrington Town Council.
Here are the responses of the five candidates for Barrington Town Council on why you should vote for them. The list is in alphabetical order.
Cynthia Coyne (D)
"Over the last 10 weeks I have walked door to door through many of our town's neighborhoods. Fiscal responsibility, a town that operates effectively and efficiently, and the fact that the taxpayers want to know that they are getting the level of services they pay for are common themes I have heard from you along the way to this Election Day. However, overwhelmingly, the majority of you are not happy about the way in which the decision to privatize our refuse was made.
I have heard "Why did it happen so fast?"; "If financial savings was the motivation behind privatization, why wasn't this issue brought before the financial town meeting?"; "I like knowing who is picking up my personal belongings even though it's trash."; "I have a hard time walking, they were so kind to put my barrels by my garage"; "The DPW was so good to us during the flood, they picked up everything and worked so hard, I feel so bad for them and their families." As a Town Council candidate, I have consistently stated that, if given the chance to vote on this issue, I would not have made the choice to privatize based on the information provided to the public.
I believe you want to be assured that your voice will be heard and that the council members will listen to your concerns. And, despite being genuinely concerned about the cost of government, many understand and may be willing to pay just a bit more in order to maintain services you are accustomed to.
I believe you want to know that those you elect to make decisions on your behalf are open, honest and transparent. You want to know that your local government is acting in the best interest of your town and that we are conducting business in a responsible manner.
I share those concerns, and meeting you, speaking with you, and listening to you has reinforced those beliefs in me.
The core values I learned during my career as a State Trooper remain with me today. Transparency and integrity were a way of life for me as a State Trooper. Effective communication skills were vital when investigating a case or interviewing a witness. Well-informed decisions and organizational skills continue to be essential to formulating procedures and policy for public safety agencies as I continue my work as a nationally certified assessor. Most of all, I know what it is like to be accountable to the public you serve.
I am a skilled and confident decision maker. I know that there are good and bad ways to reach decisions. When difficult and contentious decisions are made, not everyone will always agree with the result. But, you should be able to respect the process by which the decision was made: that facts were gathered and made available to the public, that input was sought and considered, and that different points of view were respected. I know the value of ensuring that all voices are heard in the decision-making process and my skills have allowed me to become a consensus builder.
You can trust that I will act in the best interest of our town if elected to our Town Council, as I remain committed to public service with integrity. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 2."
William DeWitt (R)
"Given the current economy and the pressure that it has put on household finances, it is important that local government fundamentally redefine and restructure the services that it provides. Taxes in both Barrington and RI are already too high and taxpayers are tired of paying more and more each year. We need to thoughtfully review every budget item and squeeze every bit of efficiency that we can out of each tax dollar. We also need to defer any discretionary spending (e.g. a new building at the beach) until we have stabilized the town budget.
Additionally, citizens deserve a town government that is willing to listen to their views, admits and remediates when it makes a mistake and limits its intrusion into their lives. That government does not exist today in Barrington and adding two more Democrats will not get us closer to that goal.
The Town Council needs: 1) balance - we need to discuss ideas more broadly; 2) better judgment - broader discussion will improve the process and lead to better decision making; 3) focus - we need to focus on what is important to the town, not to the members of the Town Council; and 4) a dose of business experience - to help uncover those efficiencies that we need to find in town operations.
I will work tirelessly to assure that property rights are protected, tax dollars are spent prudently and views and opinions are heard."
Cyndee Fuller (D)
Fuller did not respond to several email messages and a telephone call by midnight Monday morning to answer the question of why voters should vote for her. We regret that her comments do not appear in this posting. Her response will be added as soon as possible after it arrives.
John Lazzaro (I)
I am a life-long resident of Barrington. I retired after 39 years on the Police Department, the last eight years of my career as Police Chief. I have served the past eight years on the Barrington Town Council.
In all of my years in Barrington I have served the town in many capacities, I have seen and done many things. Any requests that have come before the Barrington Town Council, I have researched the facts. I talk to residents, read reports of committees and listen to information presented at the Town Council meetings before voting for what I believe is in the best interest for the residents and the town of Barrington. I have always been true to my beliefs and honest in everything that I do.
Donald Nessing (R)
"I love living in Barrington. Probably for all the same reasons you do. But our town, like the rest of the country, has trying times ahead. We will need to make the hard choices and figure a way to do more with less. I believe my common sense and business experience can be of value as we engage the issues going forward. For these reasons I respectfully ask for your vote on November 2."