Why Are They Running for Town Council?

Six candidates -- three Democrats and three Republicans -- have set their sights on the Barrington Town Council. Why?

Six candidates – three Democrats and three Republicans -- are running for election or re-election to the Barrington Town Council.

Patch asked them why? Here are their answers.

Kate Weymouth

 Having lived in town for over 50 years, serving on the Town Council for the past 8, I believe I have demonstrated a dedication and commitment, unmatched by my opponents, to the residents of Barrington.

I am running for reelection because I would not want to see an erosion of the progress we have made over the course of my Town Council experience.

Shirley Applegate-Lockridge

This is a crucial election year. We face challenges at all levels of government. These problems will not be easy to solve. Barrington is a well-run town and a great place to live, but Barrington, like all municipalities, will meet serious fiscal and social issues in the future.

I was recruited to run for the Barrington Town Council; I did not seek the nomination.  I agreed to run because I want to contribute what I can to the management of these issues. 

Ann Strong

I'm running for Town Council because this is the next step on my journey to contribute in a meaningful way toward the betterment of the Town.  

Beginning as a volunteer with the Pokanoket Watershed Alliance back in the early 90's, we helped to manage the coordinated response of three communities and two states to mitigate pollutants arriving from upstream into Barrington waters.  From there I was asked to become a member of the Conservation Commission (7 years) and then the Planning Board (5 years). 

Donald Nessing

I am running for Town Council because, as a Barrington resident for the last 22 years I have seen recent changes that concern me.  Specifically, the attitude of the council regarding the state mandate on affordable housing. 

Despite recent claims to the contrary, they are 100% behind the zoning changes and high-density housing that are a result of their policies. 

At the same time they engage in policies from meaningless gestures like the ban on plastic bags to increases to the price and scope of beach fees. The latter after the town manager explicitly stated that any additional plans for beach activities were already included in the current budget.   

Margaret Kane

For several years now, like the RI General Assembly, the Barrington Town Council has been wholly dominated by one party.  This imbalance, I believe, leads to decision-making that may not always be in the interest of all our residents.

Forget raising chickens in back yards. And plastic bag bans. There are more substantive issues, such as affordable housing, revaluation, and keeping seniors in Barrington.

That is why I’m running for a seat on the Town Council.  To bring more balance to the decision making process and to tackle the important issues facing the Town.

Change is important. We need a change.

June Speakman

I am running for re-election to continue our work on providing high quality municipal services, maintaining tax stability, improving recreational and open spaces, improving the business climate and implementing the state’s mandatory affordable housing plan in a measured way that is consistent with Barrington’s character.

Gary Morse November 02, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Thanks to all candidates for volunteer service to the community. Each candidate views service to the community through different eyes. At the moment, a pressing issue for Barrington, and other communities, is how they view the so called affordable housing state mandates. Candidates Speakman and Weymouth believe that affordable housing should be subsidized by local residents with higher local property taxes, and voted as such in Dec 2008 supporting property tax breaks for the Sweetbriar project. The other candidates appear to believe the laws in this matter are vague enough, and environmentally destructive enough, to be challenged. In an interview with Jim Hummel, Candidate Speakman said of the affordable housing mandate: Hummel: ``Is the 10 percent achievable?'' Speakman: ``I don't think it is, no. I think it's a noble goal..." "I've spoken with our state legislators many times about possible ways of alleviating the burden on the town" "My understanding of the General Assembly's view of this legislation is that the suburban communities need to share in the housing of people of modest incomes." http://hummelreport.com/10.25.2012.housing.html I spoke with Senator Bates and Representative Malik at the Btristol Forum on Saturday. They both said they have never spoken to Councilor Speakman on this matter. Perhaps candidate Joy Hearn can comment on this. On Nov 6th, we all get to decide how the town will move forward.
Barbara Donovan November 02, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Barbara Donovan Gary - I wish to thank you for all your efforts towards encouraging the Town Council to challenge the laws regarding affordable housing in Barrington. If this matter can be resolved, perhaps seniors will have a chance to retire in town and not be forced out for lack of retirement housing for them. Just imagine a nice retirement area set aside for seniors -- Bluemeade Farm might be nice !! I wholly agree that the current Town Council has not done it's job regarding this matter and look forward to the results of the up-coming election. I have faith that the electorate will see fit to change the dynamics of the Council toward helping our senior population. It will be the last chance we have for another few years!! Vote for Kane, Nessing and Strong - you don't have to follow party politics to get a good result !! Also, vote NO on bond issue #7 - Affordable Bonds Without our $$$'s affordable housing cannot be built


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