Transparency. Civility. Financial Stewardship.

Democrats for Town Council

Jeremy Allen

Larry Anderson

Heath Comley

Heath Comley

Andrew Moore

Karen Ryan

Karen Ryan

 

Democrats for School Committee

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Rita Kenahan

Patrick McHugh

 

Candidate Bios

Jeremy Allen

Jeremy Allen worked as a summer farmhand in Little Compton starting in 1990. He married his wife Polly Allen 1997 and started a gardening business. His hands have been in the soil every day since, working year-round in Little Compton and Westport.

The Allens have raised four children who have completed Wilbur-McMahon School in Little Compton. Jeremy has coached local tee-ball, baseball, softball, and girls’ basketball teams, as well as serving as a boys’ basketball referee.

The Allens did relief work during Katrina and Sandy and are both trained in the medical emergency distribution system here in town.  Jeremy currently serves on the Oasis committee, which maintains an all-native garden in the courtyard of Wilbur-McMahon School.

Running a business for the last 20 years as a gardener, Jeremy has watched both good and bad land uses happen all over town. When land, which was owned by the town, was used as a parking lot instead of a field, he was motivated to run for Town Council in 2016. Falling just short in his bid to preserve our fragile clay soils, he is motivated in 2018 to protect farmers and fields.

 

Larry Anderson

Larry Anderson has lived in Little Compton for almost 35 years. He has been an active participant in town government and civic affairs throughout that time.

Official positions:

  • Town Moderator (elected), in which capacity he sought to ensure that the Financial Town Meeting was conducted according to transparent and clearly defined procedures, to encourage civility and citizen participation; 2006-2014
  • Budget Committee (elected); 2001-2003
  • Charter Review Commission (appointed); 1999-2000, 2005-2006 (chair)
  • Trustee, Little Compton Free Public Library (appointed); 1991-1994

As citizen and activist:

  • Worked with other town citizens, 1993-1994, to win voter approval for the creation of an elected Charter Commission and the adoption of a Home Rule Charter for Little Compton.
  • Board of directors, Sakonnet Preservation Association, 1991-2007; president, 1998-2001, 2006-2007
  • Recipient, Peter Merritt Award for Conservation, Rhode Island Land Trust Council, 2007
  • Executive Committee, Rhode Island Land Trust Council, 1999-2002
  • Worked with a bi-partisan group of town citizens to propose, draft, and win 1995 Financial Town Meeting (FTM) support for warrant article to use federal drug asset forfeiture funds for purchase of current Police/Fire Complex site.
  • Initiated 2016 FTM article that increased Little Compton Agricultural Conservancy Trust tax exemption to $300,000 from $150,000.
  • Supported legal and advocacy efforts with other town citizens to enforce zoning ordinances, licensing requirements, and conservation restrictions at Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard.

Larry has a long background in book publishing, journalism, and writing. Among other publications, he is the author of a biography of Benton MacKaye, the environmentalist who proposed the Appalachian Trail, and the co-author of a handbook on producing community newspapers. He is married to Nan Haffenreffer. Their son, Sam, attended Wilbur-McMahon School.

 

Heath Comley

Heath has been a resident of Little Compton since 2006.  Since the 1970’s, he has spent many days at South Shore and Goosewing Beach with friends and, starting in the 1980’s, his own family. Heath and his wife, Cheryl, a teacher at Wilbur-McMahon, have been married 37 years with two grown children and, most recently, their first grandchild.

Heath attended the Barrington Public Schools before obtaining a B.A. in Economics from Boston University. He then traveled throughout the United States and Europe before working for Amica Insurance Company and contemporaneously obtaining his law degree from the Suffolk University Law School evening program. He is now in his thirtieth year of practicing law.

While raising his two children in Warren and then Barrington through the 1980’s and 90’s, Heath volunteered as a baseball and soccer coach in both recreational and competitive leagues.

Heath volunteered his time at Wilbur-McMahon as the lawyer coach for the Mock Trial Team. During the four years he was involved, the mock trial teams won the State championship and once tied for first, always placing in the upper range of the competing schools.

After years of observing others handle the local political process, Heath wants to give back to the community. He believes he can help our local government operate more openly and efficiently, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.  

 

Andrew Moore

Andrew grew up spending summers in Little Compton until 2009, when he became a year-round resident.

After attending public high school in Ashland, Massachusetts, he went on to earn a degree in Political Science and Music Performance at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Since his return to Little Compton, Andrew devotes much of his time to public service and giving back to the community as a regular volunteer for the LC Historical Society and LC Garden club, and as a board-member of the LC Community Center for the last 3 years.

During the resurgence of the LC Democratic Town Committee, Andrew helped the committee grow from 8 to over 20 active members, while expanding the committee’s fundraising efforts.

In 2014, during Andrew's campaign for Town Moderator, he received 42% of the vote. He served as Assistant Town Moderator for one year, and successfully ran for the Budget Committee, now serving in his second term.

Under Andrew's tenure as the Budget Committee's clerk, the committee has received no open meetings complaints, and the committee has passed balanced budgets through an open and respectful process. Andrew's experience on the Budget Committee gave him a unique perspective of the operation of day-to-day business in Little Compton, and how the town can be organized to create more efficient governance.

 

Karen Ryan

Karen Ryan and her husband, Michael, were married in Little Compton in 1983. Years later, they built a house on land farmed by Mike's great grandfather and still in agricultural use. They moved to Little Compton permanently in 2016 after living and working many years in New Hampshire. They have one grown son who lives in Utah.

After growing up in Medfield, MA, Karen earned a degree in History from UMass/Amherst. She had a long career as a real estate appraiser in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, owning and running a residential appraisal and consulting business for over 20 years. She now works for Citizens Bank in East Providence, reviewing and investigating appraisals for home mortgages. Karen holds the SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute and is on the Advisory Board of the Rhode Island branch chapter.

Karen served on the Grantham NH Planning Board for ten years, its Capital Improvements Program Committee for four years (as chair for two years), an ad hoc committee to advise the town on a real estate donation, and a search committee for a new principal at the local elementary school. She was active in New Hampshire politics, working on state and presidential campaigns, and served as chair of the Grantham Democratic Town Committee for several years.

 

Rita Kenahan

Rita Kenahan believes our priority as a school system is to create a safe and healthy environment where our children are encouraged to explore, experiment, and grow to their greatest potential.

A school functions at its best when the students, teachers, staff, and families understand their own critical role in supporting and nurturing the development of the students and the community. Rita takes a holistic approach to teamwork in all her endeavors. A school must be accountable to all stakeholders and manage its budget responsibly to maximize benefits to the children and our community.

Facts about Rita K:

  • 30 years in the medical device industry as an educator and group manager
  • Registered Nurse, School Nurse Teacher for Providence Public Schools
  • Doctor of Education (EdD), Adjunct Professor, University of Houston and A.T. Still University
  • Mother of 3 young adults, all graduates of Wilbur & McMahon School

 

Patrick McHugh

Patrick McHugh has served since 2014 on the Little Compton School Committee and has held the office of School Committee chairman for the last two years. Patrick advocates for a fiscally responsible school budget while working to increase enrollment with out-of-district tuition students, including 7 students this year at $6,000 each, to fill empty seats while generating revenue.

As a SC member, some of the improvements he has spearheaded include

  • the PHS late bus and express bus
  • the Safety subcommittee
  • the adoption of the Virginia model as WMS policy
  • two safety forums
  • supervised after-school library hours at PHS to provide a work space for students after school

Patrick came to the school committee after serving as chairman of the recreation committee, 2009 to the present. As recreation chair, Patrick worked to improve our community for the children of Little Compton. Some of his achievements in this capacity are

  • refurbishment of the basketball courts and installment of lighting
  • facilitating a $100,000 DEM grant for Veterans baseball field improvements including fencing, dugouts, storage, backstop and drainage
  • administering a $250,000 DEM matching grant for new tennis courts, multi purpose field, and walking track

A Wilbur & McMahon grad, he holds a BA in Business Management from Rhode Island College and is self employed. Married to Jennifer for 19 years, he is the father of 2 children, Cade and Tanner, both WMS graduates. Patrick is a devoted Little Compton community member who seeks to keep Little Compton the best place to raise children now and in years to come.