Town Council Update - Spring 2019
We are grateful to the voters of Little Compton for honoring us with election to the Little Compton Town Council in November 2018. We especially appreciate the efforts of the Little Compton Democratic Town Committee to support us and our fellow Democratic candidates—Jeremy Allen, Heath Comley, and Karen Ryan. Working together, we came within fewer than ten votes of achieving a Democratic majority on the Town Council.
As it is, we are the first Democrats to be elected to the Town Council since 2004. Since being sworn in on November 15, 2018, we have attempted to work constructively with our three Republican colleagues to bring some new perspectives, ideas, and energy to town government. So far, we have dealt with a variety of significant issues and decisions:
- -- In December, the Council appointed full-time Town Administrator Tony Teixeira, filling a vacancy that had persisted for almost a year-and-a-half. Mr. Teixeira brings considerable experience to the job, have served as elected Town Administrator in Bristol, where he also now serves on the Town Council. Since his appointment, he has, among other things, initiated efforts to coordinate the day-to-day administration of various town departments and officials; begun to develop a comprehensive approach to planning and funding the town’s capital budget for maintenance and improvement of town buildings, roads, and recreational facilities; overseen the hiring process for a new Police Chief; and assisted in developing the town’s operating budget for the next fiscal year.
- -- The Council has held lively, well-attended public hearings to consider proposed ordinances, developed by the Planning Board, concerning solar energy systems and farm promotion accessory uses. In both cases, thoughtful comments and suggestions by many town citizens, including active members of the town’s farming community, indicated that further public discussion and participation are required before such zoning amendments are ready for adoption. The Council referred both proposals back to the Planning Board for additional consideration and revision.
- -- The Council and the Town Administrator, in response to public concerns, have initiated efforts to develop engineering plans and budgets for improvement and maintenance of Town Landing and Wilbour Woods.
- -- On April 4, the Council unanimously voted to appoint Scott Raynes as new Police Chief, pending negotiation and mutual approval of an employment contract. A former RI State Police officer, who has led the state’s Municipal Police Training Academy, Raynes would succeed retiring Chief Antone “Buzzy” Marion III.
- -- Both of us have offered proposals and suggestions for priority attention to specific community concerns. For example:
- Working with the Town Administrator, Andrew has contacted representatives of National Grid to address frequent power outages, especially in the eastern part of town.
- Larry has urged improvement of the town’s website to include access to public records such as agendas, minutes, and documents related to the meetings and activities of the Council and other town boards and committees. Town Clerk Carol Wordell and Town Administrator Teixeira have been overseeing re-design and staff training for the town’s website.
There is much more work to be done on these and other fronts. We encourage town residents to attend and participate in meetings of the Town Council and other boards.