I hope you received your mailer about today’s foot race, and that you can work around “rush hour” between 8:45 and 9:15 a.m. This week’s Ward letter explains my decision not to seek re-election to the City Council this fall..
This election year provides a chance to review the state of our City, evaluate the record of City Hall over the past three years, and express our goals and choices for the new government that will take office next January.
The list of official job responsibilities of City Council members is short, but the potential projects any member can take on is almost without limit. As a result, each of us effectively writes our own job description to best serve our constituents and the City, and to make best use of our personal interests and skills.
As your City Council representative, I have worked on several interesting and worthwhile projects I never knew about before taking office. I am grateful for this valuable “on the job” education and opportunity to serve you. With that said, I campaigned to focus on two areas (the City’s finances and public schools) that have been, and still remain, especially important to me.
Before I first ran for office in 2010, and again in 2014, I considered what I could accomplish on the City Council were you to elect me. In recent months, I engaged in a similar process, assessing the current state of the City, the work I believe City Hall needs to carry out, and my own skills and limitations.
I also considered the competing values of change and continuity. I see value in change. Over the past seven years, I have worked to advance the policies and priorities I presented as a candidate, and/or adopted while in office. On the other hand, I have not worked on other projects or issues because of the choices I made, and the priorities I hold. My predecessors in office adopted different portfolios from mine, and many of you may prefer a change in priorities at this time.
I also see value in continuity. The term limits voted into the Providence Home Rule Charter in 2006 will have their first significant impact in 2022. Barring major electoral surprises this Fall, term limits will cause a super-majority of incumbent City Council members (and Mayor Elorza if he is re-elected) to step down when the upcoming term ends. Under these conditions, it may be beneficial for our Ward (and for the City as a whole) to have a new City Council representative in place next January who is not subject to term limits in 2022, as I would be if you re-elected me to a third term this Fall.
After much thought, I decided not to seek re-election to the City Council. I am announcing my plans at this time to allow the largest possible field of candidates to develop prior to the June 25-27 filing deadline. I will be pleased to meet with anyone who is interested in becoming a candidate for this office to discuss the rewarding work and challenges it presents. Please feel free to send me an email and we can meet and talk.
My decision not to campaign for re-election will allow me greater time to work on City Council projects for the remainder of this year. If you have ideas or concerns that you would like to share, please let me know.
Thank you again for granting me the privilege of representing you on the City Council.