Former governor Philip Noel still has the touch when he’s given the floor to “say a few words.”
He did it again Wednesday night at Harbor Lights, where he co-hosted with Ward 5 Councilman Ed Ladouceur a fundraiser for Mayor Joseph Solomon. Observing he had been in public service 16 years between the City Council, mayor and governor, he said, “You can imagine how many chicken dinners I’ve eaten.”
When the laughs subsided, Noel talked about the Solomon family and how “they are the kind of family that have always helped others.” He also talked of the challenge of public office of “always trying to do more with less.”
Noel shifted to the national scene and the impact of tax reform on states and municipalities. Cuts in federal taxes passes the burden of funding programs to states and cities and towns that translate into higher property taxes, a clear reference to Warwick property taxes that the council and Solomon increased by the maximum permissible levy this year.
“This is tax reform for who?”
Turning to Solomon, Noel, referencing how Solomon became mayor with the resignation of Scott Avedisian, said, “He’s going to be elected the right away…he’s the right man for the right time.”
The event, by invitation, drew about 70 people. Suggested donations started at $100. The full City Council was in attendance.
Solomon called Noel a mentor, also naming former Mayor Joseph Walsh, his late father-in-law Walter Santos and Councilman Joseph Gallucci as shaping his love for public service. He spoke of his tenure on the City Council and how he and the council have built a trusting relationship
“They know me and believe in what I say,” he said.
Citing Warwick’s location between Boston and New York, he called the city a “hub” and that he looks forward to economic development.
Ladouceur, co-host of the fundraiser, noted that a Democrat hasn’t served in the corner office at City Hall for 18 years.
“That’s what we need,” he said. “He is qualified to take care of the problems he’s inherited.”