Stenhouse to collaboratively address city challenges

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Republican candidate for mayor Sue Stenhouse told members of the Warwick Rotary Club Thursday there is more than one people mover in the city.

With a picture of her standing on the Green Airport people mover, Stenhouse said she looks to become the person to move the city forward, although most of her talk centered on what she did as the Ward 1 councilwoman years ago and, following that, her work with the administration of former Governor Donald Carcieri.

She described herself as being “passionate” about public service and a leader.

“I love to problem solve,” she said. She spoke of the logistics of providing housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and dealing with the issues affecting so many in the aftermath of the Station nightclub fire, where 100 lost their lives and even more were injured, when she worked for Carcieri.

As an elected official, Stenhouse said she learned it was not always possible to fix the problems.

“I hated to tell people no,” she said. However, she found constituents accepting and appreciative of learning what is happening.

“Just to get an answer and a definitive answer is important to them,” she said.

As for what the city faces today, Stenhouse said, “I see challenges in the city, but I don’t see them as insurmountable.” She did not provide a list of challenges. She said she would seek to find solutions through partnerships and collaboration.

Stenhouse said while campaigning she has found people most concerned about the administration and funding of schools. She believes schools should have budgets that are more than a year and that there should be revisions to the governance of schools, which would require revisions to the city charter. She mentioned this would involve a charter review commission.

She did not outline specifics such as an appointed, rather than elected, school committee, or giving the committee the power of taxation, as some have suggested.

Yet Stenhouse emphasized the importance of schools to the community not only to prepare the next generation but also from the standpoint of making Warwick a desirable place to live and invest in a home. Improved schools and improved relations between the city and the schools would benefit students and home values, she said.

On the other hand, she said, “I know the Warwick school system is not as bad as all the rhetoric.”

Stenhouse is a proponent of City Centre and would look to promote continued development within the area. She sees it as an opportunity for tax growth and job opportunities. She would look to “partner” with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation “to get more revenues in the city.”

In addition to outlining her experience as a councilwoman and in government, Stenhouse said she was prepared to run for mayor in 2010 when former mayor Scott Avedisian disclosed to her that he was thinking of not seeking reelection. Then, she said, Avedisian had things he wanted to finish, including the preservation of Rocky Point as a park. There was no such indication Avedisian would be leaving at this time, she said. However, as she had made preparations eight years ago, she was ready.

She said as she feels government is not going to change, she feels compelled to seek election and bring that change.

“I’m not a career politician,” she said, adding that she has the qualifications, the passion and the vision to do the job.

Mayor Solomon addressed the club in July.

Comments

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Thecaptain

Unfortunately, when asked about city budgetary issues she was unable to answer one single question. She did not even know what the tax rate is on property or vehicles. DUH? Another example of an unqualified person looking for a job where they can be irresponsible and have no consequences.

Tuesday, October 9
Justanidiot

And if she cannot find a coalition, she can have some of her staff put on some makeup and a dress and pretend.

Tuesday, October 9
CrickeeRaven

She's not inspiring much confidence at this point, Thecaptain. The city tax rate is a number that anyone running for office should know.

Stenhouse was also featured today in an article on Warwick Post, which likewise didn't exactly help her case: https://warwickpost.com/stenhouse-touts-diplomacy-business-development-in-mayoral-bid/

I wouldn't say she addressed the 2016 Cranston senior center photo op as directly as she could have, for one thing.

But at least the Post brought up the issue; the article above doesn't even mention it -- even though that photo op is likely to be a major factor in this race.

And if Stenhouse is going to open Solomon's past council service up to criticism, she definitely deserves to be questioned about her time in Cranston.

She has a lot of work to do in the next four weeks if she's going to make this a competitive election.

Tuesday, October 9
WwkVoter

Stenhouse - NOT.READY.FOR.PRIMETIME

Didn't even know the tax rates? If I were running for office, I would either have that memorized (and a LOT to say about it) OR, at the very least, bring a cheat sheet to stay grounded in basic facts.

This person thinks she can schmooze and talk her way into the highest office in Warwick?

I wont even mention her Cranston cross dressing FIASCO or that it made international news, and got her fired.

Tuesday, October 9
Bob_Cushman

When it comes to evaluating Sue Stenhouse's credentials for Warwick Mayor, her Cranston fiasco demonstrates that in the public light Sue will “dress up” the situation to appear one way, and then take off the disguise and do the complete opposite behind the scene.

Example 1:

Today “Stenhouse considers bringing people together to bridge their differences and cooperatively work together as one of the strengths she would bring to the mayor’s office”.

However, Stenhouse once mailed a letter characterizing a city councilman (me) as slanderous, knowingly untruthful, purposefully hurtful, disrespectful, unproductive, uncivil, careless, destructive, and dishonest. When confronted by John Howell, Sue denied ever writing the letter. I was asked by Howell to submit the letter to him as proof that it existed. To this day Stenhouse never admitted to sending the letter.

Example 2:

Today Sue "emphasized the importance of schools to the community not only to prepare the next generation but also from the standpoint of making Warwick a desirable place to live and invest in a home." Over a decade ago, Stenhouse opposed when “the council formally backed a plan … to fund the teacher contract through a series of school and municipal budget cuts, as well as paring down several surplus accounts".

Example 3:

Today Stenhouse claims she will work collaboratively to address city challenges. Over a decade ago, Sue worked with an outside agency on the potential to consolidate city and school functions. The problem was that she refused repeated requests to have the agency focus on costly city side employee retirement expenses. Her own council colleagues questioned her on this issue. “The City Council had questions about the scope of the report”, believing the $35,000 was allocated for both school and city review, but noted that the comparisons did not have quite as much depth on the city side.

I could easily put down many more examples of the two sides of Sue Stenhouse and why she could never be trusted as mayor.

Wednesday, October 10
WwkVoter

Thank you Bob for that history. Stenhouse is even worse than I thought.

Raven, thanks as always for putting the craziness of a certain habitually dishonest former candidate, frequent commenter in factual perspective.

Wednesday, October 10
Cat2222

Bob_Cushman, thank you for your comments. I believe that people tend to vote name recognition more than to take the time to research each candidate. She is running on the basis of her past Warwick political history and political connections she made during that time. The same history that places her directly in the line of fire because decisions that she made then have helped to create the mess the city is in now. The same goes for Solomon. The question is who would make a better leader? I can honestly say that I would not want to see what type of knee-jerk decision Stenhouse would make if backed into a corner since she has clearly demonstrated poor decision -making during her time in Cranston.

Warwick finally has a chance to shake things up after years of the same administration. I feel that a vote for Stenhouse is a vote for Avedesian 2.0.

5 days ago
Bob_Cushman

Cat, having the unique experience of working with both individuals as an elected official, I can state without a doubt that Joe Solomon has the knowledge, experience and honesty necessary to be the Mayor of the City of Warwick. Sue does not!

Stenhouse has the audacity to claim Joe was fired several times as council President while she embarrassed herself and the City of Cranston nationally with her cross dressing stunt that caused her to be fired by Republican Mayor Fung.

The reason Joe was voted out of the Council Presidency was that he made many proposals that saved the city millions of dollars and rocked the status quo in the city. From competitive bidding for healthcare contracts that have literally saved the city tens of million of dollars, to providing better checks in balances on city spending, such as contract ratification that Sue voted against, Joe is the only logical choice for mayor.

I will post another comment right after this one that described how city hall was run in the past and how it will remain if Stenhouse becomes mayor.

5 days ago
Bob_Cushman

If you want Warwick to continue to operate this way, vote for Sue!

The Taxpayers' Spin: Warwick Republican's hypocritical attack

Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010 1:28 pm

Last week Warwick Republican Party Chairwoman Christine Desmarais wrote a letter to the Beacon questioning Richard Langseth’s credentials as a Republican in challenging Mayor Scott Avedisian in the Republican primary for mayor. She writes, “If anyone’s credentials as a Republican should be questioned, it should be Mr. Langseth’s.”

What surprised me about the letter was the fact it was written in the first place. Usually, the party chairperson will save partisan attacks for members of the opposition party and not display such an openly bias opinion against a same party candidate.

Perhaps before the Chairwoman attacked Mr. Langseth’s credentials, her claim would have some semblance of credibility if she explained the thought process behind Warwick Republicans endorsing the candidacy of current Councilman Steve Colantuano two years ago after he switched from being a previous Democrat candidate for the Ward 1 City Council seat.

Mr. Colantuano in 2006 ran and was defeated in the Democrat primary by me. In 2008, he once again met with the Democrat Ward 1 chairperson and was unsuccessful in his attempt to acquire the endorsement. Fearful of losing in the Democrat primary again, he switched to the Republican Party at the last minute, receiving their endorsement along with the promise of a legion of volunteers and thousands of dollars to support his campaign. Mayor Avedisian personally contributed $1,000, the maximum amount allowed by law, to his campaign.

The Warwick Republican Party flip-flop simply demonstrates that when it comes to politics and the political party of our elected leaders, it really doesn’t matter if one is a Democrat or Republican. What matters is maintaining power, control and influence.

Unfortunately, for taxpayers the checks and balances associated with an opposition party viewpoint is obsolete in Warwick. Republican and Democrat affiliation is so perverse that party platform and individual philosophy are no longer relevant in holding members accountable. Receiving an endorsement requires the candidate to become a rubber stamp to the power brokers setting the political agenda. Those in power maintain control by satisfying the interests of a minority of people that enabled them to keep that influence. It becomes a vicious circle with citizens suffering the consequences of a corrupt government.

This isn’t just a Republican and Democrat problem in Warwick; voters share most of the blame since they keep re-electing the same conflicted individuals to office.

Don’t get me wrong, because political leaders are from opposite parties doesn’t mean they shouldn’t work together and oppose each other on every issue. If an idea is good, party politics shouldn’t be a factor. The problem is that making a balanced objective decision that in the long-term is beneficial to overall society isn’t the number one objective of these politicians. Their desire is to remain in office and obtain more power and support regardless of the cost to taxpayers.

How else do you explain the city of Warwick accumulated unfunded liabilities approaching $1 billion? Political favoritism, an out of touch ineffective government is responsible for most of our economic problems today that are bankrupting the city.

The old political adage – make your adversary your supporter – has been a key to Mayor Avedisian’s success since Republicans haven’t had more then two members on the City Council in over 10 years. The mayor has been so successful that he has literally crippled the Democrat party, and in the process, undermined the concept of separation of powers.

The legislative branch has effectively become a yes-man for the mayor. In return for not only political support but also for the jobs and appointed board positions the mayor has given their family and friends, these candidates, once elected, support his legislation, sponsor his appointments, and give him control over the legislative process.

Richard Langseth is being targeted because his campaign actually has a traditional fiscally conservative tone to it - ironically, what most would consider core Republican values designed to reduce the tax burden on Warwick taxpayers.

In this year of widespread voter discontent with incumbent politicians, Avedisian Republican power brokers see Langseth as a threat and instead of challenging his platform, they are resorting to the dirty political tactic of personally attacking his character and credentials.

With new first-time Republican candidates for City Council in Danny Hall in Ward 5 and Mike Mulholland in Ward 6, who seem to have a mindset independent of the administration, challenging pro-Avedisian Democrats, will they receive the same campaign cash from the mayor and support from Warwick’s Republican Party that Mr. Colantuano received two years ago? I seriously doubt it.

At best, the Warwick Republican Party position is hypocritical when comparing Mr. Colantuano to Mr. Langseth. In reality, it’s clear the Warwick Republican party will only support candidates willing to maintain the status quo.

Instead, voters need to elect people with the courage to confront the challenges we face with honesty, diligence, and a sense of shared purpose. Not people interested in maintaining specious supporters that will keep them in office so long as they sell their political soul to make decisions profitable to them.

5 days ago
bendover

GOOD LORD! Thanks for jogging the memory, Bob, I think...What we have here is Joe vs mayor dumbness, part II...Like in Poker, the for sale signs are a very ominous tell...Joe, I hope you have a master plan, you are going to need it.

5 days ago
Bob_Cushman

Anyone wonder why now the democrat hacks are coming out of the wood work to endorse Stenhouse? Then is no Democrat party in Warwick. Just as there really is no Republican party in Warwick.

It's all about getting jobs for your buddies or stacking the boards and commissions with friends to advance a self-centered agenda in Warwick at the detriment of Warwick citizens.

If you want most of these hacks to continue to dominate these boards and commissions, elect Sue

Joe has never been a party panderer.

Warwick needs an enigma. its time to get rid of the Chafee, Avedisian panders in instill new blood into Warwick politics.

5 days ago
Cat2222

Thank you for all the information. I wasn't paying attention to politics at that time because I was too young. We certainly do not want to keep repeating past mistakes. I have stated more than once that I feel that Stenhouse has a fatal flaw that was never addressed by her and it remains the pink elephant in the room as far as I am concerned. She tossed integrity aside and it gives me pause. As for Solomon, my biggest concern is that he will continue to keep the status quo. I understand why you believe Joe won't pander but I can see where he might not have a choice if he wants to get things done. In any event, I have in essence made my choice for mayor and hope for a better future than what we have now. If not, I will most certainly plan on moving before I have any plans for children. There are better communities with better school systems in this state and it would be worth the bother of moving.

4 days ago
CrickeeRaven

Bobby, you really need to use a dictionary before you make comments like this one: "Warwick needs an enigma."

An enigma is a mystery.

Maybe you mean "enema," which is an odd choice of words, especially after you "flushed out" those old stories all over this page.

There's already one failed candidate falsely claiming that he knows better than others and has had some kind of influence on the city; we really don't need another one.

3 days ago