To the Editor:
This past Monday, I withdrew my candidacy for Warwick School Committee, District 1. I did not do this lightly, just as I did not initially submit my declaration of candidacy lightly.
Simply put, I declared for this seat for the same reasons I threw my hat in the ring for City Council two years prior; to ensure that a quality candidate was on the ballot who would truly work as a representative for the constituents of the community. In this case, that means the students, parents, teachers, and staff who learn and work in our schools. I withdrew because there is another candidate, Kyle Adams, who I believe can succeed in the role and fulfill the high expectations that any of us should expect out of our elected officials. Meet him, as I did, and I think you’ll find that he is the right person for this job.
The issues facing Warwick, our schools in particular, are vast in scope and complex in depth. We have significant infrastructure failings that need to be addressed simply to provide a “clean, warm, and safe” environment for our students and our teachers. This necessarily requires a long term, committed, continuing investment by us as taxpayers. Meanwhile, we need to address the fact that Warwick’s median income and median cost of living are basically matched, meaning that roughly half of our residents are constantly struggling simply to get by, so simply raising taxes to provide a larger purse to the school committee isn’t going to fly. Still, with the $250M education infrastructure bond that will almost assuredly pass this November, there will be ample matching funds that Warwick must leverage for our children’s benefit.
I believe that we must balance fiduciary responsibility with a willingness to recognize that investments in our schools will reap sustainable dividends for the community. When our schools are great, people want to live here (including when they move from out of state for work or from other towns in RI). When people live here, businesses that support them thrive. We cannot continue to ignore the systemic nature of our society. That’s why we need more cooperation between City Council and School Committee, as the two main bodies that regulate both the commercial and residential environment we live in as well as the schools our children learn in.
Kyle is a longtime Warwick resident who grew up learning in Warwick schools with deep ties to the community. His background in accounting and his MBA should serve well to give him the ability to quickly and competently grasp the financials. Likewise, his demeanor is one of patience and empathy, marked by rational discourse that demonstrates his appreciation for the nuance that these issues require to be adequately addressed. There are no easy quick fixes to Warwick’s public schools, but I believe that with Kyle serving on the school committee we will have an agent of positive change working for the benefit of those who’ve historically been ignored, dismissed, and outright ridiculed for voicing valid concerns. The time for positive change is upon us. Please cast your vote for Kyle Adams on Election Day, November 6.