"If you’re elected, you’re there to serve the people of the ward. It’s about what they want – not what you want,” says Tom Chadronet, 73, of 117 Elberta Street. Chadronet has declared as a Democratic candidate for Ward 2.
“I know the ward. It’s a middle-class working neighborhood and is one of the oldest parts of the city. Somebody should be there to relate to the people. If you ask me what my agenda is, that’s it.”
Chadronet, the treasurer of the Democrat City Committee, will face Paul Cannistra of 88 Cushing Road, as well as Lorraine Miller of 275 Irving Road, as Council President Bruce Place is not seeking re-election.
As a former stockbroker, Chadronet said he has a theory that the city is comparable to a stock. The city, he said, should be viewed as a company that’s owned by taxpaying citizens and operated by elected officials.
“The board of directors is like the council because they represent the whole city and the CEO is the mayor,” Chadronet said. “If it’s run like a business, it will be self-sustaining.”
With that, he added, “I’ve known Scott [Avedisian] for 20 years and he’s doing a good job.”
Additionally, he hopes to address issues he feels exist in terms of foreclosed homes, as well as road repairs, within his ward. With foreclosed homes, he said, there should be a law in place to ensure that the exterior of the domiciles are properly kept. Otherwise, the safety of nearby residents is put at risk.
“There are a lot of abandoned houses out there and when they look abandoned, they attract a bad element,” Chadronet said.
He also said there are numerous streets that are in “bad shape” that need to be tended to. Further, he’d like to see the track at Pilgrim High School repaired.
“It’s all about funding,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we can hold our own.”
Chadronet is a past member of the Warwick Comprehensive Land Use Committee and was instrumental in the last comprehensive use plan. He said he authored a passage in the plan that states that there should be no future development that attracts more traffic on Airport Road unless they make another lane.
Airport Road, which was built to handle approximately 25,000 vehicles, was experiencing extreme traffic about five years ago, he said. According to Chadronet, traffic was up to 30,000 to 40,000 cars. When there was a movement during the same time to build a Super Wal-Mart on Airport Road, Chadronet wasn’t in favor of it.
“I’m very pro-business and I would have loved to have seen a Super Wal-Mart for the tax dollars and the jobs, but if you bottleneck that road, it will create more traffic,” he said.
In addition to being a past member of the Comprehensive Land Use Committee, he is also a past member of various other organizations, including the Rhode Island Korean War Veterans Association; the Conimicut Village Association; the Warwick Comprehensive Land Use Search Committee; and the William Shields American Legion Post.
He serves as a member of the Zoning Board and is a former member of the Planning Board, for which he served for 20 years.
Chadronet is no stranger to politics. He ran for council in 1996 in a primary against John Lyons, who beat him by 110 votes. He also ran for state representative two years ago.
In terms of his background, Chadronet grew up on Federal Hill in Providence and served in the U.S. Army as a private first class from 1955 to 1957. He joined the Army on his 17th birthday and studied business at Johnson & Whales. He married Eleanor in 1960 and then moved to Warwick in 1978 to work for Bulova Watch Company before becoming a stockbroker.
Previously, Chadronet lived in Johnston, as well as Florida, where he ran a frozen lemonade business. The company was bought out by a group of lawyers and he moved to Warwick in 1978.
These days, he works as a property manager and bookkeeper for Providence Capital Group at 250 B Centerville Road. He also has two sons and five grandchildren.