Danny Hall, the chair of the Republican City Committee, said this week that he is a candidate for the seat of Ward 5 councilman. He said he hopes to bring accountability and accessibility to the public, which are two traits he feels current Ward 5 Councilman John DelGiudice lacks.
“I’ll always answer my phone and e-mails,” Hall said. “I get calls from constituents and I talk to them. I don’t try to dodge the issues or important topics. I try to be honest with everybody and let them know what’s going on. My opponent is not the best at that. It’s not a strong suit of his.”
If elected, Hall plans to focus on improving access to sewers, addressing issues T.F. Green Airport expansion has caused, as well as doing more with Rocky Point Park.
In terms of sewers, he thinks the city should advocate lower assessments or making it easier for citizens to apply for grants to tie-in.
“A few years back, it was roughly $40 per foot going across your property,” said Hall. “Now, it’s in the upper $80s. It’s doubled in the last few years when the economy has tanked and people are losing their homes. We should be trying to help people.”
As far as the airport, he is worried about homeowners being displaced due to buyouts. While he’s not sure of a solution just yet, he said he is invested in coming up with one.
“You have older couples who have been in their homes for 30 or 40 years, and sooner or later they are going to be bought out by the airport,” said Hall. “That’s wrong. If that were my family I’d be extremely upset. I would rather have seen it extend within the fence.”
With Rocky Point, he hopes to do more with the park and get it up to its full potential. He thinks it’s unfortunate that it tends to take a backseat to a lot of other issues.
“We need people to realize how important it is to expand that park,” said Hall. “The pathway itself is beautiful, but I’d love to see a picnic area and maybe a chowder shop in there. I don’t want to do anything gigantic that will cost the taxpayers any money.”
While he lost to DelGiudice last election, Hall said he thinks he has a good chance of winning this time, as DelGiudice captured the seat by a marginal number.
In the three-way race between Hall, DelGiudice and Jason White, Hall garnered 40 percent of the vote, White acquired 11 percent, while DelGiudice pulled in 48 percent.
“For an incumbent of his stature, that’s extremely bad,” said Hall. “Fifty-two percent voted against John. They voted for change. Usually, they say the third time’s the charm, but in politics it’s the second time around. If I can do what I did last time, hopefully I’ll bring those numbers in.”
Hall said he became certain that he wanted to run because he believes DelGiudice isn’t an active council member. He described DelGiudice as being stagnant. In fact, Hall said he thinks the only thing DelGiudice has accomplished in the last eight years is passing the legislation that made it illegal to feed coyotes.
“There’s not much to his record,” said Hall. “The reason I ran last time was because I didn’t know who my council member was. He’s not very vocal and just kind of goes with the flow. I never really knew anything about him until I put my name out there and started doing homework.”
He thinks DelGiudice keeps getting re-elected because of his family name. DelGiudice’s father, also named John DelGiudice, served as a local politician.
“John’s last name is like the Kennedys’,” said Hall. “It’s not easy campaigning against that but all you can do is walk the ward and knock on as many doors as you can. Hopefully, at the end of the day, you make an impression.”
Hall grew up in Apponaug and was raised by his grandfather, Robert “Red” Darigan, who is well known for his volunteer efforts in Warwick. He graduated from Toll Gate High School in 2000 and obtained an associate’s degree in political science from the Community College of Rhode Island. Shortly after, he started studying law enforcement at Rhode Island College but was contacted by the Department of Corrections to join the academy. He has been there nearly eight years. Further, he shares a home in Warwick with his wife of two years, Tiffany.
To help finance his campaign, Hall is holding a fundraiser May 1 at the Warwick FOP at 6 p.m. For now, he’s focused on giving the election everything he’s got. As a city, he thinks Warwick can prosper and dig its way out of the economic crisis with strong council members.
“I think we can do better,” said Hall. “We have elected officials that take their seat for granted and you have others that don’t. Some council members work extremely hard, but not all of them do. If you can get all of them working as hard as the few that do, Warwick would be a much better place. That’s my goal. I want to do whatever I can to make this city improve.”
DelGiudice was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for press.