To the Editor:
I was notified by the Warwick Board of Canvassers that, thanks to everyone who signed my candidate petitions, I have qualified to be on the ballot in November. Thank you to all who signed for giving me this chance. While getting those signatures, I walked the 8th ward from Natick on the west and Greenwood on the east and from Pontiac Village in the north and Cowesett in the south. I was amazed at the friendly and thoughtful response I received everywhere I went. It is clear to me that people in Ward 8 love their neighborhoods and their city of Warwick and they’re willing to listen to a candidate who wants to make things better here. As I have gone door-to-door, I have learned of a number of local issues, but the issues common to almost everyone are taxes and schools. I know we are distrustful of candidates who promise to lower taxes (even more so of those who promise to raise our taxes). But I have lived in Warwick for 17 years and I cannot remember a year that taxes did not go up. I know that the state continues to reduce its support to the cities and that real estate values have dropped because of the real estate crisis, but I don't know if we all realize how close we came to having a year without property tax increases. The $0.45 increase in the property taxes will raise $3 million. But the increase in the car tax threshold from $500 to $2,000 reduced the revenue from that tax by $600,000. The fact is that the net tax increase is $2,400,000, which is less than 1 percent of the city's budget of $297,700,000. As your councilwoman, I believe we can find that 1 percent in the budget.
I have a son who graduated from Toll Gate and another who is entering there this year. The quality of our public school education is of top concern to me. One issue that especially concerns me is the physical state of our school buildings. Recently, there has been talk about issuing bonds to fund repairs of our schools, but the bonds have not been issued yet and as your councilwoman, I will see that they are and that the money is effectively used to improve our schools. Thanks to you, I can make a start. You will be hearing more about me and my campaign platform and I hope that come November, I can once again count on your support and your vote.
Ward 8 Council Candidate