Avedisian kicks off bid for reelection

Dashing the hopes of some Democrats that he would run for a statewide office, thereby leaving a vacancy for mayor, Republican Scott Avedisian kicked off his campaign for reelection last night at a $50-a-ticket fundraiser at Chelo's.
As of yesterday afternoon, Avedisian had yet to finalize his remarks, but using his cell phone on a return trip from Providence he touched upon those items he expected to speak about. They centered on the positive: the positive direction he sees Warwick moving in and the positive developments made since he became mayor in a special election almost two years ago.
On the top of his list was the acreage preserved as open space. Avedisian noted that during the administration of former Mayor Lincoln Chafee, 128 acres were preserved as open space. In the last two years another 131 acres have been added to the total, he said.
Avedisian expects to unveil "a major new initiative concerning children" in the near future and economic development initiatives during the campaign.
"It's a long time," Avedisian said when asked to elaborate on what new directions he aims to bring the city should he win reelection in November.
While the details will come, the overall theme of Avedisian's campaign is clear.
Avedisian, who was elected when Chafee was appointed to fulfill the term of his late father, John Chafee, as U.S. Senator, will focus on the people of Warwick, his record as mayor and the condition of the city. Collectively, Avedisian comes down on the positive, although alluding to some of the resistance from council members he said there are some who don't see either a half full or half empty glass, but "none at all."
"We need to focus more on what's good," he said.
To the list of open space preserved, Avedisian points to Warwick schools, the reaccredidation of the police department and the recently accredited senior centers as services earning distinction.
On a sensitive local issue, Avedisian commented on the airport, noting its easy access and its selection by readers of a national publication as the third best airport in the country and the ninth in the world. Avedisian has stated his opposition to any runway extension at the airport and is pressing for increased revenues from the airport as well as legislation allowing taxation of improvements made at the airport by lessees.
"I see a lot that is very positive, and I want to continue that," the mayor said.
Avedisian also touched on the city's financial condition citing its high bond rating and surplus that stood in excess of $6 million at the end of the last fiscal year. A fourth rescue crew, which started in the last month, was also mentioned as an example of "what Warwick has going for itself."
It was the people that Avedisian singled out as most important. He observed that when tragedy hit New York on Sept. 11 the citizens of Warwick responded with an "outpouring" of donations to the families of victims, cards and letters from school students and the help of many who worked at Ground Zero. But the response is not limited to the events of the terrorist attacks. Avedisian cites the generosity of residents to capital campaigns of the Boys & Girls Clubs, Cornerstone Adult Services and EBC House, where more than $5 million was raised in little over a year.
"Look how we respond to one another'we're all part of this together. This is an incredibly caring community," he said. He added an objective of his administration has been, and will continue to be, "to bridge the gaps between the non-profits, businesses and all sectors of the community."
As of this point no Democrats have announced as candidates for mayor. Tim Rossano, who has run as a Cool Moose and Democratic candidate, has said he plans to run as a Republican this year.


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