To the Editor:
We have come to the end of receiving literature flyers/letter/palm cards in our doors and mailboxes. We are beginning to put away the yard signs and start rejoicing with the election finally coming to an end. This election was a vital election considering there were three seats that were open for the Warwick School Committee. During the present regime of elected school committee officials, our schools have taken hard hits with the project of consolidation, communication issues and, most essential, transparency with teachers, parents, and students.
As we hope and wait to see what happens in January, we all should be aware of two key facts that are most notable; for one, in the year of 2015 for Warwick School Committee, the average age of the elected officials was 57. In 2017 it was 61, and now the average age will be 42. It is shocking to see how the ages are decreasing as we push through this generation. This will bring impactful perspectives of new, fresh minds to the floor to make our schools better than they once were.
The youngest elected official on the Warwick School Committee in 2015 was Jennifer Ahearn. Then in 2016, it was Bethany Furtado. Now going into 2019, our youngest elected official in Warwick overall is Nathan Cornell. This goes to show that these young candidates who chose to run followed the first step method of having the willingness to run. Then going to the second step getting the support and this is where they both coincide each other and come to create one massive step. After all that, there is the last step, and that is getting through the primary and the general election. Warwick School Committee-Elect Kyle Adams and Nathan Cornell successfully completed these steps.
Now, in regards to the City Council, we also had a huge decrease in the average age. Considering that Joseph J. Solomon has left his seat of Ward 4, becoming the Mayor of Warwick, we have a newly elected member replacing that seat. Instead of a lot of incumbents leaving (e.g. Warwick School Committee), we have a lot of incumbents reelected. In 2014, the average age was 59. Thomas H. Chadronet (Ward 2) was in his last term and was the second oldest on the City Council at the time. Kathleen M. Usler, representing Ward 7, was the youngest elected official at the time. Going into 2016, the average age was 55. As you can see, there has already been a drop in age just by a two-year window. Jeremy Rix, representing Ward 2 replacing Thomas H. Chadronet, was the youngest elected official. The oldest elected official was Joseph E. Gallucci representing Ward 8. Then in 2018, the mayor was replaced with James McElroy representing Ward 4. And Anthony Sinapi the youngest elected official at the time representing Ward 8. The average age in 2018 was 52.
As we can all make our own conclusions, I leave you with this statement. The time period we are in is historical. We have young candidates taking a stab at running for an elected office.
We should commend all of them for their efforts and hard work.
Pilgrim High School Senior