NEWS

After 6 year hiatus, Donovan enters School Committee race

Posted 6/22/22

By ALEX MALM

It’s been eight year since former Ward 7 Councilman Charles “CJ” Donovan Jr. served in elected office.

Now with District 3 (Ward 7, 8 and 9) School Committee …

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NEWS

After 6 year hiatus, Donovan enters School Committee race

Posted

By ALEX MALM


It’s been eight year since former Ward 7 Councilman Charles “CJ” Donovan Jr. served in elected office.

Now with District 3 (Ward 7, 8 and 9) School Committee member Nathan Cornell opting out of running for re-election Donovan decided to enter the race. Currently, the only other candidate to announce for office is 1996 Toll Gate High School graduate Michelle Kirby Chapman. With a daughter at Robertson School, she told the Beacon last week, she feels it is time to put parents back on the School Committee.

 Donovan is no stranger to Warwick politics. Not only is he the son of former Mayor Charles Donovan he also served for 14 years on the Council. He feels that his experience will be important if he is elected.

 “I  believe I bring a very unique and valuable perspective to the table having served as a councilman. I understand and value the importance of communication. If the voters of District 3 entrust me to represent them on the school committee, I pledge to work with all stakeholders: students, teachers, staff, taxpayers, local officials as well as state delegation on all matters related to Warwick Schools,” said Donovan. “I had the honor of knowing and working with former Superintendent Robert Shapiro while I was on the Warwick City Council. I had a front row seat on just how effective and important one voice can be for a successful school system. I hope to utilize the same type of work ethic that Mr. Shapiro embodied.”

Donovan, who said that he was the 3rd generation in his family to graduate from Warwick Public Schools is the parent of two children in Warwick one goes to Toll Gate and the other Greenwood Elementary School.  It's why he decided to run for School Committee.

“I wanted to be certain that a quality education remains a top priority for the City,” said Donovan.

Asked about his thoughts on the bond initiative to build two new high schools Donovan said “I have no problem supporting this initiative. And actually lean this way. I think it's long overdue and a great opportunity, as Superintendent Lynn Dambruch said, two schools for the price of one.”

“ But if I was pressed to vote today without the benefit of additional information, such as what if any school designs may or may not have already been submitted to RIDE, as well as protections from possible cost overruns and interest rates, the answer is no,” said Donovan. “I look forward to having these and many other issues addressed in a public informational meeting that all residents could attend and would welcome the opportunity to work with the Mayor's Office, City Council, School Committee and any other subject matter experts on setting up such a beneficial meeting.”

In 2013 Donovan was arrested on a DUI charge and a felony for carrying an unloaded gun while intoxicated. The felony charge was ultimately dropped.

Asked if he is concerned that his past history will be brought up on the campaign trail Donovan said “I'm not concerned about the issue being raised.”

“It's a part of my past that I have learned from. I made a promise 10 years ago that it was a first and last mistake,” said Donovan. “What would be concerning is if there was no lesson learned. Those who know me, know that my promise to move forward in a positive fashion has and continues to be met.”

Donovan, a Senior Policy Analyst for the Rhode Island House of Representatives lives in Greenwood with his wife Julie and his two children Shaelin and Matthew.

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