January 2023 Councilor Update


After receiving resolutions from Barrington and Little Compton, I requested the council discuss this holiday.  I agreed with President Trimmer that exchanging this holiday with Victory Day may be a good option. My goal was to create more positive holidays. The approved resolution did not include the exchange in holidays. Ultimately, this decision is left to the State.

Road Safety

The speed limit is going to change on Wood River Drive and Shadow Ridge Drive to 15mph.  Residents from Shadow Ridge attended the Dec 20th and Jan 3rd meeting to express why this is important to them.  Chief Johnson spoke on behalf of Wood River Drive residents who expressed concerns to him. I encouraged all residents to bring concerns like this to Council or the non-emergency police line so they can check on safety and council can discuss. As Chief said, no one knows the roads better than us.  After this meeting, I emailed Chief regarding the safety of Old Mountain Road and shared my experience canvassing it.  This road is difficult because of its corners and elevation change. He said residents have brought these concerns to him so options can be vetted. 


Most reappointments passed without question.  However, two were. Continued from December, Ms. Hess was denied reappointment to the Planning Board on a 3-2 vote. Residents are rightfully upset, and I stand by all I’ve said previously and during the meeting. The planning board now has TWO vacancies.

It was asked that Atty Ellsworth be put on a 90 day review period.  I disagreed with this motion because a similar request was discussed and agreed upon by the prior council. They decided to have the Town Administrator perform an annual review and provide the council with a written opinion. Council agreed to specific questions that will be answered by the administrator in her evaluation. I was expecting that evaluation to be included with her written recommendation. I asked in the council meeting if this could be viewed by the council and received the same after the meeting.

Aquifer Protection Overlay District

First, thank you to our Planning Board, Town Planner, and Solicitor for taking so much time to work on this!  The presentation is available on Clerksbase. I encouraged moving this to public hearing so that we could seek input from all interested parties (residents and businesses). However, fellow Council Members wanted more time to personally review the APOD proposal and I wanted to allow them the time to feel comfortable moving this forward or work out concerns. This item is expected to come back to council in about 6 weeks.  It is my hope we are able to hear from all businesses and residents.

Code Red Alerts

This item has been brought up multiple times. I agree wholeheartedly that something needs to be done to increase voter turnout and civic engagement. I like the strategies implemented recently.  Last year, residents received a notice with their tax bill that explained how to sign up for town alerts.  I disagree with using our emergency alert system for non-emergency events, like voting and town meetings. Further, every person who has signed up for emergency alerts did so though our online site and with the intention of receiving emergency alerts only. I fear switching this on them will create mistrust from the public. Councilor Sheehan said she will research new systems & pricing and she will bring her findings back to council.  I’m excited to see options. If we switch systems or use a new one, some sort of marketing to let residents know and encourage people to sign up will be helpful for the success of the same.

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