By Caryn Corenthal
Over the last 4 years, it has been a privilege to serve as a EG’s Town Councillor. I got involved in Town government when EG’s Town Council was taking our community and finances in a bad direction. It was an honor to be elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2020. The current Town Council took over in 2018 as East Greenwich was facing over 50 lawsuits, the schools were being level-funded, Inappropriate budgeting led to taking 1 million dollars out of our fund balance. East Greenwich was frequently in the news for violating Open Meeting statues and for its contentious and divisive Council meeting.
When we were first elected, this Council came into power and immediately worked to turn down the temperature. We brought back normalcy and frankly happiness to the town government. We hired a new town manager and finance director, both of whom are well respected by both Democrats and Republicans and are uniformly lauded around our state. Under Mark Schwager’s leadership we immediately brought back public comments at the start of our meetings. Our efficient transparent budgets have had the lowest tax increases in more than 20 years. I am proud that EG was a hub for Covid vaccine treatment. Our wonderfully supportive town led by Hub Brennen, Fred Gnomes and Chief Patenaude and our town workers treated over 3,500 people. With the help of Councillors Renu Englehart and Michael Donegan, and our legal team, and Representative Justine Caldwell, Senator Bridgit Valverde and local do gooder, Denise Lopez, East Greenwich successfully stopped Med Recycler from building a plant off Division Street.
So, we must stay the course because I, for one, am excited about East Greenwich’s future. We are in the midst of a parking and waterfront study. We continue to improve and upgrade our water treatment facility. We are involved in long term planning for community development. We engaged local residents to discuss building a dog park. For the first time in many years people who live on the waterfront report peaceful weekends. We have successfully purchased open space that helps support the mental and physical health of our residents. We are beginning the process of street light conversion that will save the town thousands of dollars. We hired people who are respectful, hardworking and dedicated. Our staff is constantly and successfully searching for grant money to defray costs. Possibly, most importantly, I believe we listen to residents. We held workshops on topics that concern our neighbors, such as traffic and speeding. We continue to provide excellent services to our seniors.
When I was elected in 2018 I did not know any of my fellow councillors. I cannot imagine working with a better group of honest, ethical, hard working people. Each person’s voice is heard and respected. This council is committed to providing our residents high quality municipal services in a cost efficient manner. I kindly ask that you vote for this entire council so we can continue to move EG forward and continue to be a respected growing community where people can proudly call home.We have proven that we can right the ship and sail it though a previous fiscal mismanagement, a pandemic and recovery. Let’s stay the course and keep this Council at the helm for 2 more years.
Caryn Corenthal is a member of the East Greenwich Town Council.