There wasn’t a lot of division when the Town Council eight candidates met in the East Greenwich News candidates forum Thursday evening at New England Tech – each talked about the need to keep taxes low while maintaining services, with a few sparks coming over the Town Council’s role in funding all-day kindergarten, whether or not tax treaties should be considered for spaces like the former Bostitch building on South County Trail, and how best to help Main Street.
Hosted by East Greenwich News, the event was sponsored by the EG Chamber of Commerce and the EG Rotary Club and moderated by ABC6 newsman Mark Curtis.
All five council seats are up for election and only one current officeholder – Council President Michael Isaacs (R) – is running for reelection. One other candidate, Mark Schwager (D), was a Town Councilor from 2006-10.
The other candidates are Sue Cienki (R), Gene Dumas (R), Ed Field (R), Bill Stone (D), Sean Todd (R) and Rob Vespia (I).
The forum is available for viewing on the EG News youtube channel in segments (Opening Statements, above):
On Budget and Taxes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_48mhYXOtgI
Bostitch and Tax Treaties – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd1cBAos7hk
All-Day Kindergarten & the Council’s Role – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvNCUqcNnHQ
Helping Main Street – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ36Hv526KM
Closing Statements – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_eWmNoggnY
It will also be aired in full (along with the School Committee candidates forum) on Cox Channel 17 and Verizon Channel 37 five times before the Nov. 4 election, starting Monday, Oct. 20:
It’s amazing that Ed Fields actually seems to think that all-day kindergarten is about replacing day care so parents don’t have to pay for it anymore. It’s about our children receiving the same education as other kids in this state who get a full day of school to learn he things our kids are trying to learn in 2.5 hours. It’s absurd.
There’s a reason EG schools are falling in their rankings. If we don’t give our kids the right foundation in kindergarten, they’re behind from the start. And as for people who don’t have kids in school, this issue still affects them – property values are so high here because of our schools. When they start to fall in rankings, so will our home values.
Let’s be honest, for many the full day K issue IS about paying for child care. Also, did you listen to Sue Cienki explain how the budget process works? What Ed Fields or anyone else on the council thinks of a particular line item in the school budget does not matter, they either approve or reject the overall proposed increase.