Why They’re Running: Town Council Candidates

by | Jul 3, 2018

Charles Callanan, 52, Republican

I was a naval officer – I’ve been committed to service my entire life. I love this town. I’ve been all over the world but ultimately I thought this was one of the best places I’ve ever been. My primary concern is making sure we have the best educated kids in the state. Schools come first. There’s no reason, in a town like this, we can’t fund schools properly, can’t fix the roads. Whether it be the fire department, public works or the police, any organization that takes a disproportionate or inordinate amount of money should be looked at to see if it’s correct.

Sue Cienki, 56, Republican incumbent

I love this town and it is an honor and privilege to work on behalf of the residents. There were many issues identified in the past year that need to be resolved. I want to bring those issues to completion. The residents deserve that. There are five union contracts that will be negotiated in the next year. I now have the experience to add value to that process. Poor contracts can have a devastating impact on the town employees and its residents.

Caryn Corenthal, 60, Democrat

My goal is to be an excellent public servant. Good governance should not be a partisan issue. I’m running to restore open responsive government to East Greenwich.

Mike Donegan, 56, Democrat

I am not a politician and never aspired to become one, but our community is clearly at a crossroads and I believe that I can help.  We have become a fractured and polarized community due to the ill-conceived actions and divisive manner of the current Council majority. We are better than this.  It is time for a change. I believe that I can help move us forward on a new path – one that addresses the needs and fiscal challenges that are common to all local governments without the bitterness and divisiveness we have seen in the last two years.

Andy Deutsch, 32, Republican incumbent

Deutsch was first elected the the Town Council in 2016. He did not respond to EG News for this story.

Renu Englehart, 52, Democrat

I am running because I believe in an open and transparent government. While I do believe that the current town administration has caught some financial faults, I think the tone that they have set within town hall and the secrecy have not been beneficial to the town or its citizens. East Greenwich deserves to have an accessible government that is respectful and honest. East Greenwich also needs to have the ability to recall those who are failing them. We also need to have an candid look at our taxes and the needs of the different groups that live in our town.  

Bill Higgins, 55, unaffiliated

I don’t like the direction the town has taken over the past year. I don’t like the way the current manager and finance director came into town. They came in to make evaluations, then they ended up with the jobs they evaluated. I don’t like the way the finances are being done, the depletion of our surplus. I feel like they’re trying to get us toward bankruptcy so they can hold a Central Falls-style bankruptcy. I think it’s dangerous territory to be going in. The town needs to about face on the course that it’s taken and straighten out the mess it’s created.

Sean O’Leary, 44, unaffiliated

I think the town is in need of some new blood. The rhetoric, regrettably, as gotten to a level where it certainly is not constructive, maybe destructive. It seems like the parties are very distrustful. I’m a lawyer. I think there’s a need to collect and distill what the collective will is and the objectives of the town. There’s that necessary first step. And there’s going to be some need to find some common ground. I then will fully utilize my position, as one of the five Council members, to advocate for the Town’s best interests. I pledge to do so as an independent thinker, without a pre-ordained agenda, and unifying voice if/when needed.

James Rosenman, 36, unaffiliated

I am running for the Town Council because I want to help end the incivility in EG’s current public political discourse, because we are better than that; we need to strengthen Main Street through actions and not just plans that sit on a shelf to help ensure it remains a top destination in the region. Lastly, it is critical we make sound and lasting investments in our schools not just for our children but to support strong property values.  I look forward to building an even better East Greenwich together.

Mark Schwager, 61, Democratic incumbent

I’m continuing to do what I’ve always enjoyed doing, to combine my love for East Greenwich and my love of public service. Local government really impacts your daily life. What’s happening now, we’re focusing more and more on East Greenwich as if it’s a corporation. I think we’ve lost sight of the idea that it’s a community.

Mike Zarrella, 49, Democrat

Over the last two years, the town’s fiscal responsibility has been absent. The town and the schools both have structural deficits and the schools aren’t being funded properly. In addition, the lawsuits Gayle Corrigan has gotten us involved in are costing the town hundreds of thousands in legal fees.



Value the news you get here on East Greenwich News? As a 501-c3, we depend on reader support. Become a sustaining (monthly) donor or make a one-time donation! Click on the Donate button below or send a check to EG News, 18 Prospect St., East Greenwich, RI 02818. Thanks.

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Karen Kane
Karen Kane
July 3, 2018 9:45 am

I am disappointed that Sue Cienki is running for office again. Many of us feel that the town council under her chairmanship has not wanted to listen to the citizens of the town. Their attitude is “we know better than you do what you want to happen in town, so we will ignore you for your own good”. Amazed that they reappointed Corrigan, knowing the feelings of so many in town. The exception, on the town council, of course is Mark Schwager who listens to the citizens. This has been a disastrous year for East Greenwich. Don’t they see that people move here for the schools and expect to pay taxes to support them?
I have not had children in the schools for 20 years but still feel the obligation to support them.


Newsletter Sign Up

* indicates required


Latest Streaming