NEWS

Paplauskas nominates Campopiano for seat on City Council

By DANIEL A. KITTREDGE
Posted 9/22/21

By DANIEL KITTREDGE Another name is being put forward to fill the Ward 4 seat on the City Council, while a special meeting has been set to act on the proposed appointment. Council President Chris Paplauskas on Tuesday announced he has nominated Richard

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NEWS

Paplauskas nominates Campopiano for seat on City Council

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Another name is being put forward to fill the Ward 4 seat on the City Council, while a special meeting has been set to act on the proposed appointment.

Council President Chris Paplauskas on Tuesday announced he has nominated Richard D. Campopiano to fill the remainder of the term vacated by Ed Brady’s resignation last month.

The special meeting has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Monday, prior to the council’s regular monthly meeting. Campopiano’s name will be the only one on the docket for consideration, which Paplauskas said is in keeping with precedent.

Earlier this month, the Cranston Republican City Committee, Brady, Mayor Ken Hopkins and former GOP mayors Allan Fung and Michael Traficante all endorsed Vincent Turchetta, who recently resigned from the School Committee, for the council appointment.

In a statement, Paplauskas said Campopiano’s “demonstrated leadership as a local business owner, and his proactive volunteerism and community building speaks for itself as to why he will make an excellent public servant on the council.”

He added: “Richard Campopiano is ready to serve the constituents of Ward 4 and work with the entire Council to keep moving Cranston forward. As a business owner and prominent community leader, he is the right person at the right time to serve on the Council and engage in the important work on our agenda.”

“It is an honor and privilege to be nominated to represent my neighbors in Ward 4 on the Cranston City Council,” Campopiano said in the statement. “Serving our community in public office is a position I do not take lightly. My time as a Cranston entrepreneur and community volunteer has provided me the experience I need to serve Cranston and help lead our city into a strong future.”

According to the statement, Campopiano has “deep roots in the City as a small business owner and active community leader.” His community involvement includes serving as a past president of the St. Mary’s Feast Society, a former president of the Holy Name Society and as an usher with St. Mary’s Parish.

“Additionally, Campopiano dedicates countless hours per year to a variety of charitable organizations and efforts with a consistent drive to work with others to support those in need locally and nationally,” the statement continues. “Campopiano has been married to his wife Debbie for 38 years, and together they have two children who themselves are raising their own families in Cranston.”

Under the terms of the city’s charter, vacancies that occur more than six months after the start of two-year elected terms – such as those on both the City Council and School Committee – are to be filled through appointment. In the case of ward seats, the appointee must reside in the ward and, in the case of the council, be of the same political party. School Committee seats are nonpartisan.

The provision regarding party affiliation became the subject of attention, and some criticism, when the GOP committee and three mayors backed Turchetta for the Ward 4 seat. Turchetta has, until recently, been a registered Democrat and a member of the Democratic Ward 4 Committee.

Reached last week, Turchetta described the circumstances surrounding his departure from the School Committee and subsequent interest in the Ward 4 council seat.

At the time of his resignation from the committee, Turchetta has cited increased time constraints related to his courseload at the Community College of Rhode Island, where he teaches classes in education.

Turchetta said after his resignation, a shift in his CCRI schedule led to classes he expected to teach on Mondays being moved to Thursdays.

“I got my Monday nights back,” he said.

Turchetta said he initially received inquiries about interest in the council seat at the same time as “rumblings” emerged about Brady’s resignation from the council.

“If I have the opportunity to serve my neighborhood on a bigger stage, I’m going to take it,” he said, adding that he was “appreciative” of the support from Hopkins and others.

Turchetta said he had served on the Ward 4 Democratic Committee for a number of years before resigning from that group in August, around the time he began contemplating the council post. He also said he disaffiliated as a Democrat in August and that he is now registered as a Republican.

Tuchetta said he views his service to the community as nonpartisan, particularly on the School Committee. He also said under the charter, the decision on the Ward 4 appointment lies solely with the council.

“It’s the council president and the council’s decision,” he said. “Whatever the council president decides, I’m going to respect it. I know he has the best interest of Cranston at heart.”

Brady issued a statement after the Herald’s print deadline last week endorsing Turchetta for the Ward 4 seat.

“I have worked closely with Vin Turchetta when he was a member of the School Committee. I think Vin is well qualified to represent the ward and would be a wonderful choice for the residents of Ward 4,” Brady said in the statement.

He added: “I always found Vin to be cooperative and mild tempered. His approach to public office will work well with the city council … In all my dealings with Vin on city or school business he never brought politics into the discussion. Vin Turchetta worked to solve many challenges in a non-partisan way, particularly during the Covid pandemic. I am confident he will work effectively with both Republicans and Democrats when serving on the Council.”

The Herald reached out to Hopkins for comment, but had not immediately received a reply before the paper’s press time.

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