By EMMA BARTLETT
Three more Cranstonians have announced their run for City Council. Councilman Richard Campopiano will run as a republican for Ward 4, School Committee Chair Daniel Wall will run …
By EMMA BARTLETT
Three more Cranstonians have announced their run for City Council. Councilman Richard Campopiano will run as a republican for Ward 4, School Committee Chair Daniel Wall will run as a democrat for Ward 6 and Jason Case will run as a republican for Ward 3.
Richard Campopiano, 58, is the newest face to Cranston’s current City Council. Campopiano was appointed to the position of Ward 4 councilman Sept. 21 – filling councilman Ed Brady’s position – and will run as a Republican in the upcoming election.
Campopiano’s roots and involvement in Cranston run deep; it was where he got married, raised his family, served as the president of St. Mary’s Feast Society, opened his business and is now where his grandkids go to school.
Campopiano and his wife Deb have their own business – R&D Tool Engineering – in Knightsville which builds automated machinery. Campopiano said he was 20 years old and on his honeymoon when he and Deb came up with the idea to start their own company. The couple has worked together everyday for 38 years.
“If we have four lunches away from each other in a whole year, that’s a lot,” said Campopiano, mentioning they do everything together including the egg hunt that he held April 9 where Cranston’s children collected 8,000 candy-filled eggs.
Campopiano explained his appointment to the council came from a conversation with Council President Chris Paplauskas who is one of his close friends. Paplauskas mentioned the Ward 4 vacancy, and Campopiano said he’d make a good candidate for the position.
He listed his 38 years of experience as a business owner in the city, raising two kids who went through the Cranston school system – along with three grandkids going through the school system, understanding money and finances and the ins and outs of running things were all reasons that he would make a good fit on the council. Additionally, he owned several local properties and understood the city’s taxes.
During the past eight months on the council, Campopiano has enjoyed his time so far and is still feeling out how things are done. He said he tends to sit back and listen to what’s being said before making a decision.
“I have spoken up a few times when I felt it was important. Other than that, I’m paying attention and making my decision in my head,” Campopiano said. “I listen to everybody – I don’t make my decisions based on party.”
Campopiano said one of the biggest problems in Ward 4 is housing. There is a lot of open land and he would like to preserve the rural aspect while also welcoming development – making sure it is done tastefully and not overcrowding areas.
“There has to be a good balance between what we develop and what we keep rural,” Campopiano said.
He also referenced the budget as a problem and said he and the council needs to pay more attention to contracts coming before them. Instead of just agreeing to approve a contract, Campopiano plans to look closely as to how the agreement will impact the city in the future.
“A lot of these contracts were made and approved without realizing what the circumstances would be down the line,” Campopiano said, referencing the problem that the city is currently struggling with.
Additionally, after hearing that some of the city’s playgrounds are in disrepair, he hopes to address this issue, noting that it’s important for kids to have somewhere to go.
Campopiano’s favorite part of being on the council is being the people’s voice.
“It’s my nature to help,” Campopiano said.
He also answers every single phone call – even if it’s not at the most convenient moment.
“My son makes fun of me because I can be under a machine and something’s going to fall on my head and my phone rings and I answer,” Campopiano said, laughing.
Most of the issues Campopiano receives concern speeding, the request for stop signs and snow in the winter.
Campopiano said he considers Mayor Ken Hopkins a friend, even prior to becoming a councilman.
“I do believe that all decisions he makes are from the heart – I think he wants the best for Cranston,” Campopiano said.
Campopiano said he believes everybody – whether their democrat or republican – are doing what they feel is best for the city.
Campopiano, who also collects and restores antique cars, will host a Cars and Councilman event on June 26 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at John H. Chafee Athletic & Recreation Complex. Constituents are welcomed to stop by, see the cars, get to know Campopiano and ask questions. Campopiano does not plan to host any fundraisers and will use the funds that the city pays him to be a councilman for his campaign.
School Committee Chair Daniel Wall announced in a press release Monday he will run for City Council in Ward 6 as a Democrat. Wall has been on the School Committee representing Ward 6 for the past eight years – serving as chairperson for the past four years.
He said guiding the School Committee through the pandemic was the most important accomplishment of his service.
“The greatest difficulty that the city has recently faced is the impact of the pandemic on our students. I am proud of the way the School Committee worked with administrators, teachers, parents, students and staff in responding to the crisis,” said Wall.
Wall also cited the passage of the school buildings bond as a historical accomplishment during his service on the school committee.
“The passage of the school buildings bond is certainly a highlight. It will be a significant factor in improving educational opportunities for Cranston students for generations to come. I’m proud to have been part of the School Committee, that working with the people, helped make this a reality.” Wall said.
If elected, Wall told the Herald one of his main focuses would be education.
“It’s what I do for a living, and it’s an important cause that made me get involved in politics and the School Committee in the first place,” Wall said.
He would also like to pursue road paving and being a friendly city for small businesses.
Wall said people have spoken to him about running for City Council, and it was something he recently started thinking about. He said one of the things he’s hearing in Ward 6 is that people don’t feel represented. Wall said as a School Committee member he has been responsive to constituents and met with them – whether it’s out in the school yards or out in the ward; he is adamant about being responsive and looks forward to hearing people’s concerns and championing locals’ issues at the council meetings.
Wall said one of the things he brings to the table is the ability to work with different groups with differing opinions. In the past, he has worked with members of the administration, council members, teachers unions and said he has had a good working relationship with them. Additionally, Wall is familiar with the budget process and has dealt with contract negotiations which are transferable skills to the Ward 6 council position.
Wall and his family have resided in Cranston for more than 21 years. He is the father of two daughters, both of whom attended Cranston schools. Wall earned a bachelor’s degree from Providence College and a master’s degree from Brown University. Since college, Wall has served as an educator and department chairperson in Providence Schools for the past 25 years.
“Education is the greatest equalizer and I believe in the power and value of education,” Wall said.
“My time in public service has been marked by representation of the citizens that is accessible and responsive, and leadership that is strong and ethical. With the support of the voters, I have gained valuable experience on the School Committee. As a career public servant, I believe service on the City Council would be the best use of that experience. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to hearing the questions and concerns of the people, and pledge to continue to be accessible and responsive.”
Wall will run against current Ward 6 Councilman Matthew Reilly.
On Monday, Ward 3 resident Jason Case (who serves on the City’s Housing Commission) announced his candidacy to run for City Council -- Ward 3 as a Republican.
“The last 17 years has been an amazing time for my wife and I as our children have grown, and we’ve become more attached to our community through sports, activities, friends and work. However, over the last few years I have started to notice more changes that are breaking the bonds that have held our wonderful community together. I am seeing more violence and crime, more litter on our streets and more people being forced out of the community due to ever-increasing rents and a shortage of affordable housing. Ward 3 is a proud and historic community full of diversity and hard-working families and it’s critical we continue to make it a desirable and sustainable community for current and new families,” said Case in his press release.
If elected to the council, Case would like to address the safety within the ward and noted the incident at PreGame Lounge earlier in the year as a concern. He said unfortunately there are a lot of families in the community who don’t have the ability to move and he hates the thought of families in the area having fear about something bad happening. Additionally, Case would like to focus on affordability and availability of housing and look at education.
He said the children in Ward 3 were hit hard by the pandemic, and that it was a huge strain on kids’ learning. He said teachers have done a great job, but there needs to be more help.
“I worry that they will never be able to get enough help to be on par with where they need to be,” Case said.
Case has lived in the Laurel Hill neighborhood of Cranston with his wife and two children for the last 17 years. He is a Sales & Marketing VP with Chicago-based Ambir Technology that specializes in hardware IT products. His wife is a Kindergarten teacher at Arlington Elementary School in Cranston.
Furthermore, Case would like to address the look, feel and cleanliness of the ward. He mentioned that walking down Dyer Street and Cranston Street you can see trash, bottles and nips.
“I love what the mayor is doing in getting rid of graffiti and cleaning up the area, but there is more we can do in the community and city to improve that situation,” Case said.
He believes his skills in sales and marketing will assist him in the Ward 3 council position. Case would like to work in the ward with current small business owners and recruit new businesses into the area. He said the community sadly saw many small businesses close due to the pandemic and these companies help create a sense of pride and opportunity in Cranston.
Over the next six months, Case plans to meet with and listen to the residents of Ward 3 and work with them on building a better community with a focus on health, safety, education and opportunities to work together to build a more united and stronger community.
“Unlike my opponent, as a candidate, I bring no insider political pedigree. I do not have the backing of activist groups or special interests. I bring with me 17 years as a resident of Laurel Hill in Ward 3 with a commitment to the community. I want to make Cranston better for all citizens, not just select groups,” Case said.
Case will be running against Democrat Ward 3 councilman John Donegan.
“With my candidacy, I intend to challenge the status quo and bring the effort and urgency needed to finally deliver results for the residents of Ward 3 and stop the trend of empty policies and broken promises. I look forward to earning your trust and for the opportunity to be your voice.”
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