It was a night of standing ovations, applauding and honoring Portsmouth's most-generous residents at the Portsmouth Town Council's Monday meeting. Featured below is a live account of the meeting.
7 p.m. - Standing Ovations and a Swearing-In Ceremony
The meeting began with a "Happy New Year" wish from President Jim Seveney, but not before a reminder to turn on his mic by former council President Joe Robicheau in the audience. "Happy New Year, Joe," joked Town Council Seveney in response.
The council honored members of Portsmouth's 375th Anniversary Committee with the Portsmouth Award. Members received a proclamation, town tile and town coin, which you can see above. The committee also received a standing ovation, followed by a second standing ovation for Louis Escobar.
The council then honored Priscilla and Richard Wimpress for "years of dedication" to Portsmouth. The couple, who managed the Glen Manor House for years, are retiring and moving to Minnesota.
Portsmouth Police patrolman Zeke A. Fortier was sworn into office.
The council heard about
two violations at local businesses: Fieldstone Grille and the Island Tap. According to the police chief, management was unaware of the Fieldstone Grille incident. No action was taken.
Town Administrator's Report
Town Administrator John Klimm is in talks with Aquidneck Island Christian Academy for lease and with Veterans Committee for nominations/appeals to Veterans Honor Roll. Klimm is also considering creating a virtual, "living" wall online to continue to honor any Portsmouth citizen that has "served our country."
Portsmouth will participate in
Project Purple, a weeklong, nationwide campaign against substance abuse, from Jan. 27 to 31.
This Friday, all three island towns will send a delegation to Salve Regina to talk about present and future IT needs.
the town has spent more than $60,000 of its $80,000 snow removal budget.
7:55 - Public Hearing for Harbormaster Ordinance
Council discussed changing the fee process in the habormaster ordinance; no fees would be changed at this time. The council votes 6-1, with Liz Pedro opposed, to change ordinance.
Tina Dolan ask council to approve a restructuring and membership increase for the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission Board of Directors. The council voted 7-0 to approve request.
The council voted to send a dog park survey, along with a letter, to residents.
A More Efficient Town Government
Seveney proposed the formation of a joint town council-school committee task force to consolidate and find efficiencies in town government. The task force will include three members from town council and at least two from school committee.
8:50 - Council Approves New Police Car
The council approved the police department's request to purchase a used Ford Fusion for $19,800. The vehicle will be used as an unmarked police vehicle. The funds for this vehicle will come out of the police department budget.
The council approved a public hearing date for the zoning ordinance amendment for the Agriculture-Promotion Uses ordinance. Councilor Molly Magee recused herself from vote.
The council reviewed the Septic Loan Draft Agreement.
The meeting adjourned at 9:11 p.m.