The six city-wide candidates for Cranston City Council were at the Cranston Public Library on Thursday for a forum sponsored by the Cranston Herald and moderated by reporter Pam Schiff.
Three of the six candidates will be elected to the Cranston City Council on November 6.
Below is all the video from the event.
Each candidate gave an opening statement:
Cranston City Council President Michael Farina (Republican, City-Wide):
Cranston City Councilmember Kenneth Hopkins (Republican, City-Wide):
First-time candidate Amy Ricci (Republican):
Sarah Lee (Democrat) was once the Cranston City Councilmember for Ward 1:
First-time candidate Gail Harvey (Democrat):
Cranston City Councilmember Steve Stycos (Democrat, Ward 1):
The first set of questions were from Pam Schiff of the Cranston Herald:
1. Council President Farina: Do you feel you’ve fulfilled your duties as Council President to the best of your abilities?
2. Cranston City Councilmember Steve Stycos (Democrat, Ward 1): Why did you decide to run citywide after four terms in Ward 1?
3. Cranston City Councilmember Kenneth Hopkins (Republican, City-Wide): Do you feel the Republican majority has moved the council in a positive direction since gaining the majority and how so?
Q4. Amy Ricci (Republican): Do you know how the budget process works?
Q5. Gail Harvey (Democrat): Do you know what the council subcommittees are?
Q6. Sarah Lee (Democrat): As a former councilperson (Ward 1), what do you feel you can bring differently this time around?
Q7. Gail Harvey, Sara Lee and Amy Ricci: How many council meetings have you attended since announcing your candidacy?
Q8. What is your plan to overcome the unfunded pension issue that has haunted Cranston for years? We stand currently at only 24 percent, one of the worst in the state.
Q9. This question is for the three incumbents, Michael Farina, Kenneth Hopkins and Steve Stycos. What and how many community activities organizations are you involved with?
Q10. What is your vision for the former Citizens Bank location on Sockanosset Crossroads?
Q11. What is your vision for open space in western Cranston? Development, or keep the farm land?
Q12. Would you advocate for more of an operating budget for the schools? If so, how would you do this and if not, why?
Q13. What is your position on Harrington Hall and all of the sex offenders that are in Cranston? What steps will you take to make sure the numbers stay at the agreed upon levels?
Q14. What would you do to make sports and recreational facilities on the eastern side of Cranston on par with the western side?
Q15. If elected would you support changing the structure to ensure that all committees will consist of two minority members on all committees? And would you recommend that this structure be set in place legally, for the future?
Q16. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung has decided to work with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and put Cranston immigrants, including children, in potential danger. Children could be separated from their parents and put in cages, as ICE has done before. I am especially concerned about ICE going into our schools, driving immigrant children out and destroying families, including law abiding immigrants who should be allowed to care for their families financially and emotionally. What would you do as a member of the city council to counteract the Mayor’s directive and stop this from happening in Cranston?
Q17. In order to keep abreast of neighborhood concerns, would you plan to have regular neighborhood meetings during your term in office?
Q18. A concern is the failure of many streets being properly identified, where there is no street signs. Also many STOP signs and YIELD signs are in poor condition. Any plans to rectify this?
Q19. Currently the planning director is a Providence resident. What would you do to ensure that senior management such as planning, finance and the Department of Public Works have a vested interest in Cranston’s future?
Q20. Do any one of you hold a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm? If so, are you carrying now? Do you carry a firearm while attending meetings at City Hall or will you bring it to meetings if elected?
Q21. The firing range on Phenix Avenue can be heard as far away as Pontiac Avenue, let alone the loud volume experienced in the surrounding neighborhoods. What can be done to reduce the volume?
Q22. Why don’t Republican street and lawn signs identify Republican candidates as Republicans?
Q23. Where are all the affordable housing developments for low-income people in Cranston as required by state law?
Q24. What will you do to elevate the arts in our community to be on a level that’s on par with sports?
Q25. Last year a savannah cat attacked a pet in the Edgewood, Pawtuxet Village area. What has been done to ensure that our pets and children are safe from these creatures?
Q26. As a citizen that sometimes attends council meetings, I have been shocked to see so many 5 to 4 votes with all Republican Councilmembers voting in lockstep on all big and on almost all small issues. Can any of the Republican incumbents share at least three votes in the past year in which you have voted independently from the Mayor’s wishes?
Q27. Regarding western Cranston open space: Will you (1) support the adoption of a conservation division ordinance as called for by the comprehensive plan and (2) would you support the adoption of a strong, comprehensive solar ordinance?
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