Politics & Elections

Candidates for Providence City Council Ward 3 address tough questions at east side forum

Democratic Candidates Sue Anderbois, Corey Jones, and Bradly VanDerStad were joined by independent Michael Fink in answering a series of questions and introducing themselves to voter in the district.

August 12, 2022, 3:30 pm

By Steve Ahlquist

The four candidates seeking the Ward 3 Providence City Council seat attended a forum at the east side’s Rochambeau Public Library on Thursday evening moderated by Boston Globe reporter Edward Fitzpatrick.

Democratic Candidates Sue Anderbois, Corey Jones, and Bradly VanDerStad were joined by independent Michael Fink in answering a series of questions and introducing themselves to voter in the district. Current Ward 3 City Councilmember Nirva LaFortune is running for Mayor of Providence.

Following the Uprise RI format, the question is written out as asked by the moderator, followed by video of each respondent’s answer.

Opening Statements

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

The Providence City Council just voted 11-3 to override Mayor Elorza’s veto of a city charter change proposal that would make the school board partially elected, partially appointed. How would you have voted if your were on the council and why?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

In June Providence voters approved a $515 million bond proposal aimed at addressing one of the city’s biggest problems, an underfunded pension system. 705 of voters voted for the proposal. Do you think it was a good idea or a bad idea and why?

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

The other day city crews removed the four speed bumps right here on Rochambeau Avenue, giving speed bump critics a reason to cheer. But those hopes were dashed when the city put in new, slightly lower speed bumps. Where do you stand on speed bumps as a public policy matter?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

The city council has often talked about proposals to make Brown university contribute more to city government so if you’re elected what specific proposals would you pursue in that regard?

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

A lot has been said about the problems identified in that John Hopkins report about Providence Public Schools and the state has taken over the school district. What is the one thing you would change, if you could, that would make a difference in our city schools?

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

Sue Anderbois: response to Bradly VanDerStad:

Jones response to Bradly VanDerStad:

Last year the General Assembly passed Act on Climate which sets mandatory goals or the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 1990 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. What is the main thing that Rhode Island needs to do to reach those goals and what would you be able to do about climate change on the city council?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

Can you talk about the imbalance in trees? Where are there more trees and where are there less trees in Park rovidence?

Sue Anderbois:

The Providence Streets Coalition and other groups are working on a temporary urban trail on Hope Street this fall as called for in the city’s Great Streets Plan. Itwould consolidate parking to the west side of Hope Street and create a one mile trail for walking, jogging, rolling and biking on the east side. Do you think that sounds like a great idea or not? And tell us why.

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

Michael Fink:

In addition to electing a new Ward 3 member Providence will be electing a new Mayor this fall. Who do you plan to vote for and why?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

In 2019 Ward 3 City Councilmember Nirva LaFortune submitted an idea for a redesign of North Main . What’s your assessment on North Main Street as it stands now, and what changes would you like to see there?

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Bradly VanDerStad:

What book do you think everyone here should read right now, if they haven’t already?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

In July Providence Police said they had conducted a special operation targeting the illegal use of off road vehicles. They seized ATVs and dit bikes for destruction and they were towing unregistered scooters. What, if anything, would you change in the city’s strategy for ATVs on city roads?

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

The fire station on Rochambeau Avenue is still vacant. What would you like to see done with that?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

The plan for the Superman Building calls for the city council to kick in $5 million and approve a 30 year tax stabilization agreement to support that project. Do you support that plan or not?

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

Which elected official, past or present, would you consider a role model or a mentor?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

Bradly VanDerStad:

If you could were elected how would you make Sur you communicate with and listen to your constituents? In other words, how would you make sure you’re representing the interests and concerns of your residents at city hall?

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

What’s the biggest issue that we haven’t talked about yet that’s important to the residents of Ward 3?

Bradly VanDerStad:

Corey Jones:

Michael Fink:

Sue Anderbois:

Closing statements

Sue Anderbois:

Michael Fink:

Corey Jones:

Bradly VanDerStad:

One highlight of the evening was Michael Fink’s family coming out to support him with home made signs: