Town Council moving forward intact
The incumbent members of the New Shoreham Town Council easily won their election races as Block Island voters went to the polls on Tuesday. The five-member Town Council, which is serving its second consecutive term together, includes First Warden Ken Lacoste (R), Second Warden André Boudreau (D), and councilors Martha Ball (D), Sven Risom (D), and Chris Willi (D).
The incumbents won convincingly.
Lacoste kept his seat over independent challenger Mark Emmanuelle. Boudreau ran unopposed, while councilors Risom, Ball, and Willi, bested independent candidates Leslie Dodge Slate and Paul Filippi.
The re-elected council members shared their thoughts with The Times about the election process and being invited back to their seats at the dais.
First Warden Ken Lacoste said, “I am pleased that the current council will be able to continue on intact, as I think we have done well and have the potential to accomplish a lot more in the next two years. I commend the voters for the strong turnout on such a wet and dreary day that it was, and I assure them that we will try to reward their trust in us all with a renewed effort on all fronts.”
As for goals, Lacoste said, “Two years from now I hope to witness a fully-functioning utility district, a completed revetment at the end of West Beach Road, a once-and-for-all buried sea-to-shore cable, the availability of more housing for those in need, and great progress on an island-wide broadband network.”
He added, “I congratulate everyone who ran in all races, as the involvement of its citizens is what makes this great republic of ours work, nationally and locally.”
Second Warden André Boudreau said, “I think we are accomplishing many good things and returning with the whole council intact keeps that momentum moving forward without skipping a beat. I look forward to the challenges and accomplishments we will face in the next two years.”
Councilor Martha Ball said, “I’m gratified that everyone was returned to their seats. André is making a concerted effort to be more visible upstate, and I fully support that. It’s terribly important that we be there and that people know we’re there. We’ve proven that we can work together while not always agreeing. We have a good town manager in place. I look forward to a productive two years.”
“This is going to be our first full term when we won’t have the necessity of filling a slot on the council, which happened with the two previous councils,” said Ball, referring to when former Councilor Terry Mooney replaced Allan MacKay, who vacated his seat when his family moved off island. On the council before that, Gary Ryan replaced Sean McGarry, who resigned for business reasons. On the current council, Boudreau filled the seat of the late Norris Pike as Second Warden, which led to the appointment of Risom as a councilor.
Risom said, “I think it was a great election with candidates’ night and other forums to learn about the candidates. I feel very good about the Town Council moving forward as we are working well together and have figured out a good dialogue and communication. We have a lot of things to accomplish and I look forward to the next two years.”
Councilor Chris Willi said, “I am pleased to be re-elected and working with the same Town Council. The continuity should benefit all involved with the many items we have moving the island forward. I’m looking forward to the next two years.”
The Town Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.