Meet the Candidates: Kevin Maloney
Kevin Maloney is running as an Independent for North Kingstown Town Council.
• Why are you running for Town Council?
The current town council seems to forget who they report to; at the top of the town organizational chart are the People of the Town of North Kingstown. After 2 years of attending town meetings, even with packed meeting halls, it has become apparent to the residents of NK that the current council doesn’t listen to the citizens they serve. Having had enough, numerous people across town requested I run. After considerable thought, I chose to accept.
• What are the three biggest issues facing North Kingstown right now?
This town is in desperate need of new business and commercial growth to bring in revenue and help reduce our property taxes as well as added job opportunities.
We need to maintain North Kingstown’s unique character and charm and not create the beginning of Warwick’s Bald Hill Shopping district in the South. We need to rebuild and support our existing businesses, not create a new village center in our open spaces or in an area we have chosen to protect.
We need to stop all the lawsuits and in-fighting between our Town Council, committees, and departments. I find it ironic the Republicans in all their ads are touting cooperation between School Committee and Town Council, when the Republican led Council sued the School Committee. I assume cooperation only applies if you vote in a full party ticket. We need independent people that can work across party lines.
• How would you rejuvenate the Post Road Corridor?
Within months of being elected, I plan on holding a town-wide business forum to both hear what challenges current business owners are facing and my thoughts on bringing customers to NK. I would review the Post Road Corridor Plan and look to streamline the zoning process. I plan on introducing short term tax incentives for attracting new business. I would also like to create an Entertainment District in town which might fit well on Post Road. I would like to solicit the town residents and also developers to suggest where it would best be located and implement a competition in determining unique design features that would draw patrons to that area. It will create jobs and with full community involvement there should be strong support of the project. It will attract other business to its outskirts as well.
• Do you support development at the intersection of Route 2/102?
Development is going to happen. Residential and agricultural related development is fine, but changing our current zoning and creating a new village center has no support. The west end community wants commercial limited to what exists, as well as the 2 town wide public workshops hosted by the Planning Dept., and feedback and letters to editors in local papers. There has been absolutely no study or planning for a new village. Ask to see a copy. This is a Pandora’s box that is a stepping stone to create a business district like Bald Hill Warwick. We need to build in our existing business centers, eliminate all the vacant buildings and lots, and share customers with existing business owners. We do not need to create a new town center in an agricultural area we all agreed and paid $5.25M to preserve and protect. Are we going to be just another intersection of Home Depots, WalMarts, and chain stores or a real and unique destination that maintains NK character?
• What is your stance on the wind turbine situation in town?
Unfortunately it is up and here to stay. I was one of the more vocal opponents based on its siting. Had it been sited at the turf farms or out in the bay, it would have been fine. It was put up with unheard of setbacks and lack of concern for public safety or property values. I was asked to help create a town ordinance just before the moratorium was put in place. The proposed ordinance had height limitations, reasonable setbacks, and penalties for failure to comply. If the town revisits wind, I would not accept anything less. I have since been involved with the statewide planning wind guidelines and RESP (URI siting group). If the immediate residences have similar issues as Falmouth, MA, I would be requesting a halt to operations until issues are resolved as Falmouth has.
• What is your stance on the 24-hour shift for firefighters?
I’ve heard and read where there is support for both 12 and 24 hour shifts. With the exception of the East Coast, 24 hour shifts seem to be most popular. Plymouth requested 24 and Washington firefighters don’t want to switch from 24 to 12. It will be interesting to hear from our firefighters now that some time has passed and new recruits are being added, if there is still as much dissatisfaction with 24. The bigger issue I would guess is the 56 hour work week. Until I can sit down with our firefighters and get a full understanding of all their issues and weigh against the towns fiscal needs, I wish to reserve judgment. First thing is to get both sides talking again.
I chose to live in North Kingstown because of its unique character and charm. Lately, I’m watching businesses close and friends move out. Our town desperately needs new business and commercial growth to reduce our property taxes. You can’t find a parking space in East Greenwich at midnight, yet our town closes at 6pm. That’s all missed revenue.
I’ve watched our Town Council take legal action on our School Committee and fire fighters. Our town council allowed wind developers to place massive industrial power plants in residential backyards until residents were enlightened. We need more openness and transparency.
I want to adjust our affordable living incentives. I want to post all new projects and proposals on the town website in a survey format so that the town residents can voice their opinions early on and I can represent their views more accurately.
We need an independent council that works across party lines and also listens to the public they serve.
As I have met people across town, the common theme has been, they want fresh faces and change. I will bring change, while maintaining the character of the town we all value! Visit www.saveNK.org