Welch to Run for Town Council
The school committee's vice chair is seeking a spot on the town council this November.
Another contender is putting his hat in the ring for a seat on the North Kingstown Town Council. Richard Welch, vice chair of the North Kingstown School Committee, is seeking a spot on the town council in the upcoming election.
Welch, a Democrat, has served on the NK School Committee since 2008, briefly serving as the committee’s chair until stepping down to serve as vice chair this past year. Welch’s motivation to move from the school side to the town side stems from recent actions by the town council, he said.
“There’ve been a number of things that this council has done that are contrary to the better interest of the community,” said Welch, pointing to the “debacle with wind turbines" and other actions.
Additionally, Welch sees the council’s legal battles as problematic, citing recent court cases with both the North Kingstown Fire Union and School Department.
“I’ve owned my own construction company for the past 25 years and have never once had to hire an attorney and never once went to court,” said Welch. “You just don’t win when you hire an attorney. No one wins except the attorneys.”
In the 2010 elections, Welch ran against Rep. Larry Ehrhardt for a seat in the Rhode Island General Assembly. Due to the redistricting of voting districts, Welch is now in District 31 and would have to face off against Rep. Doreen Costa – who ousted longtime state representative Kenneth Carter. Since fellow Democrat Steve Campo already announced his run for District 31, Welch opted to set his sights on town council this election cycle.
Though he has served on the school committee for the past four years, Welch promises he will not be partial to the school side of the budget if elected to the town council. Additionally, Welch said he would look to improve transparency on the council if elected.
Republican Charles Stamm will not seek re-election for his seat on the council. His fellow counterparts Carol Hueston and Council President Elizabeth Dolan are both looking for their third terms on the council. Last week, the North Kingstown Republican Town Committee endorsed both councilors along with Mark Hawkins (owner of Rolling Greens Golf Course), Kerry McKay (whose family runs McKay's Furniture), and Brent Cleaveland.