Puccetti appointed to North Smithfield School Committee

Puccetti appointed to North Smithfield School Committee

NORTH SMITHFIELD - A former Marine and father of two who currently works as a manager for United Rentals has been appointed to fill the vacancy left by the departure of member George Hemond on the North Smithfield School Committee.

Chris Puccetti was confirmed recently by a vote of 3-2 to fill the seat until the town's regular election this November.

"As a seasoned resident of North Smithfield and a father of two children that attend our schools, I feel that both my personal and professional experiences could assist with strengthening the school system," Puccetti said in a letter delivered to Town Clerk Debra Todd.

Puccetti serves as a coach in several town leagues and said that through his career, he has experience managing a diverse group of individuals.

"I believe that I possess the needed qualifications to perform and succeed in this position," he said.

Puccetti was one of seven residents to express interest in the position. The other interested candidates were Peter Dowling, Rick Nadeau, Joseph Murray, Gerry Thifault, Fran Johannis and Marc Baillargeon, but Baillargeon withdrew his request on March 10. Councilor Kimberly Alves made the motion to appoint Puccetti, which was seconded by Councilor Paul Zwolenski.

"I just think he's well suited to the position," said Alves of her choice. "He also expressed interest prior to this even happening. This gives him a good chance to test the waters before he does jump in to seeking election. I just think we need a little bit of change and I think he's the right one to make the change right now."

Councilor Edward Yazbak pointed out that of the candidates, Johannis had the most experience.

"Since it's such a short term and there's not a lot of available time for a learning curve, you have a former School Committee person who has offered to get back on," he said. "There wouldn't be any curve at all. Mrs. Johannis would better serve the town just because she has the best and most recent experience and financial background as an accountant."

Johannis served on the committee from 2008 to 2012, when she lost her seat during the town election.

"I agree with Mr. Yazbak that Fran would be right in there, ready to go and hit the ground running," said Councilor Thomas McGee. "I also like Mr. Puccetti, but I think a little stronger candidate is Johannis."

Puccetti was confirmed by a vote of 3-2 with Yazbak and McGee voting against the appointment. He is expected to take the oath of office at an upcoming meeting of the school board.


Congratulations to Christopher.

His education, business experience and the fact that he has children currently in the school system provide the combined background experience needed to be effective on the School Committee.

We have met and I completely support him as an excellent and the best choice for both the short term and for the longer term as well.

The experience he will gain from this brief interim appointment will suit him well in the event he chooses to be a candidate in the coming election.

George Hemond