Charbonneau announces bid for School Committee

Charbonneau announces bid for School Committee

PAWTUCKET - Local businessman Gerard "Jay" Charbonneau, a Democrat, has announced his candidacy for Pawtucket School Committee, vying for one of seven positions in the Sept. 9 primary. Endorsed by the Democratic City Committee, Charbonneau has lived in Pawtucket for 15 years with his wife, Renee Rondeau Charbonneau, a lifelong resident of the city.

As a School Committee member, Charbonneau says he would "make the School Committee more transparent and accessible to the public, while balancing the committee's moral obligations to Pawtucket's children with its fiscal obligations to the taxpayers."

The father of two children enrolled in the Pawtucket school system (his son and daughter attend Potter Burns Elementary), Charbonneau has been an critic of the conditions in the city's schools. He said he's consistently spearheaded initiatives to solve problems affecting the entire school population at Potter Burns. He led an effort to address child safety concerns in the school parking lot, "demanded accountability for a school ceiling collapse," and has "offered to assist in developing solutions for the school's chronic shortage of textbooks and substitute teachers."

Charbonneau said his career in the private sector has prepared him well for the responsibilities of the office. Starting from an entry-level job on the third shift, he quickly rose to the top managerial position in a multi-million-dollar company. A communicant of Blessed Pope John Paul II Parish, he is a supporter of numerous charities and cultural events in the city, serving on the Holiday Basket Committee, leading a food drive to benefit the Backpack for Hunger program, and donating the grand prize for the poetry slam event awarded annually at McCoy Stadium.