Boucher elected North Smithfield Town Council president

Boucher elected North Smithfield Town Council president

Town Council member Ernest Alter was unable to attend the North Smithfield Inauguration Ceremony on Monday because he was in the hospital. However, he was sworn-in over the telephone by Lt. Gov. elect Dan McKee, left. Town Council member Roseanne Nadeau holds the phone while Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton applauds. (Valley Breeze photo by David Wuerth )
Alter sworn in by phone from hospital, named VP

NORTH SMITHFIELD - Freshman Town Council member Robert Paul Boucher was named president of the North Smithfield Town Council and a second council newcomer, Ernest Alter, has been named to serve as his vice president for the next two years.

Alter could not attend the Monday night inauguration, which served as a swearing-in ceremony for all recently elected members in town government. Called by phone, Alter took the oath of office from a hospital bed.

"He is in the hospital still, struggling but doing well," said Town Administrator Paulette Hamilton. "We would like him to have this special moment because it means so much to him to have this as part of his life."

Lt. Gov.-elect Daniel McKee delivered the oath of office to Hamilton, along with council and School Committee members.

"I just want to say to you, you have a great leader in Paulette," McKee said. "We want to make our communities strong, as North Smithfield is. Unless everybody is strong, Rhode Island won't be strong."

McKee said Hamilton will serve on his transition team as he assumes his new state office. McKee is currently finishing up as mayor of Cumberland.

Boucher, a former state representative who served in state government in the late 1970s, was nominated by Councilor Paul Zwolenski, who began his sixth term in office this week, and was unanimously confirmed.

"My goal during these next two years is to work closely with the town administrator and the School Committee so that we can have a civil-type of relationship and a respectful-type of relationship," said Boucher.

"My goal is to have fiscal restraint and fiscal accountability. There has to be fiduciary responsibility. After all, it is your money. If we can do this, we can help people in our community. I will do my best to make you proud."

Alter was also unanimously confirmed, and accepted the position via speaker phone held by another first-term councilor, Roseanne Nadeau.

"Thank you all," Alter said. "I am very grateful and honored."

Alter is currently staying at the Golden LivingCenter in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and is expected home soon.

The brief ceremony, held at the middle school, marked the start of a new, albeit less experienced regime and did not include a reception as it has in some past years. Members of the High School Jazz Band gave a short performance before the program, and the honor guard preceded the newly-elected group.

New School Committee members Merredythe Nadeau and Art Bassett were sworn in, with committee members William Connell and Christine Bonas in attendance.

"I stand here honored and humbled by your confidence in me to continue to lead our great town," Hamilton said.

The administrator, who began her fourth term on Monday, was reelected to the seat by a narrow margin. In accepting the position for another two years, she emphasized the positive strides made by her administration.

"Our commercial growth is the envy of many communities. We have a strong bond rating, a funded pension. Safe neighborhoods, a fund balance that can handle most unexpected expenses and we've had stable taxes," Hamilton said.

"Our future as always is unpredictable, but we can make the most of the uncertainty by opening dialog with the many creative and inspired people who make up this town. We do have to put aside our differences and instead now focus on our similarities and collective goals to achieve the best possible outcomes."

This article has been edited to reflect that School Committee member Christine Bonas was in attendance.

Lt. Gov. elect Dan McKee administers the oath of office to North Smithfield Town Council members, from left, Roseanna Nadeau, Kimberly L. Alves, Robert Paul Boucher and Paul Zwolenski at the town's inauguration ceremony at North Smithfield Middle School on Monday. (Valley Breeze photo by David Wuerth )

Comments

A correction to this article. I was in attendance on Monday night at the inauguration but chose to remain in the audience rather than be a part of the ceremony.

Thank you for the correction, and I'm sorry for missing you there. I will put a brief correction in next week's edition as well.

No matter how you slice it, dice it, frost it, North Smithfield still remains a town divided.

I have never seen an inauguration turnout so small and the mood was so somber, all 25 minutes of it.

Very sad indeed....

God Bless you Ernie.

Veteran, you were there? Why didn't you introduce yourself? I would love to have met you.

Art Bassett

Wow! Everything you post is nothing but negative. I would not enjoy being your neighbor. This town is a great town and life is not a great big downer, as you portray it. Do you ever have anything positive to say?

Yes of course. I can't wait until the roads get fixed in town, I'm excited about that.

God Bless Ernie Alter was negative ?
I'll pray for you RC.

Introduce myself Art ?. We know each other. I'm your neighbor.

Hmmmm. Must be one of the neighbors I don't talk to then. The ones I do would have more respect toward others.

So clearly we need a reintroduction....Hi, I'm Art Bassett, I put my views right or wrong out for discussion....and you are Sir?

Must you all pick up where you left off? Are you adults or children? Stop this ridiculous bickering..it's petty & nauseating!
Carol Minot

You don't have to comment on everything I say Arty ...
Just try and have a nice day.

Pray to what you see when you look in the mirror.

Thank you to all the elected officials for giving your time and patients. Happy Holiday's

First meeeting of the new town council last night. Where any of you keyboard commandos there ?

What a nightmare. Time to saddle up the horses and wagons.

The first meeting of the new Town Council will not take place until next Monday (although they may have a special meeting on Thursday to handle some administrative tasks.) I'm curious: what meeting did you attend last night?

I saw it on the town website. I can't go, too scary for me :)

Calendar>7:00 PM Town Council

7:00 PM Town Council

12/8/2014 - 12/8/2014

Kendall Dean auditorium

That's why I asked if anyone went ?

That information must have been listed in error, because the council will have their first meeting tomorrow.

It's not listed on the calender for tomorrow.

The next one listed on the town website is;

7:00 PM Town Council

12/15/2014 - 12/15/2014

Open Forum 6:45 PM

Kendall Dean auditorium

Someone needs to fix the calender for the town :)