Osier, Zwolenski face off for town administrator

Osier, Zwolenski face off for town administrator

Douglas Osier, left, and Paul Zwolenski

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Two town councilors, both with committed followings among local residents, will compete for the town’s top elected position next week.

Paul Zwolenski, a 16-year veteran of the Town Council, and Douglas Osier, a former Budget Committee chairman elected to the council in 2018, are both hoping to claim the seat of town administrator. The two candidates declared campaigns earlier this year after Town Administrator Gary Ezovski opted not to run for re-election.

Though the two men have often found themselves on the same side of council votes, the campaign season highlighted differences in their backgrounds and policy approaches. Zwolenski, who also served as town planner in the 1990s and currently teaches at Johnson and Wales University, has campaigned largely on his experience in local government, including on various town boards. Osier, on the other hand, found support from residents demanding change and fresh ideas during a contentious election season.

While both candidates supported tougher solar restrictions during their time on the council, Osier has made it a centerpiece of his campaign, pointing often to his vote against a tax treaty for the Green Development project. He’s also called for greater transparency and fiscal responsibility, drawing on his background as a data analytics professional to advocate for better financial planning.

Zwolenski has pushed for greater tax protections for seniors and veterans and a renewed focus on town infrastructure.

This is the first year town administrator candidates compete for a four-year term since voters approved the change from a two-year term in 2018. At the time, voters also approved term limits of eight consecutive years for elected positions but rejected a proposal to make the town administrator an appointed job.

Meet the candidates for town administrator:

Douglas Osier

1984 Providence Pike

Age: 31

Years in community: four

Employment: Manager of business intelligence and data analytics for a quality nonprofit health care provider

Education: Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in leadership from Franklin Pierce University; bachelor’s in business administration finance, minor in economics from Stonehill College

Community activities/public service: Town Council member, December 2018-present; former co-chairman of the North Smithfield Budget Committee; volunteer for National Ski Patrol as an active patroller since 2014

Family: married to Ashley Osier; daughter, Riley Osier; son of Vietnam War Veteran Douglas Osier and wife Debra Osier; twin brother to Courtney Loqa

Paul Zwolenski

19 Bourget Court

Age: 66

Years in community: 32

Employment: assistant professor, Johnson & Wales University; former North Smithfield town planner, 1997-2000; former store manager/operations, Anderson Little Company (1973-1991)

Education: Master’s in teaching, Johnson & Wales University; bachelor’s in business administration, Bryant College; associate degree, Community College of Rhode Island

Community activities/public service: Vice president, North Smithfield Town Council, 2004-present; Ordinance Review Committees, 2015-2016; chairman, Ordinance Development Committee, 2010-2014; Public Safety Commission, 2016-present; Planning Board, 1994-1997, 2000-2004; Restoration Advisory Board, Air National Guard NIKE Site, 2001-2002; High School Principal Screening and Selection Committee, 2000-2001; Blue Ribbon Committee, 2000; School Planning and Building Committee, 1998-2002; Telecommunications Commission Committee, 1997-1998; coach, North Smithfield Boys Winter Recreational Basketball League, 1997-2001; coach, DARE Summer Basketball League, 1998-2002

Family: Married to Norine Trudeau Zwolenski; children, Brendan Zwolenski and Kelsey Zwolenski