WOON Mayoral Inauguration

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt takes the Oath of Office during her Inauguration ceremony at the Saint Ann Arts and Cultural Center on Dec. 6.

WOONSOCKET – An unprecedented year of politics in Woonsocket will lead to long-term reverberations, with the former City Council’s removal of Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt prior to the fall election, despite the fact that she was running unchallenged in November, easily proving the most talked about political story locally in decades.

Baldelli-Hunt, who became the first mayor to be ousted by a council in the city’s history, ended up getting the last laugh, seeing three of her political opponents voted off the council and another, John Ward, coming in last among the winners. The councilperson who brought the complaint to see her removed, Denise Sierra, didn’t run again.

(8) comments

Jim Shevlin

I would follow the most productive and ethical Mayor of Woonsocket ,Kevin K. Coleman`s ,advice and was a major influence in drafting the original Woonsocket CHARTER.

Coleman said in 1984 " Due to Woonsocket`s poor political reputation and corruption the Removal of the Mayor provision in he Charter should never be changed",

Pauline M Demers

J. Shevlin---Your comment about Mayor Coleman's 1984 statement is very interesting. Do you know, if and where, it could be found in a 'written form' anywhere? Thanks!

Jim Shevlin

I read an earlier post by Kevin Kennedy (I believe it was last summer) commenting that Mayor Baldelli-Hunt interfered with the Woonsocket Housing Authority by stacking the WHA Board by appointing Michael Houle, Nick Gassy, Calouro, D`Agostino and MaClennon in order to orchestrate the removal of Robert Moreau as executive director . Kennedy claimed he went to dinner with Mr. Coleman in 1984 and alleged the former Mayor made the statement to him. My assumption is it was a conversation between them ,so, I don`t know if Mayor Coleman ever made the statement to the press.

Pauline M Demers

J. Shevlin----Thank you for replying to my question. I truly appreciate it.


Dear Mrs. Demers - It sounds like you may have known some of the old guard of Woonsocket who had integrity.Were you a supporter of Former Mayor Coleman , as I was ? Did you know James F. ( Jim) Simmons ?

Just wondering why you found the comment interesting ?

There was has been a history of former Mayors ( exceptions were former Mayor`s Coleman, Jack Cummings, Gerry Bouley and Francis Lanctot)

Gus Ayotte and both Baldelli`s had a history inappropriately interfering with the WHA.

I know Kevin was a close friend of James ( Jim) F. Simmons, who Mayor Coleman appointed as his Public Welfare Director from 1962-1972 ,and then Mr. Simmons was appointed to be executive director of the WHA from 1972 until his death almost 40 years ago on January 17, 1983.

I also knew the Simmons family. Omer A. Sutherland was the WHA legal counsel from the !950`s to 1985 ish . Sutherland stated that under the leadership of Mr. Simmons the WHA became nationally acclaimed and that Simmons was the envy of his brethren at HUD, and his peers at other Public Housing Authorities ( PHA`s )

Gustave A. LaBreche was the Chairman of the WHA Board , Roger St. Germain, Frank Hopkins, Gus Santucci and Roger Cournoyer.

Mr. Simmons would be rolling in his grave if he saw what Baldelli- Hunt , Houle and company have soiled the WHA`s reputation.

Jean Luc

It is truly a shame that we couldn't find a viable candidate to run against her. The city needs help - getting business to come here, helping with taxes, etc. We really need a mayor that has vision for the future of the city. Baldelli-Hunt has shown that she is not that person.

James Peters

Here's what's not new, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes, taxes and taxes.


Exactly. And they can try to bring big business in all they like, but the average citizen is being made poorer so not much spending will be done and the same exit will be seen by the businesses. Nice to have projects, but one needs to focus on the average joe desperately trying to keep up. I do not see this being done.

As far as the stink from the wastewater plant, I was a child living near and it stunk to high heaven most days. We just got used to it. Along with the smoke stacks. Woonsocket has not cleaned up its mess to date…..taking 5 steps forward, and 10 back. One can only hope.

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