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Chairwoman Of Park Commission Leaves Derogatory Message On Newport City Councilor’s Voicemail

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


John Florez is currently serving his first term on the Newport City Council.

John Florez, Newport City Councilor-At-Large, recently received a derogatory voicemail from Ann Canole Twomey, Chairwoman of the Miantonomi Memorial Park Commission.

Twomey, who is currently serving an indefinite term on the commission, left a two-minute voicemail for Councilor Florez on Sunday, June 7th in which she called him "not a real Newporter" and stated that "what you basically are to a Newporter is a carpetbagger from Colombia".

"Hi, I just had to do this. I guess when you get old, you just have to go with the truth. My name is Ann Twomey, you don't have to call me back. I was reading some of your things and you know rather than trying to make two thousand or twenty-five hundred out of towner's happy at concerts at the Fort have you thought of trying to make Newporter's happy and taxpayers happy." Twomey said in the voicemail.

In February, Councilor Florez did vote in favor of allowing Newport Waterfront Events to host concerts at Fort Adams State Park this summer.

"And I had to laugh one of the things where you were quoted it said... you and your fellow Newporter's, you're not a Newporter and you never can be a Newporter. You have to be born here to be a Newporter, that's it. You probably don't know what they call the Newport Game or the Sully Game. It starts off with who's your mother, who's your father." Twomey said.

"I have the feeling too that the people you call your fellow Newporter's, are not Newporter's. What we used to call most of you who came in and did that were carpetbaggers. So what you basically are to a Newporter is a carpetbagger, from Colombia. Try pleasing the people who live in Newport." Twomey continued.

Councilor Florez, an American Citizen and a native of Colombia, has resided in Newport for several years with his family and Drupal Connect on Bellevue Avenue.

Twomey concluded the voicemail with, "So I did get kind of a laugh of it. There was a person one time called Terry Gallagher, he made up some sweaters that had a picture of one of the ferry boats that used to go to Jamestown, he would not sell those to anybody who was not a Newporter. So then if you saw somebody walking around the streets with one of those things on, maybe 90% they were from Newport."

Florez calls the voicemail "appalling" and is calling on Twomey to resign from her role as chairperson of the Miantonomi Memorial Park Commission. 

Twomey is currently serving an indefinite term as Chairperson on the ten person Miantonomi Memorial Park Commission.


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