Luis Aponte: 15 To Watch in RI in 2015
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Representing South Providence -- and the waterfront along Allens Avenue -- Aponte should play a major role in the direction of the new council under Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza's administration.
From tax stabilization agreements for new developments on the 195 land, to addressing the still-vacant Superman Building, to a projected budget gap of $17 million plus for Fiscal Year 2016, the new head of the City Council will have some major issues to address in 2015 - keep an eye on Aponte under the new leadership structure in 2015.
“We’re the hamster in the wheel there, trying to keep the tax base from eroding to an unsustainable amount,” Aponte told GoLocal in 2014, of the city's eroding tax base due to college properties going off the rolls. “It becomes harder and harder to do.”
Related Slideshow: 15 to Watch in RI in 2015
Take a look at the 15 for 2015.
Ogie's Trailer Park
The new addition to the West Side drinking-and-dining scene will be one to watch in the coming year.
The bar slash restaurant slash beer garden, which just opened (with a clean inspection bill from the Department of Health) will feature late night fare into the wee hours, for those looking for a midnight snack -- or brew or two.
The head of the Wolf School in East Providence, Anna Johnson is a product -- and success story -- of the best Rhode Island's colleges have to offer. After getting her BA in Psychology from Brown, Johnson went on to get her Master's in Elementary Education at Brown, followed by a Master's in School Administration from Providence College.
Carolyn Thomas-Davis, who heads up OneVoice RI (which bills itself as "mobilizing, empowering and engaging communities throughout the State of Rhode Island...encouraging political awareness and involvement, on all levels of government") was an active force in Providence in 2014, and will no doubt be at the forefront of community issues in 2015.
After losing in 2012 to incumbent Representative William San Bento, Tobon emerged victorious this past election cycle in Pawtucket, besting independent opponent Jonathan Vallecilla with over 80% of the vote to represent the 58th House District in the General Assembly.
There are a lot of changes taking place at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, as it is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion -- and 2015 will mark the first full year with its new CEO, former world #4 Todd Martin, at the helm.
Individually, they would take up four out of the 15 to Watch list, but we're keeping an eye on the group as a whole. On November 6, the number of women on the Providence City Council increased by 100%. In the span of 24 hours, women on the City Council went from 2 out of 15 members last term, to four of the 15 members this term.
The Hassenfeld Institute for Public leadership at Bryant University provides public officials and others involved in the development, management, and execution of public policy with the "tools and skills needed to make informed decisions and manage responsive organizations in order to govern and lead public sector and non-profit organizations effectively" -- and according to Founder and Director (and GoLocal MINDSETTER) Gary Sasse, is about to step up its presence advising in policy matters in the state.
Since being elected Rhode Island's first female Governor in November, Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has made a number of key staffing announcements leading up to her inauguration on January 6 -- including two staffers from Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's Administration.