Newport mayor outlines vision for city transformation, calls for civility in council meetings

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NEWPORT — As the city of Newport prepares to welcome the new year, Mayor Linda Joy Sullivan shared her vision for the city’s transformation from a “drive through” town to a “go to” destination in her State of the City address.

In her update, Sullivan expressed excitement for the unique opportunity to re-envision downtown Newport and highlighted regional projects like the Coventry airport enhancements that promise to spur economic development for the benefit of residents and businesses.

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The mayor also emphasized the City Council’s effective collaboration with municipal department heads in crafting a fiscally responsible budget and noted the ongoing recruitment for two key city government positions: City Manager and Fire Chief.

She urged patience as the council exercises care in the selection process.

Sullivan lauded the city staff as one of Newport’s greatest strengths, deserving of effective leadership.

She encouraged public participation and dialogue through her twice-weekly “Mayor’s Meeting” and noted her productive discussions with state officials that signal positive developments ahead.

Addressing recent disruptions at City Council meetings, Sullivan praised the respectful majority of attendees and underscored the meetings’ purpose of conducting city business.

She called for civility, condemning the actions of a minority that disrupts proceedings and engages in personal attacks against council members and staff.

The mayor remained optimistic, urging a collective New Year’s resolution for a more positive tone in meetings and stressing the importance of community engagement in the city’s future endeavors.

As Newport looks ahead to 2024, Sullivan’s message is one of unity and anticipation for the city’s potential, with an appeal to residents to contribute constructively to the city’s growth and prosperity.

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