Weekly Dispatch with Mayor Sullivan

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Dearest Newport residents, I adore so much your continued communications and seeing you at my Mayor hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-11 AM at the Council Room at City Hall. Your overwhelming presence, brilliant ideas, discussion of your concerns and identification of needs across the City that you see and need attention has made a tremendous difference in how our City is advancing.

I am here and listening and moving your concerns, along with the City Manager and appropriate Council discussions to get you heard and issues resolved for the betterment of Newport. Thank you for your amazing feedback as well on my NEKTV “From the Desk of the Mayor” weekly show updates. I enjoy bringing on our City department heads as featured guests to keep you updated. We have hardworking City employees, and it is important for me to have each one spotlighted for you. You have already seen on the show our City Manager who joins me frequently.

We are eager to keep you up to date as we work closely together for the good of Newport. You have met Mike Brown on a previous show where the Director of Parks and Recreation kept you updated on events. This week’s show was an amazing update from our Interim Fire Chief, Kevin LaCoss where the Chief actually explained how the new equipment approved by the Council was put to use and in record time saved someone’s life.

Please come to the Council Meetings. I am pleased that more people are in attendance. This helps distort piecemeal third hand interpretations and the twisting of facts. Remember, the Mayor meetings is the time for the community to engage with questions and discussions. The Water and Sewer rates were addressed at a Special meeting posted on the website as well as during that meeting the Fire Chief position will be discussed, and candidates interviewed.

Understandably, those interviews will be held in executive session. At the regular council meeting additional policies and procedures will be discussed and voted upon. As promised, the Mayor and the City Manager are working diligently to put the City into compliance. This will help weed out the waste, fraud and abuse and allow the Council to make intelligent decisions on how to proceed as findings are identified. Thank you to the Treasurer and to the Comptroller for their assistance in working with the Mayor and the City Manager.

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At a continual cost to the City and creating an abusive waste of time and distraction to the Mayor and the Council and City employees, licensed attorney Bjurling, under her self-proclaimed mantra of (paraphrased) “holding public officials and her city accountable,” is fixated on seeing her name in print. Her writings are misguided, not truthful and harmful to the City. She has even resorted to sending emails to employees containing the City’s attorneys invoices (which she has obtained through her expensive PRA requests.). This attorney attempts to be in the loop of what the Mayor is doing on a daily basis and attempts

to grab documents and write her own monologue about them without all of the facts, trying to get to the press before the actual facts get out to give the ridiculous appearance that she is probably responsible for advising the council on the project. A very important point for the citizens of Newport, this very same attorney is ranting and raving that the Mayor is not answering her questions.

While there is much more to the facts surrounding the misrepresented claim, the attorney had indicated that she will be suing the City. Once that threat occurs, the Mayor, as always, will protect the City with the City Attorneys. The attorney claims that the Mayor won’t tell her how to calculate the over $31,000 in legal fees she has cost the City. She has the invoices because those are part of the costs and a mentioned above, she is blindly sending those emails to employees.

Hence, that attorney needs to get subpoena power and take depositions and interrogatories if she wants anything answered. Of course, the attorney has not brought the lawsuit— most probably because that would get her before a true trier of facts – a Judge – and then the City would have a position to respond and possibly bring their counter suits as appropriate. Of course, if the attorney actually had “facts” that supported her allegations that would rise to credibility and not be a frivolous lawsuit, that threat of a lawsuit would have been enacted upon a long time ago.

Instead, the attorney continues to waste taxpayers money and play attorney in an invisible court with no legal opponent. I apologize to the residents of Newport that you must continue to endure this attorney’s fixation with the Mayor. I know residents are “creeped” out by her actions and angry and fearful. Please keep me informed. We are doing our best to protect our City.

Now, back to the real business of the City: After a meeting with the Governor to discuss Newport’s needs and share ideas, and knowing that housing is a priority in Newport, the Governor arranged for the Chief Prevention Officer and the co-chairs for a pilot program to meet with the Mayor to discuss the pilot and its fit in Newport. The Mayor, joined at the initial meeting by the City Manager, will be having this meeting next week. Council President Chris Vachon will be joining in on the future meetings. Hopefully this will be an informative session that will bring positive action to Newport.

Save the Date – May 13 to hear from our State Treasurer on financial matters and to hear from our NEKIA Task Force Panel on how the airport is a viable tool for economic development and housing. Bring your ideas and questions. Senator Russ Ingalls and our City Manager will join the Mayor as hosts of this event. Thank you to NEKTV for filming it and arranging for the live links during the forum.

The Mayor and other council members have attended VLCT trainings keeping themselves updated on council governance. NEKTV and the Mayor walked about the Newport Job Fair on Friday. Watch for that show on NEKTV!

A huge thank you to Senator Bobby Starr for his years of service. We wish you a happy, healthy and wonderful future.

Newport – it’s this positive team work and focus on the welfare of our beautiful City that keeps Newport benefitting. Thank you for your confidence. Your Mayor, Linda Joy Sullivan

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