Weekly Dispatch with Mayor Sullivan

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This Memorial Day, as we enjoy our families and friends, please remember to be forever grateful for that ultimate sacrifice of those who died for our country. Please remember their courage. Please remember their dedication. May they and their families never be forgotten, because although we may not have known them all, we owe them all. Thank you to all of them for giving us our freedom.


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On May 20, 2024 beginning at 6:00 PM, the Newport City Council held its regular meeting. Your Newport Council was focused on business. The meeting went for almost five hours. Why? Because Newport residents are our priority and we had business to take care of: from routine business such as warrants and licenses and permit to new ideas and discussions from potential dog parks and Newport City development issues. Some very important potential contract discussions and interviews were appropriately held in executive sessions. I wan’t to particularly thank our Council for their dedication and tireless efforts to move Newport forward and keep it evolving. Remember, even the visible hours that you see at the council meetings are not reflective of the additional time every day that your council puts in to attending to Newport business and listening to our constitutes.

Thank you for coming to my Mayor’s hours and listening to NEKTV’s production of “From the Mayor’s Desk.” Keeping residents in the loop is key to my being able to assist our residents and get your brilliant ideas and concerns back to the Council. Monday’s from 9-11:00 AM at the Council room and Wednesdays from 9-11:00 AM (Wednesdays by appointment).


As I have published over the months, for those of you who would like to be considered as a Board or Commission member, please send me a letter of interest. You can also send your letter of interest to our City Manager who will share it with me. As the Council is clearly charged under the Charter with making these appointments, once I have these letters of interest, I will share them with the full Council for review.


The City Council by the Charter is charged with appointing and removing officers, and the Mayor is charged with seeing that the laws and City ordinances are enforced and that the duties of all subordinate officers are faithfully performed. The President of the Council, Chris Vachon, is charged with these duties when the Mayor is unable to act: thus, at such time, the President will act in the Mayor’s stead. Some of the appointments made to date include the Superintendent of Streets and Waterworks, City Attorneys, a Board of Fire Wardens, consisting of one Chief and a first and second Assistant Engineer.

At the last Council meeting, the council appointed Kevin Lacoss as the 2d Engineer/Fire Chief. The Council cannot express enough gratitude to Chief Lacoss for serving eight full months as our Interim Fire Chief and keeping our City safe. We are in good hands with Chief Lacoss continuing to serve on the department. In addition, the Council appointed our City Manager as the Interim Fire Chief, stepping into the role that became vacant with Chief Lacoss’ new appointment. The City’s fire department is filled with dedicated and experienced professionals. Thank you for your willingness to serve.


I hear you Newport residents. As your Mayor, I will work with the Council and the City to not only protect your safety but protect the integrity of the City so we can ethically accept monies from State and Federal sources. Let’s move on Newport. As you can see, your city employees and your Council are working for the betterment of Newport.

The Council is looking at the financials and policies and making sure that the City operates in compliance with State and Federal laws. Change sparks dissension at times, but after it all is in place and the City is running efficiently with appropriate compliance, smooth operations govern. Thank you for your patience. However, it is important for the City to be compliant and for the Council to do its work.

Public comment time at the council meetings is available for your comments as the business at the City Council meetings are the time that the Council can meet to discuss city business. Remember please, that when you sign up for public comment at the Council meetings, that public comment is for city business NOT on the agenda. Please be specific as to the city business you wish to comment on so that we can move the meeting through properly and timely and hear your true city business comments. Putting “Etc.” does not allow for efficient council meetings. We have to law firms that have been appointed that serve in their expert capacity to provide the council with legal advice. Those are the two firms that will be referred to when the council needs legal advice, and the council is fully aware of when it needs to refer to our professional attorneys to seek such legal advice. They were chosen for their expertise in municipal and related legal matters so that the City of Newport can be well represented.


Thank you for organizing the City Wide Yard Sale and having the yard sales registered and ready. Get ready for the Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony on Monday, May 27 at 10 AM. Thank you for getting Prouty Beach ready and open. And the Skate Shack conversion for boat and bike rentals. Thank you! Loads of fun for Newport. Enjoy yourself Newport residents and our visitors. As you can see, Mike has your time in the sun under control and our Police Chef Travis Bingham has our safety under his watch.

We are here for you Newport! Thank you for your confidence—Your Mayor, Linda Joy Sullivan

1 Comment

  1. The Mayor states: “Remember please, that when you sign up for public comment at the Council meetings, that public comment is for city business NOT on the agenda.”

    If this is the Mayor’s policy regarding public comment at council meetings, it is a violation of 1 VSA Section 312(h) which states: “At an open meeting, the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to express its opinion on matters considered by the public body during the meeting…”

    I believe the Mayor stated that the Council recently attended a training on Vermont Open Meeting Law. I would have thought this would have been addressed. I hope that the Mayor recognizes that her public comment policy is a violation of Vermont Open Meeting Law and changes it so that one will not be forced to file a notice of violation.

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