Editorial: Approach of East Providence Council to appointments is appreciated

Posted 4/11/19

One of the most salient, sage comments to come from what has appreciably been an auspicious start to the term of the City Council elected in November 2018 was delivered last week by new Ward 3 …

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Editorial: Approach of East Providence Council to appointments is appreciated

Posted

One of the most salient, sage comments to come from what has appreciably been an auspicious start to the term of the City Council elected in November 2018 was delivered last week by new Ward 3 Councilman Nate Cahoon when discussing the appointment of the first female voting member to sit on the Waterfront Commission, attorney, city native and East Providence High School graduate, Jennifer Griffith.

As noted in the story on the matter, which appears in this edition on page 5, Mr. Cahoon said the following after the council unanimously supported Ms. Griffifth’s selection, “I think Jennifer will be the first voting female member of the Waterfront Commission. And I think that is important for us to keep in mind that these commissions set the tone for our entire community. They really should reflect the demographic and the perspective of our community. So, I think it behooves all of us to put some consideration into who’s going on these commissions and these boards. And specifically making sure they’re representative of the folks they’re working for.”

Read some of those words closely again.

“…these commissions set the tone for our entire community…put some consideration into who’s going on these commissions and these boards…making sure they’re representative of the folks they’re working for…”

Imagine that, our elected representatives carefully considering whom they select to act in the stead of the public rather than just randomly choosing someone out of political expediency?

By no means is the sentiment expressed by Mr. Cahoon isolated to him or the current council. Past incarnations of the body have held similar views, but some of its previous members and those who have sat in the executive, on the contrary, were blatant in their attempts to stock these positions with unqualified cronies.

It is rather refreshing, though, to hear an elected official take a thoughtful approach to the process. And it’s deserving of being highlighted.

Many of these boards and commissions in city certainly do set the tenor of how we do things in East Providence and, almost as important, help mold outside perceptions of it. The Waterfront Commission, specifically, most definitely does so.

They should not be taken for granted, nor should this council’s pointed perspective.

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.