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Corley Hopes to Apply Zoning, Legal Experience Representing Ward 1 on City Council

Richard Corley
Richard Corley

WARWICK, RI — Richard Corley, 60, of Algonquin Drive, a criminal defense attorney for 30 years and Warwick resident for most his life, has served on the Warwick Zoning Board for six, and hopes to apply his municipal and law experience to the city’s benefit on the Warwick City Council in Ward 1.

Corley, a democrat is competing for the seat, currently held by Councilman Stephen Colantuono, who is stepping down at the end of his term this year, along with Republican Richard Cascella, endorsed by Mayor Scott Avedisian. Corley won 45 percent of a meager Sept. 14 primary, at 379 votes.

Warwick Post has presented each City Council candidate with the same series of questions for voters’ benefit in the days leading up to the election. Here are Corley’s answers:

Why are you running for City Council – What do you feel you can bring to the board that’s lacking there now?
I intend to provide Ward 1 with a stronger advocate on the Warwick City Council. My background as an attorney and as a member of the Warwick Zoning Board for the past 8 Years has allowed me to use my legal background to elevate the decisions that have been made in the past.
I intend to bring this skill set to the Warwick City Council on behalf of Ward 1. I intend to advocate for better services for all of our citizens and to provide those services without raising the cost of the tax burden on our constituents. I will answer and respond to any phone calls that I receive from residents as soon as possible. When my employer is asking for information I intend to respond as soon as possible.
Do you have any thoughts on the routine argument the City Council and the Mayor have each budget season regarding spending on road repairs?
I am not interested in using Routine Arguments on the City Council and I certainly do not want to speak for the Mayor of Warwick concerning the Warwick city budget concerning road repairs. I will review the entire budget for the City of Warwick and use my independent judgment concerning all spending in our city budget. I intend to review all of the spending that is funded by the taxpayers. All of the money that goes into the Warwick city budget belongs to the Warwick taxpayers. As a Warwick City Council representative I will never forget my position is to be a public servant for the constituents that I serve. The residents of Ward 1 will be my boss and my employer. I will be working for them.
What is your opinion on the long wait voters endured to view the Ragosta Report? Would you change anything about the CityCouncil‘s practices, given their own failure to release the document without a legal challenge?
I do not believe that the voters should have to wait to view documents such as the Ragosta Report. If I thought a document needed to be made known to the voters, I would not hesitate to institute a legal challenge to the suggested confidentiality of the report.
After reading the Ragosta Report: What lessons do you see the School District, and citizens, should have learned about the power entrusted to its administrators and the ability of concerned parents and staffers to safely speak out? 
I have read the report. It is my opinion that the entire investigation and fiasco was bungled by the Warwick School Administration. I agree with the report that the legal counsel, Rosemary Healey did not use sound legal reasoning, in her response to the allegations made in the report.
What other conclusions have you made from your reading of the Ragosta Report?
I do not understand why she was transferred to a different position in the city of Warwick, or placed on a paid leave. As a result of her handling of the legal factual investigation of the underlying incidents contained in the report, and legal research did not rise to the level of legal representation I would have employed. Her services to the city of Warwick should have been terminated immediately without a paid leave of absence. A paid vacation funded by the taxpayers is not consistent with my opinion on how the matter should have been resolved. My opinion is, that was a waste of taxpayer money.
Following the drowning of Jamil Stewart, 6, at Warwick City Park, and the revelations in the Warwick Police report on their investigation, What steps do you feel the City should take regarding parks and recreation personnel training?
I do not think it is appropriate to publicly comment on the tragic death of 6 year old Jamil Stewar as a political issue. It is my opinion that all of our recreation areas should be staffed appropriately by workers that have been properly trained. The family of the 6-year-old child that tragically died does not deserve to have their child’s death used as a political soapbox. It is not dignified to engage in that kind of rhetoric. Common decency may not be so common today. However, it is something that I will attempt to bring to all of my public service.
Do you feel Warwick is getting a good enough deal from RIAC in return for hosting the airport?
Ward 1 is directly affected by the placement of the airport and the landing and takeoff runways. I have met many future constituents that have not received the soundproofing that they should be entitled to, due to the location of their homes in relation to the airport. The airport is an economic engine that generates a great deal of income for the City of Warwick and for the companies which profit from the Warwick airport. The taxpayers that suffer the consequences of living in that area should receive more support from the RIAC to maintain their quality of life in their homes.
Please share your thoughts on any other pressing issues you’d like to address as part of your campaign.
 It is my opinion that Ward 1 has not received the same level of city services concerning the maintenance of our roads, sidewalks, tree removal, pruning, and maintenance of storm drains and the installation of sewer system. The residents of Ward 1 maintain their personal property in a manner which is exceptional.
The city of Warwick should provide the necessary city services to reflect the high quality of maintenance reflected by the residents of Ward 1 in their private homes. I do not believe that it is fair to install sewers in the majority of the neighborhood of Governor Francis Farms and not complete the entire geographic area of any neighborhood that receives the services of the Warwick school system.
Excluding a portion of the neighborhood makes them feel like second-class citizens that are being treated unequally. This is a matter of proper planning in order to provide services evenly. These are just some casual observations I have learned while I have been speaking with voters in Ward 1. It is not meant to be a complete or exhaustive list of the issues facing our great city of Warwick.
Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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