After a decade in office, former Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt abruptly resigned citing health concerns as the reason behind her departure, leaving the Woonsocket City Council in charge of leading the city into a new era. The resignation came in the midst of a scandal involving a controversial land deal that she struck with a former business associate. As Woonsocket residents gathered for the first City Council meeting following her resignation, there was a sense of hope for progress and policy over politics.
Dan Gendron, who served as the acting mayor when Baldelli-Hunt was previously ousted from office, embraced her departure as a “great opportunity.” However, he cautioned that with great opportunity comes great responsibility. The councilors urged for transparency and collaboration, highlighting the previous mayor’s history of not working together effectively.
Christopher Beauchamp, the City Council President, assumed the role of mayor until the next regularly scheduled election in November 2024. During his tenure, he intends to prioritize the investigation into the controversial land deal. Meanwhile, John Ward was appointed to take Beauchamp’s place on the City Council. He plans to establish a Charter Review Commission to examine and propose potential changes to the city charter. These changes, including the implementation of a special mayoral election in the event of a vacancy, would require approval from the voters.
As the Woonsocket community navigates this transition, their main concern lies in ensuring that their city continues to move forward. The residents look forward to a fresh start, where progress and collaboration take precedence over personal agendas. The journey towards a new chapter for Woonsocket begins with transparency, citizen engagement, and a commitment to learning from past challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why did Lisa Baldelli-Hunt resign as mayor of Woonsocket?
Lisa Baldelli-Hunt resigned due to health concerns that were impacting her ability to effectively lead the city.
What was the controversy surrounding the land deal that Lisa Baldelli-Hunt struck?
There was a controversial land deal that Baldelli-Hunt made with a former business associate, which raised concerns and led to further scrutiny.
Who assumed the role of mayor after Baldelli-Hunt’s resignation?
Christopher Beauchamp, the City Council President, temporarily assumed the role of mayor until the next regularly scheduled mayoral election in November 2024.
What changes are being considered to the city charter?
John Ward, a member of the Woonsocket City Council, is advocating for changes to the city charter, including the establishment of a special mayoral election in the event of a vacancy. These proposed changes would require approval from the voters.