All four local questions on the ballot in North Kingstown were approved with Tuesday’s election, including the institution of term limits for local elected officials and the elimination of two seats on the school committee.
Starting in 2014, the North Kingstown School Committee will go from seven to five members when the terms of William Mudge, Larry Ceresi, Kimberly Page and John Boscardin expire. During that election, voters will only be filling two rather than four seats. The measure passed with 55.3 percent of the vote – with approximately 7,070 votes in favor versus 5,705 against.
Check below for the full vote tallies and percentages as of Wednesday at noon. Please note: these totals do NOT include mail-in ballots at this time.
The move, . Three of the five members of the council felt the reduction would help school committee members reach a consensus more easily. In recent years, behavior of school committee members has come under scrutiny from residents, teachers and parents.
The . In its research of other municipalities across the state, 16 communities have seven members (including South Kingstown, East Greenwich and Portsmouth) while 14 have five (including Barrington, Narragansett and Coventry).
Another charter change approved by the voters was the institution of term limits for local elected officials or people appointed to commissions, board or other government bodies in town.
These aforementioned officials (i.e. town council members, school committee members, planning commission members, etc.) cannot serve more than 12 consecutive years. After those 12 years, they would have to wait two consecutive years before they’d be eligible to serve on the same body again.
Voters also approved a measure that would grant the town manager authority to appoint and dismiss apartment heads with the “advice and consent” of the majority of the town council. The charter currently allows the administration of the town to be done without the interference of the council.
Lastly, voters approved a change to North Kingstown’s budget referendum system. The charter changes now require the signatures of three percent of the qualified electors of the town as certified in the previous election instead of three percent of the qualified electors who voted in the previous general election.