Newport mayoral candidates make pitch ahead of Town Meeting Day

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 11:38 PM EST
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NEWPORT, Vt. (WCAX) - Four mayoral candidates are on the ballot in Newport next week to fill the spot of Paul Monette, who is stepping down following a 14-year career. Beth Barnes, Roderick Owens, Carl P. King and Nathan St. George faced off Tuesday night in a candidates forum at the Goodrich Library.

“Now the time is right in my life to give back to the city that embraced me and what better way to do that than run for mayor,” Barnes said.

“I’m always moving and trying to keep myself busy with the community things and work,” said St. George.

“I’m running for mayor because I want to make an impact on my community,” said Owens.

“It feels as though I have the skills and the time needed to help my community. There’s real issues going on here and I think I can make a difference,” King said.

Questions presented by community members included council relations, housing and transportation. I spoke with them about their top priorities, if elected.

“We had some obstacles with the EB-5, the current expansion of the landfill. One thing I would like to bring to the mayor’s office is some tighter controls,” said Barnes.

“I have so many different priorities. You know the safety of the people, education, trying to get Main Street fixed,” said St. George.

“My priority is to create cohesiveness of City Council and the community and to get everyone on board, knowing we’re all fighting for the same thing,” adds King.

“My top priority would be to make sure everyone feels heard and know we have an open door policy,” said Owens.

When researching candidates, WCAX News found one of them, Carl King, had a criminal history.

Reporter Rachel Mann: In 2015, you were charged with two counts of aggravated assault in the second degree and had been convicted for violating abuse prevention orders and identity theft before. Why should people trust you to lead their city with that record?

Carl King: “That’s something that happened in the past. I did better myself. I identified that I did make a mistake when I was younger, bettered myself. And I want to prove to myself and my community that it is true that dreams can happen. You can rise above.”

At the end of the day, each candidate believes they have something unique to contribute.

“I have had really great jobs in Newport. One was a community outreach specialist for North Country Hospital. It gave me a chance to really engage and fully dig deep into the community. I feel like I know how it ticks,” said Barnes.

“I kind of only have an advantage in my years. I’d be able to put in service as being the youngest candidate,” St. George said.

“What makes me unique is I’m very outgoing and extroverted. A lot of people know me and it’s all for positive reasons. So my goal is to build on that,” said Owens.

“One is I’ve been here for 30 years. I’m a veteran. I feel there’s a lot of veteran needs up here that need to be addressed and as mayor, I believe I could do a lot more outreach for the city,” said King.

Residents will also be voting on City Council member compensation and the budget, among a handful of other items and positions. Town Meeting Day is next Tuesday, March 7.