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New Democratic Majority Takes Helm on Council, School Committee

New members of the Portsmouth Town Council and School Committee were sworn into office Monday night.

A new political era took the helm in Portsmouth on Monday night. 

All elected officials of the Portsmouth Town Council and School Committee were officially sworn into office at Town Hall. The newly elected officials are mostly Democrats, who won big on election night after defeating several Republican incumbents. 

Girl Scouts began the evening ceremonies with the Pledge of Allegiance and "Star Spangled Banner." 

Outgoing members of the town council made closing remarks except Judi Staven, who was absent. 

Outgoing council President Joseph Robicheau thanked the Portsmouth Concerned Citizens (PCC), his wife and the bartenders of Fieldstones Grille for "staying open late." 

Senator-elect Chris Ottiano and Reps.-elect Dennis Canario, John Edwards and Linda Finn presented citations to Kesson and Robicheau. 

Judge J. Terence Houlihan Jr. swore in the new officials. 

Town Councilors taking the oath of office were John F. Blaess, Michael A. Buddemeyer, David M. Gleason, Keith E. Hamilton, Mary Donohue Magee, Elizabeth A. Pedro and James A. Seveney.  

School committee members taking the oath of office were Emily A. Copeland, Terri-Denise Cortvriend, Andrew V. Kelly and John L. Wojichowski. 

Kathleen M. Viera Beaudoin was sworn into office as town clerk. Philip T. Driscoll took the oath to serve as town sergeant, a position that created some buzz in the audience. According to several residents, the position is not listed in the town charter. 

After the official swearing-in ceremony, the town council elected James Seveney as the new council president in a 7-0 vote. 

The town council also elected John Blaess as vice president. The vote was 7-0. 

The first town council meeting of the new session will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Town Hall. 

a resident with a watchful eye November 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM
I was there last night and once again Pedro showed her arrogance, while the Priest was giving his benediction she did not like what she heard, she opened her eyes.....turned her head to the side, made a facial look of disdain and then rolled her eyes. Robicheau, on the other hand, could not correctly pronounce Mr. Wojichowski's name during the swearing in ceremony......Please, an uncommon name but as the President during a ceremony like this is wrong. Let's face it people, the change this election was a total repudiation of the processes the Rebublican majority used the past two years. I happened to disagree with the majority of their decisions, but I am sure there are plenty of people who did agree with them------they just didn't like their rudeness and arrogance-----and voted them out. Also, it was quite clear that Mr Fitzmorris and his PCC group were pulling the strings and most citizens did not like that either. There will always be disagreement....and you'll see it again this term.....but I am quite confident that you'll see respectful disagreement. After all, isn't that how it's supposed to work?..... Debate the issues and come to a compromise agreement and move on to the next agenda item.
Town resident for many years November 27, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Portsmouth Pride - Well said.
Tony Macomber November 27, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I too was in the chamber last night and did not witness any of the above mentioned regarding Liz Pedro. You and your small group of followers will come up with anything to try to bash anyone or anything that may or may not be affiliated with the PCC. This town is in trouble with the leadership at hand. The only thing we can hope for is that the new Democrats are able to make their own educated decisions without being coerced by a certain few. The Democrats and their followers are the ones who have gotton this town into trouble. Now hold onto your hats people because they are back to cost us even more money and disruption in our town. Don't go crying after the fact, you are the ones who continue to vote for these people because of their last names not because of what they can and will do for our town. On another note. Maybe Seveney won't fall asleep at so many TC meetings now that he is front and center!!!
East side November 27, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Too bad smoking isn't allowed in the chamber because we might have seen Judy last night. I'm sure i'll see her at the dump giving hell to me and others. Until we spin the windmill again or flush our waste in the Sakonnett...time to cross the bridge while it's still free for some lunch on the mainland.
a resident with a watchful eye November 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Well she most certainly did! It was toward the end of the ceremony, when Father Gray was speaking for the second time. If you were there, and remember, he was talking about ALL elected officials and he started with the President of US and worked his way down through the ranks.....sen., gov, etc until he got to the locals. Well, as soon as he said Barak Obama, that is when she did it. And, it was flagrant!
getreal November 27, 2012 at 07:10 PM
I too saw the same thing as did the people on both sides of me. WATCHFUL EYE and Town Res for Many well said. It will be refreshing to have a council that represents all the people and not just a small group. The PCC would be in a better place if you lost your leadership extremist who control every thought and decision. On a better note I am sure Larry Fitzmorris will be glad to have Joe Robicheau back as PCC Treasurer.
Bill Carson November 27, 2012 at 09:36 PM
How will the new Democratic Town Council get wind turbine spinning ? Change the Town Charter ? Probably the way the March 2008 council did when they approved a bond to purchase the wind turbine. The voters of Portsmouth approved a referendum question that authorized the Town to obligate up to a 2.6 million dollar bond to construct a wind turbine at the High School . Today the turbine sits as a pile of junk and catastrophic failure. In the next two years a new public-private partnership will require the private contractor to be the owner of the Portsmouth High School wind turbine .The town will lease the land to the private contractor for thirty years. Under this plan the town will receive not more than $100,000.00 per year for thirty years. A public/private partnership arrangement shifting most of the project and financial risk to the developer does not prevent a third party private contractor from bankruptcy.
Clark Grimes November 27, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Yes the firefighters and police and teachers work for our town as employees. They are noble jobs, but they are employees of the taxpayers and when their jobs require heroism and dedication that is their job. There are also many applicants waiting to fill their jobs. The unions that represent them however have a function. That function is to get the most money into their members pockets. It is the job of elected officials are hired managers to keep a hand on the unions so that our roads are well maintained, our buildings are fixed and our school kids get what they need for supplies. It is also their job to make sure we are not selling out future generations by creating unfunded holes in the budget with pension and retirement healthcare guarantees that we can't afford. This new town council has at least three members that will roll over for the unions before doing what is best for the town. Seveney is the biggest union sell out of them all.
Portsmouth Citizen November 27, 2012 at 10:03 PM
I was going to write "And now the comment section will devolve into a discussion about wind turbines in 3... 2... 1..." But Mr. Carson already beat me to it.
Portsmouth Pride November 27, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Clark, you had me until you went off the deep end with yet another conspiracy theory and wild accusations. Any deal that does not see cuts to the local employees will be considered union pandering to you, and thus you will continue to slander Mr. Seveney and anyone else who does not buy into your Chicken Little belief that the Town is falling. Are you always doom and gloom or do you just put on this show for recessions? If the Fiscal Cliff is coming then you can shove your I told you sos right up all of our backsides, but, on the off-chance that our system can support a middle class with unions, private industry and public employees, and not implode, exlplode, or simply poof away--will we see you convert, or change your tune to the next evil menace trying to syphon your hard-earned dollars away. The true shame is that you give lip service to the people that dedicate their lives to this town but on the condition that they do it for free. You don't really respect them at all (Unless you are dialing 911) and when they actually seek compensation for their efforts you get the added bonus of resenting them for their greed and selfishness. I wonder how often you went into your boss's office and requested a paycut, but no, you probably own your own business with a bunch of good for nothing money-taking employees. The nerve of them. You should fire them all and hire migrant labor at below minimum wage. And Carson, whose payroll are you on? Even one trick ponies take a break.
John ("Anything But Sue") November 27, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I am TOTALLY Disgusted as well. How dare she roll her eyes at the mere mention of... "Our Lord And Savior"....Barack Hussein Obama. Flagrant.....and Blasphamy...
Bill Carson November 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Portsmouth Pride, I'm on the side of the taxpayer. Since 2004 the wind turbine industry has been hiding the dirty little secret about gear box failures. The Town of Portsmouth got help from all kinds of wind industry contractors,lobbying groups,colleges,politicians and a study paid for by the RIEDC. Not one word or warning was given from 2004 until the recent report in October by Don Roberts. Portsmouth needs a clear understanding of the basic cause of failure and reliability of the turbine.It is critical to Portsmouth and all other cities and towns. Looking at the extent of the damage, replacement is most likely decision. Stop wasting millions of dollars on the ongoing wind turbine bunco scheme and give the money to the people who work for the town .You ask for cuts to local employees yet on the other hand you want to spend millions on a broken down wind turbine that looks like an upside down tooth brush sticking out of a toilet.
Lee November 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Well folks we get what we ask for. Wonder what this group of clowns will want, another wind turbine maybe? Oh, forgot, make sure the teachers leachs, I mean the union will attend the meetings with their Marxis red shirts and stupid child of the 60s signs to plead for more of our tax dollars!
Clark Grimes November 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Portsmouth Pride: Unfunded obligations for pension and healthcare total over $50million. This is not a conspiracy, these are the real numbers abd they are posted on the towns website. Are you misinformed? The recession did not cause this but it did uncover what has been hidden from taxpayers. The fiscal cliff whether it happens ( and it won't) has nothing to do with it. Why dont you use your real name instead one that sounds like a local butter substitute. Are you getting a Portsmouth pension too?
John ("Anything But Sue") November 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Hey Clark: Anyone who uses their REAL name on an internet board ...Deserves what they get. YOUR... IDENTITY THEFT. Think about it MAN...Just sayin...
Clark Grimes November 28, 2012 at 01:02 AM
John, really. Have you read a newspaper? Letters to the editor signed and authenticated by the author: real names. Editorials,ditto. Voter registrations, public information, name and address. Legislation, signers names. Your position holds no water. You anonymous posters are a disgrace.
Former Ports resident November 28, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Bill give it a rest already. Every time I see your name it's about the turbine. Doesn't matter where in the patch.
Bill Carson November 28, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Clark , Then your saying the governor of Massachusetts is a disgrace ? His online posting name was "Sally Reynolds" .Why would the governor of Massachusetts use a fake online name ? Many blog on this site because they think it's a great way to help market or promote the commercial wind turbine business and they don't care what the taxpayers pay for it. Do they want their neighbors to know they were in favor of building a wind turbine four or five years ago ? Bill Carson likes the social and political issues associated with trying to make a difference. For example did you ever hear any local politicians say one bad word about the turbine ? NO The blog site should be used for public education. The knowledge of one is the knowledge of all.Most people want to help people understand similar situations that a blogger has experienced. Note # reference to : Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick for years used the pseudonym “Sally Reynolds.” If the governor of Massachusetts uses a fake email name why shouldn't everyone else ? http://www.commonwealthmagazine.org/News-and-Features/Online-exclusives/2011/Spring/001-Patrick-refused-DiMasi-Cognos-request.aspx
getreal November 28, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Clark Grimes real? Just joined patch today.....
Clark Grimes November 28, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I did join Patch today and have never posted before. I pay taxes, vote, use my real name and am sick and tired of you nameless fools plugging your agenda and not owning your words. You got it " get real, i have an idea for you getaclue.
Robert E November 28, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Unfunded pensions have nothing to do with the unions it has to do with management promising something to the workers and then spending the money on something else. If they had put that money away at the time instead of saying we can spend it now and just put it back later we would not be in this mess. The workers upheld their part of the bargain and the politicians mismanaged the funds. Blame the politicians that created this mess and not the workers.
Robert E November 28, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society. ———— 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission
Clark Grimes November 28, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Robert what a joke. Exactly how many anonymous signatures are on the Decalaration of Independence. NONE! The framers of our constitution allowed free speech, they did not intend on have slanderous cowards take shots at others without saying who they are. Have you seen the Norman Rockwell painting with the man standing and speaking in a town meeting? Thats what this country stands for not the garbage you people spew. Fortnately, real media outlets still require autentication of names when people write in. Even the Newport Daily News requires it. Lastly, read the pension report on the town website. You have your facts wrong.
getreal November 28, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Clark, you read the pension report a little closer and ask yourself this question. Why does this report that was controled by one individual who chaired the committee come up with the lowest returns of all cities and towns in the state. Do you not find it hard to believe this alone questions the validity of the true amount.
Bill Carson November 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Clark : The picture of an unknown man possibly a laborer with a woolen shirt in the Norman Rockwell picture has no name. In the picture the people around the unknown man are listening to what he is saying . The name of the picture is called "Freedom of Speech" Also the Decalaration of Independence was signed on August 2, 1776 not July 4th like many believe ! Today we still don't get the truth
eyeswide November 28, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Clark I have no doubt that you vote and pay taxes but it appears you don't do it in Portsmouth or you don't do it as Clark Grimes. When Barry Stone wrote a post shortly before the election about Mr. Robicheau's wife answering his emails, a few other posters, including Gwen Lafave, Tony Macomber, & JTThomas used the thread to attack Councilors Seveney, Buddemeyer and Hamilton. They claimed the defenders of Seveney, Buddemeyer and Hamilton posted under pen names but critics used their real names (Stone, Lafave, Macomber) and were more credible. "Ellen" questioned why she could not find Stone, LeFave, etc, in the phone book so when I went to cast my ballot at town hall I checked the town databases. Clark's post prompted me to check those sources again today when I went to pay my second quarter taxes. In addition to not being listed in the phone book, according to town records the following people do not own real estate in Portsmouth, do not have a car registered in their name in Portsmouth and are not registered to vote in Portsmouth: Barry Stone, Gwen Lafave, Tony (Antone or Anthony) Macomber, JT Thomas, or Clark Grimes. Ellen thought several of those posters were the same person. I don't know about that but they certainly appear to be assumed names. I have no issue with anonymous posters, but to routinely post under a pen name, then claim its your real name and attack the crediblity of others for using pen names? What sort of hypocrite does that? Give it a rest.
J. Lane McMahon November 28, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Clark, You do know that most of our "Founding Fathers" used pseudonyms at one point or another throughout the late 1700's, right? Your argument fails when you factor in actual history.
J. Lane McMahon November 28, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Bill, That's a little misleading to say the least. The Declaration of Independence was ratified on on July 2, and sent to the printers on the 4th. You do understand that the ratification vote was the important act, not the signing, right?
getreal November 28, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Wow. Clark Grimes, Barry Stone, Gwen Lafave, Tony Macomber, JT Thomas aren't you all or one of you the true ( nameless fool) that Clarky talked about above.. It is funny how everyone of you have used the real name lie....the people have spoken and the election is over.....NICE TRY.
Clark Grimes November 28, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Wow A real life Nancy Drew in town. Clark is my middle name and one by which i am known, Einstein.The home is held in trust of which i own the interest and fund the tax payments. This stuff is probably a bit above your investgative abilities . You can narrow me down on the voter registration list now eyeball. I"ll keep you in mind for some detective work if my phone book and vision appraisal sources dont work out, how would i find you in the book, under "e"?

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