Woonsocket Residents Vote For Change
In Woonsocket, voters have chosen a new mayor.
They voted by a more than 2-1 margin to elect State Representative Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, ousting incumbent mayor Leo Fontaine.
Baldelli-Hunt will take the reins of a city that severely raised property taxes to avoid bankruptcy. Like many residents, voter Farid Latash said the city's financial problems are frustrating.
"Big problem with the taxes. Nobody working. Nobody got no money. They keep raising taxes, raising everything. That's about it," said Latash.
Woonsocket residents also unseated city council President John Ward in a rebuke over those tax hikes.
Ward served eighteen years in elective office in Woonsocket, but he was recently part of an unpopular budget commission that raised taxes to plug a budget deficit.
Ward said he knew that the race could be his last.
"I had a difficult job to do. I did it. I have no regrets about having done it. I think through the budget commission laid a solid foundation for the better future for Woonsocket," said Ward.
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