March 3, 2009

Breaking News out of the North: Mayor Menard Will Not Seek Reelection

Monique Chartier

At 8:20 this morning on WNRI's Up Front program, Mayor Susan Menard announced that she would not seek re-election.

She gave no reason; she simply made the statement "out of the clear blue sky" and "with finality", as WNRI co-owner Richard Bouchard, filling in for Dave Kane, later described her announcement.


Commenter Patrick suggests a potential campaign philosophy for the upcoming mayoral election. We should note that Woonsocket holds its local elections in off years. Therefore, the primary for both city council and mayor's office will take place this October and the general will be held in November; declaration papers will be available in August.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Just remember, this is the same Mayor who stated she was retiring last June. If this statement is true, Christmas has come early.

Posted by: Rick at March 3, 2009 11:23 AM

And we should believe her because ???? Isnt this the same person who was retiring last June?? Isnt this the same person that plagiarized her graduation speech to the high school, and now this is the person who said that all employees including her needed to take a 5% pay cut until that is she is found out to only be taking a 3% ?? Not a beacon of credibility.

Posted by: BD at March 3, 2009 11:25 AM

Great. A Republican should announce right now his intent to run for Mayor. That kind of forces the issue a little bit.

And by a Republican, I mean a real one. One that takes pride in their town and its finances. Not one that leeches off the state and their neighboring cities.

Posted by: Patrick at March 3, 2009 12:58 PM

Ideally, yes, Patrick. And Woonsocket has a lot to be proud of.

In terms of fiscal realities, however, something in excess of 85% of Woonsocket's operating budget is funded by the state. So anyone who wanted Woonsocket to stand on its own feet financially would have to either increase all property and local taxes eight fold (literally) or reduce city services by 85%, which would amount to shutting down the city - closing schools, police and fire departments - completely.

No question this sets up a very interesting mayoral election - this year, by the way; Woonsocket local elections are scheduled in off years.

Posted by: Monique at March 3, 2009 2:06 PM

As far as announcing, Leo Fontaine announced on that same show a few months ago that it was his intention to run regardless of whether Menard ran or not. Two time candidate Todd Brien apparently indicated the same in a newspaper article.

Posted by: John at March 3, 2009 3:34 PM

"In terms of fiscal realities, however, something in excess of 85% of Woonsocket's operating budget is funded by the state. So anyone who wanted Woonsocket to stand on its own feet financially would have to either increase all property and local taxes eight fold (literally) or reduce city services by 85%"

Theoretically yes. However, no town is 100% independent financially. Even Barrington gets some money back from the state. How about making it a goal to only be 75% dependent on the state in 3 years. Then 60% in five years, then to whatever the state average is in 8 years?

The problem is Menard would frequently not raise taxes in order to keep her seat. Works great if you have a state legislature that's going to put the town on welfare.

It is beyond me as to why a town can get 85% of their funding from the state, or 100% as in the case of Central Falls. How can all the residents and businesses only afford 15% of the city's budget? That's ridiculous. That sounds like quite a bit of fluff around there.

Posted by: Patrick at March 3, 2009 4:09 PM

We've heard this before. I wouldn't trust the woman as far as I could throw her.
I'll believe she's leaving when the filing deadline passes and she hasn't submitted papers. She'll watch the field develop, and if it looks like somebody not to her and John Dionne's liking might win, she'll be back.

Posted by: rhody at March 3, 2009 6:15 PM

She is sick of "talking to the unions". Dick Bouchard is a great man. I hope he or his brother run.

Posted by: Mike at March 3, 2009 7:26 PM

I dunno, Rhody. It's true that the candidate field is unknown until the last day that nominating papers can be pulled. But won't she lose a serious amount of credibility if, for a second time, she says, "Psych!".

Posted by: Monique at March 3, 2009 7:42 PM

Patrick - can't disagree with anything in your second comment.

Posted by: Monique at March 3, 2009 7:47 PM

And what's with the off-year elections? We always hear how elections aren't cheap, so why is a town which can't afford itself holding an election every single year? How does that make sense? How about changing it so the next mayor gets a 3 or 5 year term and then sync up with the regular two year cycle? Right there and the town could become 16% independent.

Posted by: Patrick at March 3, 2009 8:55 PM


They still have two-year terms, but the elections are held in odd years, instead of even ones. I think Woonsocket and Central Falls are the only RI towns with odd year elections. Of course, this leads to the question, has anyone in either town actually benefited from an arrangement which likely leads to rock bottom voter turnout?

Posted by: Will at March 4, 2009 1:17 AM


Ok, then make it a 3 year term this one time and sync up with the rest of the election cycle.

How do we find out how much Woonsocket (aka 85% of the rest of the state's money) goes toward their city elections in odd numbered years? A couple thousand dollars? They have a couple thousand dollars extra to throw away every year??

Posted by: Patrick at March 4, 2009 6:42 AM

True, Monique, she loses credibility with the likes of you and I. But she still has a cultlike hold on the senior high-rises, which are her base. And the Democratic good old boys will do anything to protect her.

Posted by: rhody at March 4, 2009 10:46 AM

The court just ruled Sue can layoff 11 of the little princes. She better be sleeping in an "undisclosed location" for a while. RI fireman are the most vicious mother******* on the planet. I'll take my chances with the Latin Kings or Oriental Rascals any day before RI's self-appointed royalty of police/fire.

Posted by: Mike at March 4, 2009 7:17 PM


In the long line of dumb things you have said in the comments section of this blog, saying that you prefer gang-bangers over firemen has got to be the dumbest.

Posted by: Andrew at March 4, 2009 7:28 PM

I have, on the fringes of my family and circle, known too many cops, firemen, prison guards, "labor" leaders, etc.
Let me just say that "if you knew what I knew" you would not have made your ignorant comment above.

Posted by: Mike at March 5, 2009 8:03 PM

That's why we still have problems with gangs in this state...too many "adults" who see the Kings or the Rascals as a means to accomplish their goals.
Hell, let's just put legbreakers on the ballot while we're at it.

Posted by: rhody at March 5, 2009 11:29 PM
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