The brief, fun-filled ceremony held inside Mayor Joseph Polisena’s Town Hall Executive Chamber will have a huge impact for Johnston’s Planning Board.
In fact, after administering the Oath of Office to Nicole Pope, Polisena stated, “We’re very luck and thankful that Nicole accepted a position on the important planning board. We’re really lucky to have her in this capacity.”
For Nicole Pope, who lives in Johnston with her husband and daughter, is armed with years of experience in the areas of public policy, urban planning and economics.
She also has over a quarter century of experience in government and currently serves as Director of Government Affairs for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.
Furthermore, she has a degree from Brown University in Public Policy with a special focus on Urban Planning and Economics and, as she told Polisena and Johnston Town Clerk Vincent Baccari after her official swearing in: “As a resident and mother raising my daughter in this town, I take this position quite seriously.”
Pope, who was one of three RIDOT personnel who coordinated the almost-completed rebuilding of the Simmonsville Avenue bridge, also wanted it known: “I am grateful to serve in the capacity as a member of the Johnston Planning Board. I assure you that I shall perform my best work to as to not disappoint the citizens of Johnston with my work performance and contribution to the planning board.”
After receiving more praise from Polisena for accepting the position on the 7-member planning board, Pope went on: “I am highly grateful for the opportunity provided to me to continue further to the betterment of the Town of Johnson. The growth of this town directly relates to the happiness of its citizens.”
The Planning Board, Polisena said, “is a very busy board; just look around town, there’s lots of development going on. The group does a great job and again we’re very fortunate that Nicole accepted this post.”
The Mayor also emphasized, “Nicole wants very much to give back to our town.”
The Planning Board is charged with reviewing and making determination for proposed development projects in the town and ensures that any development is in line with the town’s plan for growth and development.
In his capacity as Town Clerk, Baccari explained that “the Planning Board also prepares and adopts the Town’s Comprehensive Plan for development and improvement of the town; and provides the Town Council with advisory opinions for changes in zoning designations, land purchases or sales and other types of petitions.”
With Pope being official sworn into office last Thursday morning, the Planning Board now includes Christine M. Cunneen, George A. Lazzareschi, Jr., John Laurito, Peggy Passarelli, Joseph Lembo and Beverly Williams.