NORTH KINGSTOWN – North Kingstown Town Council member Stacey Elliott announced on Monday that she would be stepping down from the council effective June 30, citing “personal reasons” for her decision.
“I have to let everybody know that tonight will actually be my last meeting as a town councilor,” Elliott said during Monday’s meeting. “Due to personal reasons, I’m unable to finish my term. It’s something I could not have predicted two years ago when I decided to run for this position. As of [June 30] I’m unable to fill the term.”
“I just want to take one quick minute and thank the citizens of North Kingstown for allowing me to serve this incredible community. I’ve tried to fulfill my term with dignity and integrity,” she continued. “I’ve tried to stick to my values, while trying to make progress. I want to thank my fellow councilors for their collaboration and their will to improve our community.”
Elliott, a Democrat, was elected to the council in 2018, garnering the second most votes out of all the declared candidates.
While she said she was unable to finish her term, Elliott said she respected each of her fellow councilors and was proud of what they had accomplished. She also said she was looking forward to “wrapping up” issues like the town hall restoration, which the council voted to move forward on later in the evening.
“We have all been able to work together in a productive and meaningful way, and I look forward to wrapping up some of the important issues that we’ve been working on for a while tonight, and continuing to make progress for this town tonight,” Elliott said.
Contacted on Tuesday, Elliott said she was stepping down for family reasons, and because she was moving out of North Kingstown, making her ineligible to continue serving on the council.
“It’s important for my personal family life to move my life in this direction,” she said. “It wasn’t an easy decision. It’s certainly something that’s just a timing thing, I have opportunities that are coming my way that I can’t pass on.”
Councilors Kerry McKay and Richard Welch said they were sorry to see Elliott go, and wished her the best of luck in her future endeavors.
And council president Mancini thanked Elliott for her service and leadership in North Kingstown, while also praising her for her bipartisanship on the council.
“I think you set the tone very quickly in this council for bipartisanship,” Mancini said. “You had the courage to stand up for what you thought was right. I think that set the tone for this council and as a result, this council is one of the most productive councils in recent memory.”
He went on to highlight many of the accomplishments of the current council, including settling lawsuits, moving forward with the Wickford El project and the town hall, and a new PILOT program for Electric Boat.
Mancini also said that Elliott was integral to improving labor relations and commended her for fighting “very hard and very valiantly for school funding.”
“This community and this council is going to miss your contributions,” Mancini said. “We thank you very much and good luck with your future endeavors.”
According to the North Kingstown charter, in the event that a seat on the town council should become vacant, the vacancy is to be filled by the candidate who, in the most recent election, received the highest number of votes among the unsuccessful contenders.
In the most recent election for the town council, which took place in 2018, former council member Kevin Maloney came in sixth place, giving him the highest number of votes among the unsuccessful candidates.
The charter goes on to say that, if said candidate declines appointment or is otherwise unfit to serve, the council must appoint another qualified elector to fill the vacancy. But if the council becomes deadlocked and is unable to make an appointment, the town clerk must then schedule a special election to fill the vacancy.
However, town solicitor Matt Callaghan said that, before any decision could be made on who would fill Elliott’s vacant seat, he would have to respond to inquiries from the town council or town administration, adding that he just learned about Elliott’s decision on Monday.
“I have not yet been contacted by anyone about the next steps,” Callaghan said in an email on Tuesday. “I believe it is my obligation as town solicitor to first respond to any inquiries from the town council or town administration before I discuss that issue with the media or anyone else.”