Meet our candidates and sign their nomination papers – July 9 or 10

Please join us either this Saturday or Sunday, anytime from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., July 9 or 10, at the Quonnie Grange and help CCA endorsed candidates get on the November ballot. We will be there both days! (State Representative Blake Filippi will join us on Saturday, see below for details)

This is Rain or Shine. We have rented the Grange for both afternoons. If it rains, we will be indoors.

Where: The Quonnie Grange, 5664 Post Rd, (Rt. 1) between East and West Beach Rd., next to Dunn’s Corners Fire Station (location map of the Quonnie Grange at bottom of post)
When: Saturday or Sunday, July 9 or 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m (come either day)
What: If you are registered to vote in Charlestown, all we need is your signature on the candidates’ nomination papers. These candidates will be volunteering their time for the next two years or longer, please take a few minutes of your own time to help them get started.

We will have nomination papers for the following 11 terrific local candidates:

Town Council

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Julie Carroccia

Julie A. Carroccia – Julie graduated from URI with a degree in English, and studied Law at Boston College, but ultimately left to pursue a career in banking and finance where she rose to an executive position at Bank of America. In her last position with the Bank, Julie’s team was responsible for examining and monitoring credit risk for large corporate portfolios. She has an extensive management background with both very senior individuals (SVPs) as well as a large volume of staff (>100 in one role.) Upon retirement, she chose to make Charlestown her full time home and quickly got involved in protecting Charlestown’s natural and cultural character. She would like to bring that commitment to our town’s character along with her impressive management skills to a seat on the Town Council.


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Virginia Lee

Virginia Lee – Virginia has served on the Town Council since 2014 and is a nationally recognized coastal planner with a Masters of Science in Oceanography. Retired from the Coastal Resources Center at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, she is an expert on our salt ponds and the coastal effects of climate change. She brings to our town years of experience developing public policy for protecting the natural environment and community character. A resident of South County since the 1970s, she moved to Charlestown seven years ago where she has demonstrated her commitment to, and advocacy for, Charlestown’s natural and community resources.


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Denise Rhodes

Denise L. Rhodes – Denise, a 12 year resident of Charlestown and two year veteran of the Town Council, is retired from a career in the banking and finance industry, where she worked as a mortgage underwriter, loan review officer, and senior credit analyst. She brings an experienced voice to the table for the neighborhood adversely impacted by the intense quarry operation in Westerly on the Charlestown border, where she lives. During the last two years Denise has spent many days at the State House working with our state delegation and testifying on behalf of Charlestown’s environment and the health and safety of our citizens.


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Bonnie Van Slyke

Bonnita B. Van Slyke – Bonnie has lived full time in Charlestown for 10 years. Bonnie is the third generation of her family to live in Charlestown, and she and her husband live in the house that her father built in 1950. She works in book publishing as a copy editor and page layout artist. Bonnie was elected to the Town Council in 2014 where she serves as liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission. From 2004 to 2014 she served as a director of the Frosty Drew Memorial Fund that operates the Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory in Ninigret Park and was also its treasurer. She has a BA in economics from Wellesley College.


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Steve Williams

Steven J. Williams – Steve’s childhood years were spent in Charlestown while his father was in Naval Aviation stationed at Charlestown. Though Steve’s career took his family overseas to take up residence in Scandinavia, the Middle East, and Caribbean, he never lost touch with Charlestown and at retirement he chose to return here full time. Steve is a Vietnam Veteran, with a BS in Math and an MBA. His career as a Project Control Manager, responsible for developing budgets and controlling the costs of projects will have excellent application as a Town Councilor. Steve currently serves on the Charlestown Zoning Board where he has grown concerned about loss of local control and RIDEM decisions that threaten the environment and community character.


School Committee

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Steve Huzyk

Stephen M. Huzyk – Steve has lived in Charlestown since 1999. He has a BS in Business Management from Charter Oak State College and a Human Resource Certificate from Cornell University. He is Vice President of Sales at Quest Resource Management Group, a sustainability focused company that helps corporations meet their landfill diversion and recycling goals. Steve has represented Charlestown as a member of the Chariho School Committee since 2012. Steve looks forward to continuing to put in the hard work and long hours that are necessary to transform Chariho into the best public school system in Rhode Island.


Town Moderator

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Leo Mainelli

Leone D. Mainelli – Leo was elected Town Moderator in 2014 and has volunteered to serve another term. Leo earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from URI, and later an MBA from the University of Hartford. He worked for Pratt & Whitney as a Regional Manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He was active for 25 years in local government in South Windsor, CT where he lived before moving to Charlestown full-time in 2000. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Salt Ponds Coalition, and many other URI and Charlestown committees and organizations.


Planning Commission

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Dr. Lew Johnson

Lewis E. Johnson – Lew is a Veterinarian who recently retired from active practice after providing care to local animals at his Old Post Road office for 23 years. Dr. Johnson previously served on the Charlestown Planning Commission from 2004 to 2010 where he was an advocate for Charlestown’s natural and cultural character. Lew has degrees in Psychology and Veterinary Medicine from the Universities of Virginia and Perugia and has lived in Charlestown since 1991.


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Sherry Krupka

Sherry D. Krukpa – Sherry has already proven herself as a dedicated volunteer for Charlestown. Sherry was previously elected twice to the Planning Commission, and served from 2002 to 2006. She was appointed this January to fill an empty seat on the Planning Commission. She has also previously served as a member of the Charlestown Conservation Commission. Sherry has two Masters degrees, one in Adult Education and the other in Outdoor Recreation and those degrees have excellent application to the Comprehensive Plan topics the Planning Commission is now engaged in. Sherry has lived in Charlestown since 1993.


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Erin Russell

Erin P. Russell – Erin has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theater from Bates College and works as a Special Education Paraprofessional in the Stonington School District. Erin spent summers on Watchaug Pond when her children were young and decided to move to Charlestown year round in 2009. Erin believes that people like herself, who cherish our town, should step forward and try to make a difference and do what they can to protect and preserve it. Erin is taking action on that belief with a run for the Planning Commission.


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Frances Topping

Frances M. Topping – Frances is a Natural Science Illustrator, fine artist, educator and naturalist. She has both a Bachelor of Science in Geography with Botany and Zoology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She has served on the Charlestown Planning Commission for two years where she has demonstrated her unwavering work ethic, eloquent writing skills, and impressive knowledge of the local environment. Frances is a past member of the Charlestown Conservation Commission and volunteers for the RI Wild Plant Society, the RI Natural History Survey and other groups and has lived in Charlestown for 14 years.


Candidates will be at the Quonochontaug Grange on Saturday and Sunday (July 9 and 10) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m with signature papers for you to sign.


State Representative

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Blake Filippi

State Representative Blake Filippi, Independent candidate for re-election to District 36, which includes Charlestown, will attend on Saturday with his nomination papers. Jim Mageau did file papers to run against him, but he later withdrew. Representative Filippi is now running unopposed, so this is a chance to meet your present and future State Representative! You can read about Blake at his website.


Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Location map of the Quonnie Grange (5664 Post Rd, (Rt. 1) between East and West Beach Rd.) below: