Town Hall is Back!
Remarks by Town Council President Greg Mancini on the re-opening of North Kingstown Town Hall, 19 September2022.
I do not know about you, but I am so glad to finally drive by this building and see it lighted. No
more darkness. Thank God.
To be back here, in a building that was constructed in 1888, a building where our community had
gone to participate in our democracy up almost 7 years ago (2,407 days) is an accomplishment
that this town, this town council, our town manager, and our staff should be very proud of.
And the reason is, more than the bricks and mortar itself, this town hall symbolizes democracy,
self rule, and self determination in our community.
It is not lost on this councilor that we are having this ribbon cutting on the day of the Queen of
England’s funeral, a day in which the England monarch will be ruled by King Charles III. and
that is because Rhode Island initially received our right to vote through the royal charter
approved by King Charles II in July of 1663.
And since that right has been in our DNA.
A right that fueled the Gaspee Affair of 1772,
A right that resulted in RI being the first colony to declare independence in 1776,
And ratify our constitution in 1790, and
A right that prompted the Dorr Rebellion of 1842.
All we have to do is read about what is happening in the Ukraine, our own country, and even in
our own town to realize how fragile this right is.
In North Kingstown our ancestors have walked through those doors since 1888 to debate and
argue over policies and treasure, and ultimately self-determine our community’s fate. Arguments that still continue to this day.
But when the debate is done and the votes are cast we have, as Abraham Lincoln famously said at Gettysburg, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,”
It is my hope that every time we walk into this chamber, every time we debate, and every time
we make a decision, regardless of the outcome, we realize how lucky we are to actually
determine our fate without fear of reprisal.
It is also my hope that this restoration will allow our community to come here for generations enthusiastically and constructively participate in our democracy. Personally, I cant wait
to be a small part of this great privilege of our town’s history. Thank you.