NORTH SMITHFIELD – School Committee member Paul Jones has announced that he will run for the position of town administrator in North Smithfield, saying he hopes to focus on issues including land preservation, strategic business development and building a safety net for seniors.
A member of the committee since his appointment by his fellow board members in December of 2016, Jones is the owner of Providence-based The Care Concierge of New England, a free service for seniors to help them find the right living option. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Suffolk University and a master’s in emergency management from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
He is the first candidate to step forward and publicly announce his run for the town’s top office. Current administrator Gary Ezovski has said he will not seek a third term.
“I run because I love this town and its unique, community-focused character,” Jones told NRI NOW.
Jones, a 33-year-old who has lived in town since 2014, noted that as a member of the committee he has focused on “enriching the lives of our students and giving our teachers the tools they need to excel.”
He said if elected administrator, he will continue to focus on improving schools, as well as on “bringing small and innovative businesses to the town in places already zoned for business.”
He said he also plans to collaborate with state-level agencies and representatives to bring better services to the town’s growing elder population.
Jones said he also hopes to work on “respecting the gifts of land and history we have within our borders, by pushing to preserve as much green space as possible and revitalizing the space we have set aside for recreation.”
“This includes working towards the creation of a Halliwell Community Center at the site of the old Halliwell Elementary School,” Jones said. “It is my vision that the HCC will encompass resource and recreation centers for town residents of all ages.”
The Town Council is considering raising the salary for the elected administrator position from $75,000 to $90,000. Discussion of the issue is scheduled to take place at a virtual meeting of the board this week.
Jone has served on several School Committee subcommittee assignments, include budget and contract negotiations, and has served on the North Smithfield Library Board of Trustees.
The Oaklawn Road resident is married to Brittney Jones and has one daughter.
“I’m looking forward to a lively campaign season,” he said.
NRI NOW is offering all local candidates the opportunity to discuss their background and platform. Those interest should send biographic information to firstname.lastname@example.org.