My name is Sherry Roberts and I am a native Rhode Islander, born and raised in this beautiful Ocean State. After studying at URI and with hard work, I bought a home in West Greenwich nearly 13 years ago where I also raised my own children as a single mother who became well acquainted with jumping hurdles and overcoming the setbacks that are common to Rhode Islanders.
During that time, I acquired the motivational incentive to run for office upon realizing the critical need of change enactment for Rhode Island’s stifling economy. Simply put, at this juncture in time, we can no longer withstand the declining economic conditions by continuing down the same path, as we watch our residents and businesses pick-up and leave State. With skyrocketing taxes and ever increasing expenses, our children’s dream of a college education also appears increasingly unattainable. Therefore, we must act now to initiate change which further enables small businesses to prosper and promote job growth to strengthen our economy. Now that I am elected, I plan to oppose legislation that increases taxes or newly imposed fees while advocating for Fiscal Accountability, Transparency and restoring Honesty back to Rhode Island Government.
In addition, I have also identified several areas where legislative action has been neglected and should be considered for introduction, modification and/or review concerning the well-being and safety of our elderly, our children, and animals who are unable to help themselves; just to name a few.
Other interesting facts about me are that while I share Conservative Republican ideologies, I break the rules for what a stereotyped Republican is supposed to be. As such, I’m not motivated by party or special interests; I’m motivated by my conscience and the voice of the people. Further, now that I am elected, I will strive for excellence and stand by my principles.
Be assured, I am working hard on your behalf serving as your State Representative.
1) Tolls: Tolls are expected to be erected anywhere from 1.5 to 2 years from now. Meanwhile, there is another election approaching first. It is hopeful that with all the new candidates that are now coming forward as a result of this Toll debacle, a successful movement could enable us to gain enough seats to reverse this decision. However it is not an easy task, and will require much more effort by the citizens of this state than previously, to help get our new candidates elected who would favor reversing the tolls. There are good government groups out there who I believe are involved with this endeavor. I will list that information when I find out exactly who they are, so feel free to check back.
2) HPV Vaccine Mandate: I am opposed to this mandate and believe that the decision should be left to the parents to decide whether or not they wish to have their children vaccinated against a disease not communicably transmitted through the air. The Republican House caucus members in collaboration with our Senate caucus are currently discussing bill options for introduction during the 2016 legislative session.
3) RhodeMap: We have yet to see what is going to happen this session in regards to RhodeMap. I will be giving updates as I get them here. Below is some remaining general information from the 2015 session that you may find useful:
As most people are already aware, many Democrat and Republican legislators from the state house agree that this plan from Washington D.C. is most concerning of all issues, as it puts our personal property rights at risk since federal mandates may override the local zoning authority of municipalities. While one piece of our proposed legislation to mitigate the adverse impact that RhodeMap RI (currently referenced as RI Rising) has on local sovereignty has been passed in the House, we have yet to pass it in the Senate. If we do not continue our efforts to derail RhodeMap RI, it will become an avenue in which RI property owners may have to comply with the federal HUD’s demands imposed on them; those rules and regulations can change at any time and HUD can become as aggressive as it wishes. Please allow me to briefly explain how this works:
A) Cities and towns have their own zoning ordinances that by RI statute, must be consistent with each cities’ and towns’ local comprehensive plan. Those plans must be consistent with the State Guide Plan.
B) The State Planning Council approved RhodeMap RI’s status as an official element of the State Guide Plan during the council’s board meeting in December, 2014.
C) Therefore, all local comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances must be consistent with the goals and intent of RhodeMap RI, specifically as those goals and intent address housing and land use development that impact local zoning ordinances.
D) The development of RhodeMap RI was funded by HUD’s “Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program”. There were strings attached to that grant money ($1.9 million) which obligated RI’s cities and towns to HUD’s expectations for affordable housing and land use. The issue is that those expectations exceed RI’s own statutes regarding affordable housing and land use across our state. If RI’s cities and towns fail to comply with HUD’s standards, millions of dollars in fines can result as we have seen demonstrated in Westchester County, NY.
Do be encouraged however, as the Republican caucus including myself, introduced and testified on legislation in the House Finance Committee that provided the “opt out” choice and various other provisions to mitigate this element of the State Guide Plan. While last year in 2015 the proposed legislation passed the House, it did not pass the Senate. This means the legislation will need to be re-introduced for passage. There is something you can do to help however, I would strongly suggest that you contact Speaker Mattiello as well as Senate President Paiva Weed to tell them that you oppose RhodeMap RI and that you support legislation that protects the sovereignty of local cities’ and towns’ authority over their own zoning ordinances.