RICHMOND — Running for a second term on the Town Council, Mark Trimmer said he hoped to continue to bring his dedication and commitment to the town.
“I answer phone calls when people call me. I go take a look at things when people ask me to take a look at things, and I’m involved,” he said. “I take it seriously. It’s a part-time gig, but I’m engaged full-time.”
The 58-year-old radiology service engineer attended East Greenwich High School, the Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Johnson and Wales University.
Trimmer’s political experience thus far consists of a single term on the Town Council, serving as vice president. He is also a member of the Republican Town Committee.
A deacon at Carolina Free Baptist Church, and a history buff, Trimmer is also a trustee for the Varnum Armory and Varnum House Museum in East Greenwich.
“I am involved in history education, especially Revolutionary War history,” he said. “I do talks in schools, talks for various civic organizations.”
Trimmer’s other priority is assisting Richmond’s seniors.
“I don’t place as much emphasis on other things, because they’re all taken care of. All of a sudden, Richmond forgets about their over-60 population,” he said.
Trimmer describes himself as a unifying force on the Town Council.
“I get everybody to work together as a group of five,” he said. “I feel that I made a huge effort to get that to happen, because I didn’t see it happening in the previous council…. My feeling is, I’m learning and becoming useful. The first year, I was just learning and I spoke from ignorance. I still do, but with far less ignorance than I did two years ago.”
Despite frequent complaints by Richmond officials about the Chariho schools budget, Trimmer is the only council member to have attended last year’s budget workshops.
“There’s a lot of misinformation that goes around, and if you expose yourself to the correct information, you can ignore the misinformation and make better decisions,” he said. “Having gone to those meetings, I was singlehandedly responsible for reinstating the field trips for the young kids. They had budgeted them out, and I spoke with Ryan Callahan and I reasoned with him and then he put forward a motion to reinstate the field trips.” Callahan is vice chairman of the committee.
Of the issues currently facing the town, Trimmer said the proposed senior and community center and the coming police contract negotiations were high on the list. The Chariho schools budget is also a perennial concern, as is the proliferation of solar installations in the town.
“The influx of solar fields in our town and other adjacent towns — I think we’ve reached saturation level and I don’t want to see any more,” he said. “What irritates me the most is that the energy from all those solar fields is going up to urban areas that already get all of our money. Their ‘Rhode Map Rhode Island’ means stripping money from the towns that are responsible and giving it to the cities that are not. Maybe someday, I’ll be in a higher position where I can affect that.”