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After 16 Years, McFarland, Longest Serving Woman Elected in Cranston, Takes Pause

A stalwart in local politics, Paula McFarland, won't be seeking office for the first time in 16 years but is mulling a mayoral run in 2016.

McFarland, at left, gives a hug to a supporter during inauguration ceremonies in 2012. (File Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
McFarland, at left, gives a hug to a supporter during inauguration ceremonies in 2012. (File Photo: Mark Schieldrop)
Paula McFarland will be doing something she hasn't done in 16 years come November: not being an elected official.

“It has been a pleasure to serve my local government all these years, giving that I have been able to serve with the most respected and dedication employees in government along with several mayors, superintendents and board members that continue to be dedicated both in their careers and commitment to service on behalf of our children and our community," McFarland, first elected in 1998, said.

McFarland served on both the City Council and School Committee over the years and said she will continue to serve in other ways, including as a member of the Democratic Ward 3 Committee.

And she is mulling a run for mayor of Cranston in 2016, noting that if she explores the idea "it will take an enormous amount of time and energy."

McFarland has served as the vice chairwomen of the School Committee from 2013, and served as vice president of the City Council from 2005 -2009.  In addition, she served in a number of governmental roles on the Cranston City Council since 1998.

During her tenure on the City Council and School Committee she devoted her work towards working on programs that improved the Cranston Community along with the creation of community policing, citizens’ police academy, accreditation of the Cranston Senior Center and creation of the minimum housing standards and establishment of that division.  On the School Committee, she assisted with development of a comprehensive District Strategic Plan; passing of responsible budgets, served as a board member on the NEL/CPS Charter School since being elected in 2009; worked with the school district and the police department to implement safety measures for our schools; assisted with the development of the re-accreditation process with RIDE for the charter school; and adopted many new curricula programs both at the charter school and for our public elementary and secondary schools.

“It has been the most incredible journey being elected to serve your local community, as both a taxpayer and community advocate, but my work on behalf of Cranston is not done, as my love for this community gives me much to be grateful for as I continue to serve where I can best formulate change for working families, our business community and the taxpayers in the future”, McFarland said.


Judy A June 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Thank you for your years of service! Good luck!
PMarandola June 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Paula you have served the City of Cranston well. Good luck in your future endeavors! Take some time for YOU! Thanks

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