What is Steve Stycos about? Independent analysis, common sense energy and conservation efforts, and increased clarity on what we are spending money on in Cranston and whether we are getting our money’s worth. We desperately need Steve’s skills on the Cranston city council:
When news broke that Councilman Terence Livingston wouldn’t be seeking re-election in Ward 1, whispers began over who would throw their hat into the ring. But perhaps no candidate caused more of a stir than longtime School Committee member Steve Stycos.
No one was as surprised as Stycos himself.
“I didn’t expect to run,” he said of his 11th hour decision. But after a series of land use discussions (including decreased lot sizes in western Cranston and the Warwick Avenue Stop & Shop) that troubled the Edgewood resident, he decided the empty seat was reason enough. “I was sitting there saying, ‘I have the opportunity to try and make sure these things don’t happen.’”
It was 10 years ago when Stycos first broke onto the School Committee, after a previously unsuccessful run. And since then, he has carved out a reputation as an outspoken, albeit unobtrusive, advocate. Always soft-spoken in demeanor, he has subjected his colleagues to extensive questioning on matters ranging from curriculum to contracts.
Voters can expect the same on the Council.
“I’m not interested in going along because a majority wants to do something,” he said.
If that means coming up against opposition from entrenched incumbents, Stycos isn’t scared. As a freshman committee member, his opinion was often overlooked.
“I felt for a number of years no one was listening. The attitude was, ‘he’s off the wall,’” Stycos recalled.
In his early years in public service, Stycos’ colleagues killed several of his pet projects. During negotiations with the teachers’ union before the most recent contract, Stycos voted to table the contract because it had not been costed out.
He did not receive a second to the motion.
When it came the City Council’s turn, however, they passed an ordinance to ensure that never happened again.
Stycos thinks those kind of protections are common sense, as is making the budget accessible to taxpayers, which was another priority for him.
“I felt that the budgets in general were inflated and you couldn’t understand them. I think there’s still a problem with understanding them,” he said.