Russolino, Flynn nominated to Coastal Resources Management Council

PROVIDENCE – Joseph Russolino and Kevin Flynn have been selected to serve on the undermanned Coastal Resources Management Council, Gov. Daniel J. McKee announced Thursday.

“Protecting, preserving and developing the 420 plus miles of Rhode Island coastline is a top priority of my administration to ensure generations to come benefit from all coastal resources in a healthy ecosystem,” said McKee in a statement. “I am confident that the expertise and experience of both Joseph Russolini and Kevin Flynn will help further the mission and work the council has already done.”

Both candidates now await Senate approval.

Russolino is the managing partner at Providence CPA firm Russolino and Young Ltd. He also serves as a member of the Warwick Harbor Management Commission. Previously, Russolino served on the East Greenwich planning and zoning boards for more than 20 years. He received his bachelor’s degree and MBA in business administration from Bryant University.

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Flynn serves as vice chairman of the Warwick Planning Board. He is a member of Common Cause Rhode Island and Access Point R.I. Flynn retired in 2015 as the associate director of R.I. Division of Planning. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s of community planning from the University of Rhode Island.

The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council has faced scrutiny in recent years for decisions that some say were determined with politics rather than science in mind.

Among them, an alleged “back room deal” struck in 2021 that allowed a Block Island marina to expand despite protest from environmental groups and ongoing litigation, the Rhode Island Current reported. The agreement was rejected by the state Supreme Court in 2022. More recently, in December the council – against its staff recommendation – opted to let an offshore wind developer move ahead with its undersea cable burial plan without getting legislative approval.

That criticism, mixed with resignations and unfilled positions, has whittled the 10-member group down to seven recently, making it harder to get the six-person quorum needed to hold a meeting, CRMC spokesperson Laura Dwyer previously told PBN.

Nine of 10 council members are unpaid volunteers appointed by the governor, with the 10th spot filled by a representative from the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.


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