Frank Picozzi, former contractor known for elaborate Christmas lights, sworn in as Mayor of Warwick

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) – On the steps of Warwick City Hall on Tuesday, a new mayor was sworn in.

Mayor Frank Picozzi took the Oath of Office alongside his wife, Kim, and their family.

“I never dreamed that I’d be here, and now that I am it’s one of the best days of my life,” Mayor Picozzi said after the inauguration.

Picozzi, a former vinyl siding contractor who is best known for his elaborate Christmas light display, decided to run for office after the pandemic hit Rhode Island.

“I decided one day, about six and a half months ago, to run for Mayor because I didn’t like the direction the city was heading in,” Mayor Picozzi said. “I didn’t like the job my predecessor was doing. I didn’t like the response to COVID, people were left largely on their own.”

The independent beat incumbent Democrat Joseph Solomon in the mayoral race, something Picozzi wasn’t sure he could do since his opponent had so much support.

“I wasn’t a politician. All of the unions backed my opponent, he had the democratic party behind him, all the money, but, you know, I had the residents and that meant a lot to me. I’m here because of them. They put their faith in me and I’m gonna do the right thing, I’m gonna do the job as hard as I can. We’re gonna make things better.”

The biggest issues on his docket as mayor include school buildings and the conditions of city facilities.

“The ability of our city to provide quality service has diminished over the last few years and we have to start working on that,” Mayor Picozzi said. “One building has a leaky roof, they have wastepaper baskets out. I mean, that’s not what Warwick does, that’s not what Warwick should be. We have to show pride in this city and we’re gonna start working on it from day one.”

He said the biggest complaint he’s hearing from residents is high water bills. He said he’ll look into it. He’s also interested in tearing down the Annex building that used to house city hall. He said it was damaged by water years ago and cannot be fixed.

“I have to address that, I want to get rid of the building… it’s things that were put off for a long time.”

Mayor Picozzi has announced several new appointments including Chief of Police, Director of the Department of Public Works, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Director of the Planning Department.

“I had a message for the people and they took it to heart. They put a lot of faith in me, it just gives me the drive to succeed, and I will.”

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island, Warwick