Dan Beardsley, one of the most candid, colorful and hard-working of all Rhode Island Statehouse lobbyists, is retiring as executive director of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, which represents the interests of municipalities across the state.
Beardsley, a Vietnam War veteran who has worked for the league for 42 years, is one of the most recognizable of the army of lobbyists who prowl the corridors and hearing rooms at the capitol. A witty fellow, Beardsley has always been a stellar advocate for the interests of municipal governments. Yet, he always took his job, but never himself, too seriously.
``You can’t take yourself too seriously at the Statehouse, or you end up like of some of these people (lawmakers), a legend in your own mind,’’ quipped Beardsley in a brief interview.
Beardsley, 70, is a graduate of Roger Williams University who holds a masters degree from the University of Rhode Island. He was a U.S. Army infantryman in Vietnam.
He says he isn’t planning to totally retire and move to Florida or anything. He is thinking about enrolling in law school and already has had several offers to do some part-time lobbying at the Statehouse.
``For 42 years, Dan Beardsley has been the face of the cities and towns at the Statehouse. He has juggled the priorities and interests of 39 very different and diverse communities for a long time. I am sorry to see him leave this role but wish him all the best for this retirement,’’ said Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian.
The league has appointed a search committee to find a replacement for Beardsley. The committee comprises Bristol Town Administrator Antonio Teixeira, South Kingstown Town Manager Steve Alfred, Barrington Town Manager Peter DeAngelis, Little Compton Town Council President Robert Mushen and Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien. Avedisian, who served as league president from 2005 to 2007, will chair the search panel.
``Dan has been a tireless and effective advocate for Rhode Island municipalities and I wish him all the best following his retirement,’’ said Cranston Mayor Alan Fung. West Warwick Town Manager Fred Presley said that Beardsley, ``will be sorely missed and hard to replace.’’