In response to Bonnie Van Slyke's recent letter implying that I was somehow on board with the proposed $2.5 million purchase of beach front property, with a non-refundable deposit, I present the following facts:
1. I was not in favor of this purchase as it was well over the market value assessment and required a non-refundable deposit to be paid by the town.
2. I will, however, always support putting items on the Council Meeting Agendas so as to maintain the highest level of public scrutiny. Our residents and taxpayers have the undeniable right to know what their town Councilors are attempting to do. I have never once denied a fellow Councilor their right to discuss an item, nor would I. Unfortunately my fellow Councilors (all of whom were endorsed by the Charlestown Citizens Alliance) do not share my belief and on multiple occasions have voted to remove my items from agendas.
3. It was Ms. Van Slyke who requested the resurrection of negotiations for this property and Councilor Lee who requested it as an agenda item. This despite the fact that the owner repeatedly refused to budge on the asking price of $2.5 million, more than $1 million over appraised value.
4. I support fiscal responsibility. This proposal was not fiscally responsible. I will continue to ensure that the Town's money is spent wisely and that everyone's voices will be heard.
Charlestown Town Council Vice-President
A version of this letter was published in The Westerly Sun on August 12, 2020.