As the saying goes, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its boots."
Sadly, bold-faced lies told by the anonymous Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) “Steering Committee” are traveling around Charlestown like wildfire. This is a time-worn tactic that is simply getting too old. Years ago, the CCA circulated a ridiculous rumor on Facebook and its blog that CRU candidates wanted to build a 14,000-seat stadium at Ninigret Park. That was not true then, it remains fiction to this day.
They claimed that the CRU Council forced the prior Town Administrator to resign, when the fact is he had already lined up his next job before the election was even concluded and the CRU members sworn in.
They claim the CRU Town Council is working “to weaken Charlestown’s development regulations and remove local environmental protections” when the Council decided to revisit the controversial “conservation design” ordinance that was passed last summer in order to consider bringing back, as an additional option, the long-standing cluster subdivision ordinance that had served the town well for over 30 years.
They claim we have created new rules and no longer allow the public to speak at meetings. Not true. In fact, at a Town Council meeting on Jan. 23, 2023, a retired Rhode Island assistant attorney general stated he had attended many council meetings over the years, and he had not seen a Town Council be so generous to the public as our Town Council. Anyone who claims the Council has created a new policy regarding the public's right to speak is not being truthful. The Council Rules regarding speaking at public meetings have been the same for more than 20 years. The complainer, a former Town Council member, has popped up to speak more times than a broken Jack-in-the Box. The last time she appeared, she stated that her intent was “to argue” and rudely talked over the Council members.
Some CCA supporters claim we are building strip malls. Not true. Perhaps they could enlighten us as to where these strip malls are going?
Some CCA supporters claim we are putting in solar farms. Not true. Again, perhaps they could enlighten us as to where these solar farms are going?
Some CCA supporters have spread rumors that I want to look at personnel folders of town staff. Again, not true.
These are just a few examples. There are so many outright lies it’s hard to correct them all.
It seems the CCA’s plan is to get those lies traveling halfway around the world before the truth can catch up. I hope people will view prior recordings if they have a question about the truth. Better yet please come to a meeting or watch the meetings in real time and hear the discussion for yourselves. Or call one of your CRU representatives, Deb Carney, Stephen Stokes, Rippy Serra, and Grace Klinger. We are always happy to discuss town issues with our constituents (phone numbers and emails available here).
by Charlestown Town Council President Deborah Carney.