Backers of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance would have us believe the CCA created all things bright and beautiful. The trees, the water, the birds and bunnies, the CCA made them all. And anyone who is not CCA must be a developer with a chainsaw at the ready and a truckload of asphalt idling in the driveway.
The truth is the CCA has won in Charlestown for the past decade through fear, hate and lies. They create phony villains such as last year’s CCA hoax that Amtrak planned to run a railbed through northern Charlestown. Amtrak signed a binding Record of Decision in 2018 saying they would NOT do that.
Or that the Narragansett Indian Tribe is so evil that Charlestown needs to be the only municipality in Rhode Island that pays a lawyer $25,000-plus to do nothing but keep them in check.
Or that the National Park Service was going to take back Ninigret Park if the town installed lights.
Or that families with children are parasites who make taxes rise on the shorefront properties of our absentee landowners, so we need exclusionary zoning to keep them out.
Or that adding more acreage in open space will somehow increase the tax base, even though 60% of Charlestown is already open space. They say that unless all vacant land is bought by the town, 4,000 to 7,000 houses will be built. So, the CCA says it’s a bargain for taxpayers pay at least twice and up to six times the assessed value of properties the CCA wants to add to the town’s collection.
Or that only the CCA can manage Charlestown’s money while claiming they had nothing to do with the two-year $3 million “oopsie” where somehow that amount got “misplaced,” disrupting this year’s budget process.
Their invented monsters under the bed are fake, created to scare voters into thinking only the CCA can defend Charlestown.
Over the past decade, the CCA has thrown a lot of stuff against the wall and enough has stuck to keep them in power.
But all regimes and empires one day crumble. Their downfall is hastened when they lose the trust of the people. I hope this may be the year when the seemingly invincible CCA’s time runs out
Will Collette, Charlestown
This article first appeared as a Letter To the Editor in The Westerly Sun on October 21.