In his June 15 letter to The Sun, Charlestown Citizens Alliance President Leo Mainelli is mad at people who “politicize drinking water,” since that’s his job and that of the CCA.
He attacks Frank Glista for reminding Charlestown voters of the CCA’s epic fight to block the state Water Resource Board from buying his family’s land to protect potable drinking water. CCA council leaders Tom Gentz and Dan Slattery were so crude in their attacks on that plan that they were eventually forced to apologize.
Leo doesn’t remember it that way.
Instead, he lionizes that same Tom Gentz for setting up some committee that, according to Leo’s own re-telling, turned out to be an exercise in futility.
He says they couldn’t get the money; well-drilling was too expensive; piping water crosstown was impractical and they couldn’t strike a favorable deal with South Kingstown or Westerly.
Then he complains the state had the money to buy the Glista family land, but the town didn’t have the money to do the same. But please, let’s not politicize.
In the end, according to Mainelli, the town settled for enforcing the state law and town ordinance banning cesspools and substandard wastewater treatment systems. A good thing, but nothing to do with Gentz or the CCA since both the state law and town ordinance pre-dated Gentz and the CCA.
But yeah, let’s not politicize.
Will Collette Charlestown
This article first appeared as a Letter To the Editor in The Westerly Sun on June 22, 2023.