I have recently received calls regarding misinformation that the Charlestown Citizens Alliance is spreading while campaigning door to door. I have also read their Letters to the Editor.
Time to set the record straight.
1) CRU endorsed candidates are NOT planning to construct a huge concert venue for up to 12,000 people. That's an outrageous lie the CCA is telling to scare people. There is a Master Plan for Ninigret Park that was approved in 2008. This plan calls for a Concert/ Festival Center, but NOT one for 8,000-12,000 people. A reasonable sized Concert / Festival area would be a nice addition to our Park, not a bad thing as they would like you to believe. Our residents and their families could enjoy concerts, festivals and other family friendly productions. These reasonable sized events would draw people to Town to support our local businesses.
CRU candidates ARE supporting your vote and input on this issue. CRU candidates are supporting the Town Wide Survey on Town wide issues. We are adamant that the survey be completed and that ALL residents have a voice. We all live here together. We all deserve a say in how our Town and our parks are developed.
2) CRU endorsed candidates are NOT against open space nor are we pro-over-development. This is another lie.
All CRU candidates are advocates for balanced growth in Town and preserving our open spaces. We are against open space purchases that benefit a select few. Open space purchases should be judged on the location, the town’s needs and whether or not the asking price is a reasonable one. Purchases should not depend on whether or not one’s political supporters own land that abuts these properties, or if their supporters will personally benefit financially if the Town buys the property.
3) CRU was NOT behind the 2019 proposal to construct a $3.1 million "community/ recreation center" that had no plan, that was the CCA's proposal.
The truth is, it was CRU that hit social media, the streets and local businesses informing residents about the CCA’s attempt to squander $3.1 million of OUR money. It was the voters that said "no" to their plan. The CCA boasts about the low tax rate, if they had their way with this project, we would NOT have had a tax rate decrease in 2019 or in 2020.
4) CRU did NOT push for the Town to buy a piece of property on Charlestown Beach that was overpriced by more than $1 million. That was the CCA members of the Town Council.
Councilor Bonnie Van Slyke (CCA) advocated for this purchase. Council President, Virginia Lee (CCA) placed the item on the Council agenda and argued the propriety of a $49,900.00 Non-Refundable deposit. It was CRU that spread the word to Charlestown's residents about the meeting, about the purchase, about the non-refundable deposit. It was not the CCA that led the effort against this, it was CRU that encouraged people to write to the Council and express their opinions on this purchase.
Information on these issues as well as the CRU endorsed candidates are available on www.CharlestownResidentsUnited.org. Official Town meeting videos can be viewed at http://www.charlestownri.org. CRU candidates videos are also available on YouTube. Search under "Charlestown Residents United."
I respectfully ask for your vote for all CRU candidates. Town Council; Jodi Frank, Scott Keeley, Grace Klinger, Stephen Stokes and me, Deb Carney. Planning Commission; Patricia Stamps and Howard Stephens. Town Moderator; Charlie Beck. We will work for the entire Town. We will not spread misinformation about our opponents.
Charlestown Town Council Vice-President
Candidate for re-election
This article was published as a letter to the editor in The Westerly Sun and Chariho Times on October 2, 2020.