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The real ‘monkey in the room’ in Charlestown

In a recently published letter by Roy Jacobsen entitled, “Charlestown should be worried about water” (May 27), Mr. Jacobsen questions when the new Town Council will address the need for property that will serve as a source for fresh water. As a supporter of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance, one would wonder why he didn’t approach the CCA Town Council regarding this matter during their 12-year reign of power?

He also fails to acknowledge that the CCA attempted to deny a property owner’s right to sell their family’s land to the state of Rhode Island’s Water Resources Board back in 2015. This purchase eliminated the development of eight residential and two commercial buildings while providing 20 acres of open space, a wildlife habitat and a protected a water source for future generations.

Keep in mind that the CCA Town Council majority and Planning Commission Chairwoman Ruth Platner worked tirelessly to undermine this private sale. Not only were attacks levied against me and my family, but also against former Water Resources Board General Manager Ken Burke. But now, thanks to the Water Resources Board, this property is protected in Charlestown in spite of the efforts of the CCA.

In 2016, there was a meeting at the Quonnie Grange which was attended by a number of residents from Quonochontaug, where Mr. Jacobsen lives.

One of the speakers at this meeting was Lorraine Joubert, who at the time represented the Department of Natural Resources at URI. After answering a number of concerned citizens’ questions, she finally summed it up by telling the Quonnie crowd, “You are all drinking recycled waste water.” Or, to put it bluntly, you’re drinking your neighbors’ sewage.

So “yes,” there is a water problem in Charlestown.

In his letter, Mr. Jacobsen asks, “What will it take?” Well, as long as he and others continue to support CCA candidates like Platner, you will never have potable water in Quonnie ... or anywhere else in Charlestown.

He also asks, “Would it not be prudent for the Town Council to reserve land for future fresh water access?” He continues, “This is the ‘monkey in the room’ that is being ignored.” As I see it, the only “monkey in the room” is the CCA, and fortunately, they were ignored during the last election.

Frank Glista, Charlestown

This article first appeared as a Letter To the Editor in The Westerly Sun on June 5.

Note: Former Town Council President James Mageau also wrote a letter in response to Mr. Jacobsen. It can be read here.

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