Bonnie Van Slyke, longtime CCA spokesperson, recently wrote a letter to the editor in The Sun outlining two visions for Charlestown.
Her vision for Charlestown seems to have it be one big, dark, quiet place.
In her distorted reality, she accuses her opponents (CRU candidates) of another vision, including out-of-control rapid home-building, large big-box stores, fast-food joints, chain restaurants, Ninigret Park turning into a huge venue for frequent concerts of 12,000 people, massive traffic and deafening noise, all summer.
Fortunately, this second vision of chaos is not at all true and is ridiculous.
She would love to have you believe that there are massive underground plans to destroy Charlestown. The candidates supported by Charlestown Residents United have absolutely no plan to construct the Dunk at Ninigret Park. No one has booked Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga or Aerosmith to perform.
She and her friends are once again focusing everyone’s attention on a fictitious plan for Ninigret Park that she concocted. They are trying to scare people in order to get re-elected. She is fear-mongering and leaves out the following important facts:
1. The CCA majority Town Council in 2012-14 voted and demanded that we on the Parks and Recreation Commission prepare an update to the 2008 Ninigret Park Master Plan, which included a festival/concert area requested by residents in the Plan survey.
2. The CCA-dominated Town Council participated in these discussions.
3. When the CCA Town Council-funded updated plan was presented in 2014, CRU had not even been formed.
4. Ms. Van Slyke and many CCA supporters live near Ninigret Park and have publicly stated over the years that they do not want any outdoor development on the town-owned 55 acres and want it to remain dark and quiet in that neighborhood’s backyard.
Ninigret Park is for all to enjoy and is a space for people to gather for activities, appropriate festivals and well-managed events. It belongs to residents who live all over town. Ms. Van Slyke paints a false picture of it becoming a place of huge events that would “allow in out-of-town profiteers to turn large profits” and you must vote for her so she can keep the park quiet.
Please don’t be fooled by her “visions.”
Tell her and her friends that you want a voice in the park’s future and the future of the entire town.
Please vote for the following candidates for Town Council: Deb Carney, Jodi Frank, Scott Keeley, Grace Klinger, and Stephen Stokes; for the Planning Commission: Patricia Stamps and Howard Stephens; for town moderator: Charlie Beck.
Tim Quillen, Charlestown
Cheryl P. Dowdell, Charlestown
Quillen is the chairman of Charlestown Residents United and a former chairman of the Charlestown Parks and Recreation Commission and Dowdell is a former vice chairwoman of the Parks and Recreation Commission.
This article was published as a letter to the editor in The Westerly Sun on October 6, 2020.