Letter: The CRU slate cares about what’s important to you | Letters to the Editor

Charlestown voters have an important choice between the candidates of the transparent first city Charlestown Residents United and the hidden agenda Charlestown Citizens Alliance.

The CRU nominees will improve the city’s financial controls to avoid management failures like the recent $3 million CCA “accounting glitch” and excess property taxes paid by city dwellers who contributed to it. The majority CCA repeatedly tried to explain it away as “there’s nothing to see here” and rejected calls for an audit. Is it financially responsible?

City Council Speaker Deb Carney repeatedly requested the city’s financial records in her oversight role, but three CCA council members voted “no” and denied access. Is it transparent and accountable governance?

CRU candidates are local businessmen. They include business owners and real estate and restaurant professionals with an interest in Charlestown’s economy, who will change the stigma that Charlestown is a hostile place to do business.

Speaking of “corporate unfriendly,” can anyone forget the CCA “Food Truck Fiasco” and the embarrassment CCA brought to the city in March? Three CCA City Council members harassed a so-called food truck businessman out of court, robbed and claimed as their own food truck business plan at Ninigret Movie Nights, and set off negative statewide radio and television coverage of Charlestown’s undesirable environment. Is this honest and responsible leadership?

On conservation, let’s go back to the recent controversial debate on “conservation development”. CRU members, opposed by the CCA, supported the preservation of open spaces by adding the conservation development option to the existing cluster subdivision ordinance. This would support the conservation AND protection of the rights of many landowners who expressed serious concerns at the public meeting at the restraining order promoted by the CCA-dominated Planning Commission. Does the CCA, as its platform claims, “Engage the entire community in protecting our beautiful city”?

There are over 10,000 acres of conservation land and open space in the city, with nearly 50% tax-free Charlestown. CRU-approved applicants want to create and fund a city-owned open space plan and a plan for future purchases. CRU-endorsed applicants support responsible stewardship of what we own and want to develop a plan for future purchases to protect and preserve Charlestown’s natural environment. Why does the CCA want to spend your dollars indiscriminately to buy more land without a maintenance budget plan or funding?

Finally, CRU is supporting more community events in Ninigret. CCA prefers to limit use to create a buffer to nearby affluent neighborhoods. Is it the city first, or the rich neighbor first?

Please elect a new majority to City Council who cares about what matters to you. Vote for Deb Carney, Grace Klinger, Lorna Persson, Rippy Serra and Stephen Stokes for city council. Vote for residents Patricia Stamps and Gabrielle Godino for the planning commission and Charlie Beck for the town moderator.

Joe Geary


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