It’s unfortunate that the Town of Charlestown’s voters who voted to elect Tom Gentz to the town council were not at the town council meeting held on Monday, June 9. His behavior during that embarrassing fiasco certainly should have convinced them that they made a huge mistake. That is because part of the meeting had all of the characteristics of an inquisition and lynching presided over by Council President Tom Gentz, whose arrogant obnoxiousness was disgraceful and an embarrassment to the Town of Charlestown.
During a presentation by Mr. Kenneth J. Burke, P.E. MBA, General Manager/Treasurer of the Rhode Island Water Resources Board, it quickly became apparent that Gentz did not intend to engage in civil dialog with Mr. Burke regarding a potential public potable water supply source located south of Old Post Road, (Route 1) on Genwood Drive.
For more then an hour Mr. Burke was subjected to a personal attack and cross examination by Gentz and Dan Slattery which resembled an inquisition. It was very apparent that Gentz’s nose was out of joint because state officials allegedly did not speak with him prior to entering into a purchase and sales agreement with the owners of the land.
It is not yet clear if the state stumbled when it allegedly failed to notify the town about its intentions to purchase the property but Gentz’s reaction was an embarrassing display of ignorance.
Instead of simply expressing his disappointment over the process allegedly used by the state and then asking Mr. Burke if there is time for him to come to a workshop meeting with the town council to discuss the proposal, Gentz exacerbated the problem by engaging in a diabolical personal attack on Mr. Burke and belaboring the issue for more then an hour.
It was finally decided that the state, the seller of the property and the town would try to make arrangements to meet at a workshop session sometime within the next two weeks.
Notwithstanding that Tom Gentz owes Mr. Burke an apology and it will be interesting to see if he is man enough to extend it to him before the workshop meeting is convened.
James M. Mageau