The following is an open letter to the members of the Westerly Town Council:
At the September meeting of the Westerly Planning Board, I was elected by a unanimous vote of my colleagues to the chairmanship of that board. I believe I was chosen to serve in that position because I have demonstrated during my term on the Westerly Town Council and now on the planning board that I am experienced, even handed, thoughtful and respectful when dealing with the board, town staff and, most important, with the citizens of Westerly. I believe it to be my responsibility as chairman to assemble a board that works together efficiently and in the best interest of Westerly.
My first task was to fill the vacancy left by David Panciera’s retirement from the board. My suggestion to the Town Council was to appoint Salvatore Zito. I have known Mr. Zito for nearly 40 years and I nominated him based precisely on criteria mentioned in your Oct. 10 editorial.
Mr. Zito is eminently qualified for a seat on the board for all the reasons of temperament cited in your editorial and because of his long career in all phases of real estate development both as a developer and a regulator.
In his own words “Salvatore Zito has been active in the development, management and operation of all types of real estate — residential, commercial, public facilities, single and multi-family homeownership and rental activities — since 1975.
He has acted in the capacity of owner, manager, developer, consultant for a wide variety of projects from the initial concept and predesign development stages, through local approvals and funding stages, construction, completion and occupancy stages.
This experience has by its nature mandated extensive interaction and effective ongoing working relationships with all levels of local, state and federal regulatory authorities, including local planning, zoning and building/code enforcement agencies in order to ensure any project meets local requirements and ultimate compliance.”
It is important to note that Mr. Zito’s focus during his long successful career was on moderate and affordable housing. I repeat, it was his job to ensure all applications and permits involving federal, state and, most important, local regulations were followed.
Mr. Zito is a registered independent voter. He is very qualified. He deserves the position I requested for him.