During the November 2016 election, Charlestown had six candidates running for seats on the Town Council, where only five are offered. All of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance members took those seats, which left only one individual un-elected, Robert Malin.
This past January, our Town Council received notice that one of their council members was resigning. This left the Charlestown Citizens Alliance council with one of three choices: Fill the remaining seat with the only other person that ran for that office, leave the seat open until the next election or nominate someone else.
In June of 2008, member John O. Craig resigned from the Town Council, creating a vacancy that year. The Charlestown Citizens Alliance president, Dan Slattery insisted that that council bring forth the next highest vote getter, in the previous election, to fill the recently vacated seat. The minutes of the June 9, 2008, council meeting state, “Mr. Slattery read a press release that the Charlestown Citizens Alliance has put together, stating that they feel that the next highest vote getter should get the appointment, and that would be Charlene Dunn.”
Many of us, including myself, agreed with Mr. Slattery’s reasoning. That council disregarded the will of the voters and left the seat unoccupied. They were all replaced during the next election cycle.
At the Feb. 12 Town Council meeting, the council discussed a replacement for the newly vacated council seat. Nine individuals spoke in favor of allowing “the next highest vote getter” to be given that opportunity. Many spoke to the fact that Robert Malin had received 1,986 votes and should be appointed. Only one individual, who ran for office with the Charlestown Citizens Alliance, spoke in favor of nominating a past citizens alliance council member who had no interest in running in 2016. Guess what they did? They approved the past citizens alliance council member.....hypocrisy at its finest.
Not appointing Robert Malin was a mistake. The citizens alliance was given an opportunity to bring another voice to the table who had tremendous voter support. They could have shown the naysayers that they are as fair-minded, transparent and inclusive, as they claim to be. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain by appointing Malin, but in the end, they chose to disregard the will of the voters.
This citizens alliance preoccupation to hold every elected office in our town and to disenfranchise 1,986 voters is not representative of a democracy, i’'s representative of a dictatorship.