The Charlestown Citizens Alliance Steering Committee rules the Charlestown Town Council — make no mistake about it.
Last month, to the delight of many, the Charlestown council gave its support (3-2) to keep the number of Parks and Recreation Commission members at 13 instead of reducing it to nine.
Monday night, we saw influence peddling at play. The Charlestown Citizens Alliance council rescinded its previous vote and called for a "new" vote as council member Denise Rhodes stated, "I was confused." Confused is an understatement.
As questions came from the public, the council remained silent. Deb Carney, former two-term Town Council president, pressed for answers on the new resolution but was answered in silence. She asked, "The resolution states, " Whereas, it has been brought to the attention of the Town Council of the Town of Charlestown that fewer members on the Parks and Recreation Commission would allow for a more efficient and workable membership to collaborate with the Parks and Recreation Director to provide the desired recreation programs and services to the community".......she continues, "So, who brought it to your attention?" Silence from the council.
Ms. Carney and others continued to ask relevant question such as; "Did you get an advisory opinion from the commission?" No answer. "Did you get an advisory opinion from anyone?" No answer. "Did you have an independent study done on this topic?" No answer. "Did you do any in-depth research at all on this topic?" No answer.
I guess they didn't have any notes from their "Steering Committee" on how to answer the tough questions.
Even former Charlestown Citizens Alliance Town Council Vice President George Tremblay asked them to hold off until further information had been gathered. Nice try George, but you're not a member of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance Steering Committee, or as I call it, "our shadow government."
Last month, council members Julie Carroccia, Steve Williams and Denise Rhodes voted to keep the commission membership at 13. This month, Mr. Williams was not present and Denise Rhodes was "confused," which left Ms. Carroccia, who was suffering from a terrible cold, to defend the commission's right to remain at 13.
When the council majority stopped looking like a deer caught in headlights and finally spoke, they voted 3-1 to reduce the number to nine.
Parks and Recreation Commission members, including their chair, Tim Quillen, resigned.