In her letter titled, “Council meetings should be convenient for all” (The Westerly Sun, Sept. 6), Ms. Jodi Frank rails about the town administrtator setting the time for the agenda meetings in Charlestown.
Nothing is further from the truth! All official meetings in Charlestown are still set by a majority on the town council. A special meeting can be called by two members signing and sending a letter to the town clerk. If the town council majority doesn’t respect its president or her position and knowingly schedules meetings she can’t attend on time that decision is on them, not the town administrator.
Ms. Frank is the past chair of the Charlestown Citizens United political action committee. During the last two election cycles it ran candidates for the town council, of which she was one. During each election cycle it failed to win a majority of seats on the town council, and it’s nonsense like this that was the cause.
Instead of blaming the town administrator for something he had no control over, the CCU and the town’s taxpaxpayers should be asking questions about how the promoter of the Rhythm and Roots festival, which took place at Ninigret Park over this Labor Day weekend, took advantage of the town council by convincing it that because of COVID-19 he was going to lose money so the council should reduce the rent. It believed him, so it reduced the cost of the “user fee” from close to $16,000 to $6,000. It is clear that a majority of the tickets sold for this event were sold over the internet prior to its opening and it’s a good possibility that the promoter knew how many tickets had been sold prior to making his pitch for leniency to the town.
In my opinion, the town council has legal standing to recover the more than $9,000, but if it does not, the town, the promoter and his company will be facing a citizens class-action lawsuit.
James M. Mageau