Misinformation is swirling about regulation of Christmas lights in Charlestown. To clarify, I am writing as an individual citizen, even though I am a member of the Charlestown Town Council, I do not speak for the Town Council.
Misinformation has been circulated on social media about Mr. Lamb’s Christmas lights, which he sets up next to Route 91, a two-lane state highway. Charlestown has never regulated Christmas lights, and there is no proposal to regulate them now, including those put up by David Lamb on Route 91.
Rather, Charlestown is discussing our regulations of food trucks because the Town is required to do so by the State of Rhode Island. All 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island — including Charlestown — are obligated to amend local ordinances to comply with State law regarding food trucks by Jan. 1, 2020. For significant numbers of people at food truck events, the state defines these as “temporary mass gatherings.”
On Monday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., at the Charlestown Town Hall, the Town Council will continue the public hearing on food truck regulations. Again, this is about food trucks, not Christmas lights.
Traffic safety is a concern of the Charlestown Police Department. Excited onlookers stop along the road, and some even cross the road, to enjoy Mr. Lamb’s decorations. There has been a traffic accident in the past. The Charlestown Police add a patrol during the Christmas season to help keep people safe. The town pays the cost of these patrols. Mr. Lamb is not billed for the cost.
Bonnie Van Slyke
The writer is a member of the Charlestown Town Council.