As a resident of Charlestown, I will cast my vote for candidates who have impressive records of accomplishment. Town Council candidates Sheila Andrew, Cody Clarkin, Susan Cooper, Bonnie Van Slyke, and David Wilkinson, Planning Commission candidates Gordon Foer, Walter “Peter” Mahony, Ruth Platner and Frances Topping, Town Moderator candidate Ronald Areglado and School Committee candidate Gail “Linda” McAllister are the most accomplished candidates. Some of their achievements are as follows.
• Keeping our taxes among the lowest in the state.
• Maintaining our strong financial rating.
• Keeping our town running smoothly during the pandemic.
• Stopping the federal railroad plan to bisect our town from west to east with two new high-speed tracks running through homes, farms, tribal land, wetlands, historic villages, and the Carter Preserve and other protected open space.
• Safeguarding our ground water and wetland habitats by blocking Invenergy from withdrawing water from our sole-source aquifer and transporting it by tanker truck caravan to cool the turbines of a power plant in northern Rhode Island.
• Making Charlestown greener by sponsoring rooftop solar instead of clearing our forests.
• Expanding recreational opportunities for all town residents through the many offerings of the Parks and Recreation Department throughout town.
• Acquiring open space for hiking trails; access to the Pawcatuck River; protection of drinking water, ponds, and other wetlands; and preservation of wildlife habitat and our star-filled skies, all of which support our rural lifestyle and our economy.
• Improving the management of the salt ponds.
• Acquiring millions of dollars in state and federal grants.
• Safeguarding access to potable water.
• Supporting the Chariho School District.
• Reducing vulnerability to natural hazards and lowering insurance costs.
• Creating affordable housing.
• Promoting and budgeting the much-needed addition to the Charlestown Animal Shelter.
• Supporting Charlestown’s small businesses by reducing the annual fee for registering for business licenses and by revising the taxes to be paid on tangible personal business property.
• Protecting Charlestown’s local businesses by denying the application of a Dollar General store that wanted to build in Cross’ Mills and would have put local stores out of business.
• Creating a new draft Comprehensive Plan to guide the town for the next 20 years.
• Continuing to protect the Scenic Highway status of Route 1.
• Protecting the north shore of Watchaug Pond from overuse.
• Positioning Charlestown to receive state and federal funds for bike path construction.
• Saving money, reducing CO2 emissions, and protecting our view of the stars when lighting streets.
• Supporting and promoting the successful “Wild and Scenic” designation for the Pawcatuck River.
• Working to empower RIDEM to monitor and regulate fugitive dust.
• Engaging the entire community in protecting our beautiful town.
You can read more detail on each of these and more accomplishments at https://charlestowncitizens.org/2020/05/26/accomplishments-2020/.