standing Letters

As our local elections near, elected Charlestown Citizens Alliance members of the Town Council, Planning Commission and others in town government should be proud of the civil, open, and well-run local government that has been achieved amid one of the most politically divisive times in our nation’s history and a global pandemic of tragic proportions.

The Charlestown Citizens Alliance has promoted our candidates by listing their qualifications and many achievements and their commitment to Charlestown’s low tax rate, beautiful environment, natural resource–based economy, and our children’s future through support of quality education.

By contrast, our opposition has based their campaign on attacking CCA with claims that are deceptive and completely false. We know little of what they are for, only what they are against. Even their name, “Charlestown Residents United,” is a misnomer, when their tactics serve to divide.

We have rarely mentioned Charlestown Residents United, but a recent postcard CRU mailed to local households was so full of false statements that we must respond with a list of truths.

Charlestown’s tax rate is already one of the very lowest in the state and we are committed to keeping taxes as low as possible.

It is CRU that has wanted to increase the size of the budget surplus. The CCA-supported members of the Town Council campaigned during the June 2020 budget vote to use the excess surplus to pay down some of the town’s Police Pension liability. CRU wanted to use the money to grow the surplus for an as-yet-unknown project. Happily the voters sided with CCA and not CRU, and the money was budgeted for the police pensions.

Open-space purchases have been based on natural resource protection and the land’s ability to provide public access to hiking, waterfront or other recreation. Locations of purchases are based on protecting groundwater quality or important wildlife habitats or corridors, the presence of rare or endangered species, or an opportunity to expand an already existing preserve that serves those same purposes.

The town’s funding partners in land purchases have been The Nature Conservancy or the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Neither of our partners will fund purchases that exceed market value. Landowners do occasionally offer land at inflated prices, but those projects are declined.

The people best qualified to serve Charlestown have been appointed to boards and commissions. Charlestown is fortunate to have highly qualified people apply.

For those who support continued civil, honest, and open discourse in local government, we strongly urge you to support the Charlestown Citizens Alliance candidates. These candidates will provide responsive government, quality schools, and needed services—not empty promises to fix problems that do not exist in Charlestown.

The CRU postcard only said two true things: that the election is Nov. 3, and that early voting begins Oct. 14. Please vote! There are many ways to vote: You can vote by mail; you can vote early at the Town Hall (Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.); and you can vote at your polling place on Nov. 3. Make a plan and make a difference!

Cliff Vanover

Charlestown

The writer is a member of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance Steering Committee.

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