This letter is in response to a recent Letter to the Editor about my “spreading misinformation.” I’m not sure what meeting Ms. Chambers was at, but clearly we were not at the same one. What is clear is she is part of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA), and I am not. I will not go along with the CCA’s plan to spend $3,095,000 of taxpayer money to construct a “Community Center” in the Northwest Corner of Ninigret Park. I cannot stop Ms. Chambers from spreading misinformation, but I can correct her untruths.
Ms. Chambers stated, “I challenged each of the councilors to speak the truth about a proposed community center and to correct any misinformation immediately.” She further stated that I “offered information several times and was corrected by my fellow councilors.”
I have no idea what she is talking about. Below is a list of what I stated. All of which is factual, none of which was “corrected”.
1. There is NO plan for the $3,095,000;
2. The proposed Community Center is in the budget as “Transfer to Construction Fund.” If approved the Town Council can use this money for any “Construction”;
3. Past construction projects in Charlestown were voted on (as separate warrant items) once specific plans and operating costs were known. There is NO plan for this;
4. It is not possible to include all the items the CCA is telling people they can get with this center for $3,095,000;
5. The CCA stated on their website this new center will be located in the northwest corner of the park. This area is designated in the Master plan for the Concert Festival area. NOT a community center. This location was NEVER discussed by the Council.
At the May meeting, Ms. Chambers ironically was yelling out from the audience that she wanted Ninigret Park “dark and quiet.”
Perhaps if she spent less time shouting out, and more time listening, she would have heard the CCA majority on the Town Council ignoring a petition with over 300 signatures that asked the Council to 1. conduct a survey to find out what people want for recreation, and 2. not to include the $3,095,000 in the budget because there is no plan.
It is clear from Ms. Chambers letter that she isn’t happy that I am not going along with the CCA’s $3,095,000 unknown construction project. I will speak against this budget because I don’t believe the CCA, a political action committee, should be making these decisions for the Town. Charlestown residents should have a say in how our money is spent. The only way to have that say is to vote down this budget on June 3rd and force the Town Council to listen to us.
The writer is vice president of the Charlestown Town Council.