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Friday, May 20, 2011

Charlestown Citizens Alliance: Class War by proxy

Could this be the message of the next CCA proxy group?
It's been quite a while since the CCA has taken a public position on a town issue. In a way, that makes sense, since the CCA became Charlestown's shadow government when it completed its total take-over of the Planning Commission and holds a majority on the Town Council, so long as Lisa DiBello votes with them.

Why take a public position when you run the government? To further avoid the need to take a position that might bite them in the future, the CCA aligns with opposition groups that spring up like mold on your deck furniture whenever anyone proposes to do something new and different in town.

So Ill Wind RI is the point group in opposition to wind turbines and the Sonquipaug Association plays that role in blocking a conservation development to replace the derelict YMCA camp on Watchaug Pond. These groups, and the CCA, echo each other's negative positions on such proposals.

But as yet, we haven't seen a CCA proxy group emerge to oppose the proposed beach sanitation facilities we should all vote to support when it's on the budget ballot June 6th. It's surprising, since the CCA e-bleats have been loaded with some of the most over-the-top negative comments you can imagine to oppose providing basic sanitary facilities to beachgoers.

CCA could play up hatred of outsiders

So, to fill the void, I offer these suggestions to the CCA and its sundry allies: give your proxy group a snappy name, like CRABS (Charlestown Residents Against Beach Sanitation) and play to your instincts. The CCA e-bleat comments generally favored providing no toilet facilities because that will only encourage non-residents to come to the beach. Some CCA correspondents noted that toilet facilities weren't necessary because they lived within walking distance of the beach. How nice for them!

CRABS could also focus on anti-tourist, anti-NYer themes, since those always resonate. Unless, of course, you're one of the many working people in Charlestown who count on those tourists so they make their living in our town's three-month economy.

The other group of people with a stake in the outcome of the June 6th budget votes are other Charlestown residents, the ones who don't live within walking distance of the beach, The ones who have defied the edicts of Charlestown's Family Planning Commissar Ruth Platner and have kids. The walk back to their homes so their kids can use a toilet other than the water is pretty daunting.  But their issues barely register on the CCA's radar.

If the CCA and its followers want to take a really bold approach in combating the dreaded prospect of building new toilet facilities - and want to stress their back-to-nature approach to most issues, they could campaign to designate our two town beaches as nude beaches. Ever since Moonstone Beach lost that distinction, the South County coast has been needing a replacement. And no need for toilets!

Author: Will Collette