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Monday, September 12, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: Council majority backs off from censorship policy

On advice of Town Solicitor, Gentz and Slattery won't block Democratic spokesperson
By Will Collette

This morning, Charlestown Democratic Town Committee Chair Cathy Collette received a phone call from town hall.

The message was that, after consulting with the Town Solicitor, the Council would not block Tim Quillen from speaking on behalf of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) at tonight's Town Council meeting.

As reported earlier, the Town Council voted by 3-1 on September 7 to deny the request of the CDTC to have Tim Quillen testify tonight on the Committee's behalf.

Such a decision to block a group from having a spokesperson testify is unprecedented (even Jim Mageau couldn't get away with something that radical), and is unsupported by the Town Council's own rules of procedure, the Town Charter, the RI General Laws or, for that matter, the state and US Constitution. But, hey, this is Charlestown and we're famous for doing crazy, unprecedented things with no basis in law.

Since Tim's statement for the CDTC is on Charlestown's radical, unprecedented anti-wind energy proposed ordinance, it make sense that its two main Council proponents - Dan Slattery and Tom Gentz - would try a radical, unprecedented stunt to block opposing views from being heard.

At this time, I don't know what specific official action the Town Council will take to reverse or erase its September 7 vote. A phone call from Town Hall does not un-ring that bell.