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At Monday night's Town Council meeting – which will be at Charlestown Elementary, NOT Town Hall – Deputy Dan Slattery plans his most audacious power play yet.
Buried in the agenda, and scheduled to be heard very late in the evening, are a set of resolutions by Slattery that would overturn the current way the town manages Ninigret Park.
Based on reading the documents now available on Clerkbase (links provided below), Deputy Dan proposes the following radical actions:
|Deputy Dan goes varmint hunting again|
- Nullify the Ninigret Park Master Plan approved by the town in 2008 after years of hard work.
- Sign two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with the Department of Interior's Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), Frosty Drew Observatory and the wealthy Arnolda neighborhood that would give them virtual control over the town's use of Ninigret Park.
- Abrogate the town Parks & Recreation Commission authority under the Town Charter by relegating it to one seat among many on his proposed Ninigret Stakeholders Commission that would make the real decisions about what happens in the park.
In my opinion, this marks an all-out effort by the Charlestown Citizens Alliance, through two of its three top elected town officials, to radically change Ninigret Park. Between the radical Dark Sky ordinance proposals that have come out of the CCA-controlled Planning Commission and these new attacks from Slattery, the handwriting is on the wall.
When the dust settles, and Deputy Dan gets his way, this will be the fate of Ninigret Park:
- It will be integrated with the National Wildlife Refuge
- It will be renamed Frosty Drew Park (that's Tom's prediction).
This is not the first time, nor is it likely to be the last, that Deputy Dan Slattery has lost control and gone off on a crusade. Like many of his previous episodes, Slattery skipped crucial steps. He claims to be concerned about proper notice and consultation, yet he launched this full frontal attack on the Parks and Recreation Commission without talking to the Parks and Recreation Commission.
Unless he has declared them an enemy of the town, Deputy Dan needs to explain why he breached his own sacred principle of consultation.
Slattery also displays his own tenuous grasp of the truth. In his motion proposing that the town cede control over Ninigret Park to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Slattery states that part of his motivation for this motion was the Parks & Recreation Commission's proposal to DEM for dark sky-friendly sports lighting. Slattery states that the proposal was submitted without the Town Council's approval.
Not true. On December 12, Slattery and all of his colleagues voted to approve the town's proposal to DEM – the one that he now condemns. The grant was not pre-approved by the Council (application deadline pressures), but was unanimously approved on December 12.
Read the documents. Read the background. Come to the Monday Town Council meeting. Make your own decisions. Personally, I think Deputy Dan Slattery and his CCA cohorts represent a serious danger to Charlestown. They are radical and authoritarian. They are running an agenda that only serves Charlestown's elite. Slattery in particular has no respect for the rules or the facts unless he can use (or twist) them to serve his personal interests and agenda.
We'll be providing you with more news and analysis of these issues and the important upcoming Town Council meeting right until show time.