By Will Collette
The two hottest topics on the July 9 Town Council agenda are whether this Council will fork over your tax dollars in the much-covered Y-Gate scandal and whether the Council will put an end to the phony Battle of Ninigret Park by giving Fish & Wildlife Service Charlie Vandemoer the keys to Ninigret Park as he has so long desired. There are separate articles on those two subjects. Click here for Y-Gate and click here for Ninigret Park.
But let’s look at some of the sleepers on the agenda and see which ones might provide some interesting action.
Let the fireworks begin!
The other is Kyle G. Donovan, a property owner at the center of a controversy over beach access from Charlestown Beach Road that could end up in court.
Looks like another job for Ruth Platner
Next comes item 8A, a " Discussion and potential action regarding a Historic District Committee." At the last Council meeting, the CCA-dominated Council gave Planning Commissar an early Christmas gift in the form of Ordinance #349.
Like most of her "gifts," Platner picked this one out for herself - Ordinance #349 gave her and her plucky planners unprecedented, consolidated power over town businesses and many town homeowners.
This new item is the next step to try to figure out how to circumvent state law and give Platner and her Planners the responsibilities and powers of a Historic District Committee which would then allow her to dictate what types of drapes people along Route 1A can hang in their windows. There are no accompanying documents to this agenda item, so we'll have to wait to find out what Platner has in mind.
There is a long tradition of parking on Town Dock Road and local commercial fishermen testified before the Council that banning parking would drive them out of business.
If parking is truly a problem on that road, the town could fix the problem by using their easement rights to widen the road.
From what I've heard, the real problem on Town Dock Road comes from drivers who pull out of their driveways without looking, and who speed both on land and on the water.
But instead, Boss Gentz decided that giving one of the neighbors in the dispute everything they wanted would be an incentive for the parties to sit down an work something out. I must have missed that brilliant tactic when I studied Negotiations.
This ordinance sets a terrible precedent of Council intervention in a personal feud and is an egregious abuse of power by Boss Gentz – I’m sure he’s quite proud of himself for having launched “a good conversation” by pouring gasoline on a neighborhood feud.
The final search for a search committee
Thus it seems like a given that they will appoint Leo Mainelli of the CCA, Richard Sartor, David Bailey, Dr. Larry Dunn, Christopher Sheehan and Richard Hosp.
Six applicants look like they are totally out of the money because they either received NO votes or just one vote: Dr. Dolph Santiello, Vaughn P. Ballard, Sean White, Janice Carlson, Anne M. Irons, and Steven Santos. Steven Santos' wife Joann Santos was disqualified because she is employed as Charlestown Tax Collector.
That leaves six applicants in the middle, each having gotten 3 of the 5 Councilors’ votes. From this group of six, the Council is expected to pick three. They include recently declared CCA Town Council candidate Ron Areglado, Susan Ogle, Peter Arnold, General Stanton Inn owner Janice Falcone, Salt Pond Coalition president Arthur R. Ganz and Stephen Hoff,
They will probably choose the remaining three members by lot, although perhaps they might find some energy to fight over the list. This Town Council seems to always find the energy for yet another pointless fight.
Town Beach Concessionaire – will he be the zapper or the zappee?
This was a huge bone of contention last year in the battles between then Town Administrator Bill DiLibero and then Town Concessionaire, Deborah Dellolio, who is also a business associate and housemate of Councilor Lisa DiBello.
Ms. Dellolio lost her decade-long monopoly at town beaches when the town, largely based on the numerous disputes with Ms. Dellolio decided not to extend her contract and instead put the concession contract out to bid.
We won't know until Monday night if the Councilors have enough energy left when they reach this last agenda item to re-hash those issues.