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Friday, October 26, 2012

CCA reveals location of secret clubhouse - it's TOWN HALL!

Where are the meetings advertised? When did the last one occur? When is the next one? Do they meet the requirements of the state Open Meetings Act?
Did the CCA write its manifesto on
town hall - in invisible ink?
By Will Collette

I don’t normally respond to the rantings and rambles of Mike Chambers, “The Voice of the CCA,” because most of his stuff is ridiculous on its face. My colleague Linda Felaco does devote time and energy to fact-checking the craziest of Chambers’ stuff. To try to cover all the ridiculous Chambers’ rants is just not worth it.

But in a recent Chamberpot, Chambers made a remarkable claim that could have serious legal repercussions.

As Chambers got wound up singing the praises of the CCA, he made this remarkable claim:

“And they provide an open forum for discussion of ideas, even if those ideas are in conflict with CCA policy and they do it in a civil manner with respect for the opinions of others. These forums are commonly held at regular intervals in the town hall as proposed by the CCA officers.”


What “open forums”? What “regular intervals”? When are these events held? How are they advertised? Are they are on Clerkbase? Does the Town Council sanction them? Do they meet the requirements of the state Open Meetings Act?

Or is Chambers confusing these regular, open, civil events with the once-a-year “Citizen Forums” that CCA Council Vice-President Dan Slattery holds, largely to provide an opportunity for current CCA President Virginia Wooten to complain about some half-real, half-imaginary problem like last year’s “phantom properties”?

Or are these CCA meetings that are held at Town Hall, theoretically “open” but never advertised?

One reason I rarely respond to Chambers is that I have a very hard time figuring out which parts of his columns he simply makes up and which ones are real events that have been scrambled beyond recognition in Chambers’ retelling.

The only things I can say for certain about the Chamberpots is that (a) they are not sourced or documented, either by link or reference and (b) they are officially sanctioned by the CCA, because otherwise they would not be allowed on the official CCA website. 

CCA webmaster Ruth Platner controls the content on the site, presumably with the concurrence of the CCA Steering Committee, so each and every Chamberpot had to have Ruth’s blessing before it was posted. That’s what a “webmaster” does.

For months, the CCA – often through Mike’s Chamberpots – has been attacking members of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee for what I write on Progressive Charlestown, as if my committee colleagues could control what I write. 

But on the other hand, the CCA’s own house organ, their own official website, has been publishing anonymous screeds for six years and more recently, these bizarre Chamberpots.

But that’s a side issue – a lively one, but a side issue nonetheless. What I want to know is what is up with these CCA public meetings at Town Hall that are described by Chambers on the CCA website.

Until this mention by Chambers, the last public CCA meeting you’ll find described on the CCA website is their final “annual” meeting in 2008, before they tore themselves up in their civil war.