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Sunday, October 28, 2012

“Those who make anonymous postings are cowards”

Anonymous blogs, tax revenue plans, and objectivity
By Joe Dolock. 

A version of this letter was published in the Westerly Sun on October 26, 2012. Reprinted with permission of the author.
My name is Joseph S. Dolock and I am running for the Planning Board here in Charlestown.
Over the past two weeks there have been two letters published by your paper regarding anonymous postings to different blogs in Charlestown.
First, I would like to give my opinion regarding anonymous postings.
I think those who make anonymous postings are cowards. By being anonymous, they can cheat, pass out half-truths, misinformation and even disinformation. They can try to ruin a person and his or her families’ reputation in the community. But there is no free lunch for cowards. You will never know when, where, or who will expose you.

Cowardly and anonymous cyber-attacks are going on all over this country. A few weeks ago a 15 year old girl committed suicide because “anonymous” people were writing things about her and she could not take the hurt and pain. The question I have is what gives these people the right to induce pain and hurt on someone? Why don’t they face the person they are attacking? Because they are cowards.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with my running for office. Right now Charlestown has two “factions” and they have been warring for the past two and a half years. The governing faction was the first to allow anonymous posting to their blog. They said it gives the citizens of Charlestown the freedom to speak their minds, and the mudslinging began, and continues. This needs to stop. You are not helping the town. For you who do sign your name, please make sure you have the facts, and all the facts, before you write something.
There was a group of people called Shakers. They believed that they should not have children. The way the group grew was through new members and adoption of young children. The law changed and groups like the Shakers could no longer adopt. As of 2011 there were only five Shakers left from a high water mark of over 7,000 members. The reason I bring up the Shakers is they did not have a plan to continue their group.
Charlestown is a little like the Shakers. We don’t have a plan to grow either. Have we been helpful to bring business into Charlestown? No. The Planning Commission has thwarted that effort.
Ninety percent of the town’s income comes from property tax. What happens if another 1938 hurricane hits Charlestown? The property tax income will go down, so the town will have to raise the taxes on those of us still living here. Not a very good plan.
The next area that has to be looked at is affordable housing. My children grew up here, but they cannot raise a family here. Not because the taxes are too high; we do not have housing for them. There is no affordable housing for seniors. We have identified growth centers but nothing has been done.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an affordable complex along with some shops? That’s not going to happen under Ms. Platner and Mr. Gentz. They think that the state will agree with them and say that Charlestown does not have to abide by the state mandated minimum housing rules. Right now Charlestown is the second lowest in affordable housing. Not a very good plan.
When elected to the Planning Commission I will have an open mind and listen to what my neighbors have to say. As an Independent I have not asked for money. The only allegiance I have is to the citizens of Charlestown and Charlestown itself. No one will dictate the way I should think or the way I should vote. Yes, it is hard to run for elected office with no money, signs, placards or mailings. However when you elect me you know you will have a free and open mind for Charlestown. We must move forward or like the Shakers, Charlestown will dwindle to “it was a nice place.” Please vote on Nov. 6. It is your right and what we fight for.