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Monday, February 11, 2013

UPDATED: Nemo forces Town Council postponement

Postponed until Tuesday (click hereStill scheduled for Monday (tonight)
By Will Collette

Given the potential problems the town faced from Winter Storm Nemo – including the possibility of major travel disruption extending beyond the storm itself – and the forecast of more bad weather on Monday, T It’s hard to predict whether this Council meeting will take place as scheduled if the rain scheduled for Monday turns the town into slush.

But, soldiering on, as a public service from Progressive Charlestown, here is the Council’s agenda placed in the actual order in which it will be heard, with my own snarky comments and annotation.

As Town Council goers know, the official printed agenda rarely bears much resemblance to how Council meetings actually go, since the Council members invariably juggle the order of business as the planning meeting. Plus, many items get consolidated into the “consent agenda” – non-controversial items that are voted on as a bloc without discussion or debate.

Without further ado, here’s your monthly preview:



TOWN OF CHARLESTOWN
AMENDED PUBLIC NOTICE
MONTHLY TOWN COUNCIL MEETING – February 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Charlestown Town Hall, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI
The regular monthly meeting of the Charlestown Town Council will be held on February 11, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Charlestown Town Hall, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI.  The proposed agenda is as follows:

1.      CALL TO ORDER, Moment of Silence, Pledge of Allegiance

2.      ROLL CALL

Motion to move item 15b, 8a, 18b, 18c, 7c, 8c, and 8b to be heard next on the agenda.

15.    ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS

b.   Commendation for Patrol Officer Scott Puckett

8.      NEW BUSINESS

a.   Presentation of the FY 2011-12 Audit by Cayer Caccia, LLP and Council discussion and potential action regarding the same

- NOTE: while the auditors are very careful about not offering opinions, it looks like a nice, clean audit. It doesn’t look like anybody stole any money and the town seems unlikely to crash and burn anytime soon.

18.    FISCAL MATTERS

b.   Resolution authorizing the issuance of not to exceed $200,000 general obligation bonds and notes of the Town of Charlestown to finance the acquisition of Edwards Lane properties for the purpose of constructing Affordable Housing units

c.   Discussion and potential action regarding the approval of a funding agreement for the use of Affordable Housing funds relative to Edwards Lane.

7.      UNFINISHED BUSINESS

c.   Discussion and potential action regarding support of the Chariho School District’s request for legislation relative to public funding of charter schools

- Note: miracle of miracles, it looks like the Council will support Chariho’s request even though the Council balked at doing so last month based on the “expert” testimony of Donna Chambers who argued that taxpayers should be required to pay to send kids to charter schools even if they are rated as inferior to Chariho.

8.      NEW BUSINESS

c.   Discussion and potential action on Chariho Funding Concept. Town Council Boss Tom Gentz (CCA) has a “plan.” It involves math and everything. Can’t wait to hear it.

d.   Discussion and potential action regarding the ratification of the Proclamation of Emergency/Disaster for blizzard conditions February 8, 2013

3.      PUBLIC COMMENT for items not on the Agenda

4.      COUNCIL COMMENTS

6.      ADMINISTRATOR, SOLICITOR, COMMISSION REPORTS

a.   Town Administrator

b.   Town Solicitor

7.      UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a.   Discussion and potential action regarding aquaculture permits in Quonochontaug Pond

– NOTE: CCA leaders want to kill these aquaculture permits, even though they say they approve of aquaculture and recognize that oyster farming helps clean up salt ponds – because the proposed operations are within their line of sight and will cause them some alleged inconvenience. The Council already voted to oppose the western permit area and, after hearing CCA Vice-President Leo Mainelli oppose the eastern permit area, the CCA Council members were ready to oppose that one too. But then the town’s Coastal Pond Management Commission weighed in and approved the project. Not that it matters to this Council, since the opinions of town commissions that don’t toe the CCA line are routinely ignored.

b.   Discussion and potential action regarding approval of a Super Storm Sandy cleanup plan with specific actions that must be taken, dates to accomplish these actions, and associated cost estimates for these actions

- NOTE: this is a continuation of the surreal discussion the Council held last month where they seriously considered trying to mobilize the town’s residents to go down to the beach and clean up the properties of absentee property owners as an Earth Day celebration. Apparently, they’ll still going to do a beach clean-up on Earth Day. Whether they will try to enlist chain gangs of permanent residents – rather than, as Councilor Slattery proposed – require the absentee landlords to clean up their own damned mess, remains to be seen.

d.   Discussion and potential action regarding Washington County Regional Planning Council 2013 Legislative Priorities. NOTE - It should come as no surprise that Charlestown’s priorities reflect that of the CCA to scrap the state’s affordable housing law.

8.      NEW BUSINESS

b.   Discussion and potential action regarding the Wastewater Management Commission’s proposed study and testing of nitrate levels

12.    CONSENT AGENDA

All items marked with “CA” are to be considered consent agenda All “CA” marked items will be approved in one bloc vote without discussion or debate.
Motion to accept approve and place on file the following as the consent agenda: 11a, 13a, 13b, 17a, 17b, 17c, 18a, 18d, 18e, 18f, and 18g

11.    LICENSES AND PERMITS

“CA” a.  Approval of events at Ninigret Park with a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Commission, subject to review of contracts by the Town Solicitor, receipt of all applicable paperwork and insurance and that all event details are satisfactorily met by the Parks and Recreation Director.

1.      Big Apple Circus (Charlestown Chamber of Commerce)
Park Reservation: June 12 - July 9, 2013
Event: June 22 – July 7, 2013
Camping: Yes
Insurance:  $5 million general liability
Fee: $9000
2.      Arc-En-Ciel Bike Race/Rick Newhouse Criterium
Park Reservation/Event Date: April 20, 2013 (7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Camping: None
Insurance: $1 million general liability
Fee: $100 paid prior to the event; $2 per rider paid after event
3.      Jonathan Lowenstein Bike Race (11th Annual Chris Hinds FUJI “Sunshine” Criterium)
Park Reservation/Event Date: March 31, 2013 (7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Camping: None
Insurance: $1 million general liability
Fee: $100 paid prior to the event; $2 per rider paid after event
4.      Charlestown Memorial Day Parade
Park Reservation/Event Date: May 26, 2013 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)
Camping: None
Insurance: $1 million general liability
Fee: Waived

13.    MINUTES AND REPORTS

“CA” a.  Town Council Minutes:

January 9; January 10 (10:00 Sandy Workshop and 7:00 Copar Workshop); January 14; January 23

“CA” b.  Reports:

Building Official – January 2013; Public Works Director – January 2013; Town Clerk – January 2013; Treasurer – December 2012

17.    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

“CA” a.  Reappointment of Carole Dolock, Augustus P. Greene, Jr. and Susan Jensen to the Juvenile Hearing Board, terms to expire February of 2016

“CA” b.  Reappointment of Cheryl Dowdell to the Friends of Ninigret Park Subcommittee, term to expire February of 2016

“CA” c.  Acceptance of the resignation of Andrew J. McQuaide from the Chariho Regional District School Committee with regret. NOTE – Andrew’s a good guy and did a good job for the town. He’s moving out, unfortunately. I wish him well.

18.    FISCAL MATTERS

“CA” a. Approval of the expenditure of $2,825 for Premier Labs of Dayville, CT to perform water testing for the first five residents that volunteered in the Copar Quarry area, to include: Susan Clayton of 56 Niantic Hwy, Ronald Zanella of 52 Riidam Way, Christina Holden Shea of 29 Peckham Hollow Road, Travis Garrepy of 29 Niantic Hwy and Enoch MacDonough of 515 Ross Hill Road, with funds to be take from line item 01-960-9625 (Council Contingency).

- NOTE: this small sum is a delayed response to a promise made by the Town Council on January 11 to the neighbors of the COPAR quarry. As Acting Town Administrator (and Treasurer) Pat Anderson pointed out at the last Council meeting, a Charter change pushed by the CRAC tied the town’s hands in spending even a small sum like this without going through an elaboration bidding process.

“CA” d.  Authorization for Little Medeiros Kinder Bulman & Whitney, P.C. to release to Daniel K. Kinder c/o Whelan & Siket, LLP all Town of Charlestown files in its possession. 

NOTE: Dan Kinder is one of Rhode Island’s most notorious union-busting lawyers. He was the architect of the outrageous action of North Kingstown against its own firefighters which drew an order from the court to cease and desist. It figures that a guy like Kinder would be a favorite of our Town Council.

“CA” e.  Resolution authorizing the issuance of not to exceed $1,190,000 general obligation bonds and notes of the Town of Charlestown to finance the construction, furnishing and equipping of permanent stick-built beach structures with showers, toilet facilities and septic systems at both Charlestown Town Beach and Sam Ferretti’s Blue Shutters Beach

“CA” f.  Request from the Tax Assessor for abatements in the amount of $4,765.39

“CA” g.  Approval of the request from the Weekapaug Foundation asking to be exempt from real estate taxation from and after December 28, 2012 in accordance with RIGL §44-3-3(25) for Plat 2 Lot 108

14.    ANNOUNCEMENTS

a.   Board and Commission vacancies

15.    ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS

a.   Discussion and potential approval of a Resolution to initiate coordination among town Planners in Washington County to prepare an advisory to the State Legislature for revision of the Low and Moderate Income Affordable Housing Act. - NOTE. This is another component part in the CCA’s jihad against affordable housing.

18.    FISCAL MATTERS

b.   Resolution authorizing the issuance of not to exceed $200,000 general obligation bonds and notes of the Town of Charlestown to finance the acquisition of Edwards Lane properties for the purpose of constructing Affordable Housing units

c.   Discussion and potential action regarding the approval of a funding agreement for the use of Affordable Housing funds relative to Edwards Lane.

20.    ADJOURNMENT