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Saturday, February 23, 2013

They’re going to keep holding Town Council meetings until they get them right

Second half of February session on Monday, Feb. 25
The Real Agenda

By Will Collette

Nimble Town Council Boss Tom Gentz allowed a lot of discussion on February 11 on items that have been officially postponed to February 25. But just because an item has already been pretty much talked to death doesn’t stop our stalwart Town Council from doing it all over again.

As a regular Progressive Charlestown public service, I have prepared a version of the Council agenda that takes into account changes to the order of business that this Council always does. Maybe they change around items just to see if anyone notices that the printed agenda they distribute bears little resemblance to what they actually do. But for those of you who actually like to see the actual order of business (and my snarky commentary), here it is.


TOWN OF CHARLESTOWN
AMENDED PUBLIC NOTICE
SECOND MONTHLY TOWN COUNCIL MEETING – February 25, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Charlestown Town Hall, 4540 South County Trail, Charlestown, RI
1.      CALL TO ORDER, Moment of Silence, Pledge of Allegiance


2.      ROLL CALL
Motion to move items 18c, 7b, and 8a to be heard next on the agenda

18.    FISCAL MATTERS
b.   Discussion and potential action regarding the approval of a funding agreement for the use of Affordable Housing funds relative to Edwards Lane and authorization for the Town Council President to sign

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

8.      NEW BUSINESS
a.   Discussion and potential action regarding the formation of a Chariho Act Review Committee for the purpose of addressing the following issues as recommended by a Town of Richmond resolution dated February 5, 2013: a nine member Chariho Regional District School Committee (three members per Town); giving the School Committee the authority to establish elementary school districts without regard to town boundaries, in order to reduce transportation costs; eliminating the requirement that a quorum of qualified voters be present for the public hearing on the proposed budget; and transferring from the towns to the District the responsibility for imposing and collecting taxes to support education
Agenda items 7.a. and 8.b. are the two items that were supposed to have been bumped form the February 11 agenda. Despite that action by the Council, Council boss Tom Gentz allowed more than an hour of discussion anyway. We’ll see if the anti-Chariho, pro-charter school people have anything new to say.


3.      PUBLIC COMMENT for items not on the Agenda


4.      COUNCIL COMMENTS  


5.      PERSONS WISHING TO BE HEARD –
None


6.      ADMINISTRATOR, SOLICITOR, COMMISSION REPORTS

a.   Town Administrator

b.   Town Solicitor


7.      UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a.   Discussion and potential action regarding the manner in which appointments are made to the Town’s various Boards and Commissions NOTE: maybe they want to add criteria, such as swearing a loyalty oath to the CCA or swearing that they do not believe in the mission of the board or commission they want to join[1].


8.      NEW BUSINESS

b.   Discussion and potential action of Providence Mayor Angel Tavares’ request to make Rhode Island gun laws more sensible, to improve access to behavioral health services and to join a statewide gun buyback effort. NOTE: it will be interesting to see how many gun nuts turn up for this item.


c.   Discussion and potential action regarding the “Affordable H.O.M.E.S.” report
from the Affordable Housing Commission


d.   Discussion and potential action regarding the celebration of the 275th anniversary of Charlestown’s incorporation (August 22, 1738) COMMENT: one way the CCA could celebrate this is to host their own bon fire to burn Charlestown’s Home Rule Charter, since their elected town officials hate to follow it.


e.   Discussion and potential action regarding a letter to the RI Department of Transportation asking that they move up the implementation date for Traffic Control Devices outside Fire Stations on Route 2 and Route 1A in Charlestown


9.      PUBLIC HEARINGS –
None


10.    COUNCIL SITTING AS BEVERAGE LICENSING BOARD –
None


11.    LICENSES AND PERMITS –
None


12.    CONSENT AGENDA
All items marked with “CA” are to be considered consent agenda (and will be voted on as a bloc without discussion or debate)
Motion to accept approve and place on file the following as the consent agenda: 13a, 13b, and 18a


13.    MINUTES AND REPORTS

“CA” a.  Town Council Minutes:
January 29 (10:00 Executive, 5:30 Executive and 7:00 Special); February 6; February 7; February 11 (Executive and Regular)

“CA” b. Department Reports: Police Chief – January 2013

18.    FISCAL MATTERS

in the amount of $464,168.83 with approval for the expenditure of the balance of the budget approved by Referendum ($650,000) to be available for built-in cost adjustments, unforeseen conditions on site, line striping, and other contingencies after construction is completed, as budgeted from account number 70.000.5100 and authorization for the Town Administrator to execute contract documents


14.    ANNOUNCEMENTS –
None


15.    ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS

a.   Discussion and potential approval of a Master Lever Resolution COMMENT: this is a pet issue of the CCA’s so this item is sure to pass.


Planning Commission wants Charlestown to buy the
street lights and then take them down
b.   Discussion and potential action regarding a resolution in support of Street Lighting as requested by the Washington County Regional Planning Council COMMENT: Tom Gentz discussed this idea – of Charlestown buying National Grid’s street lights to save money in the long term – a year ago in the context of the Planning Commission’s crusade for dark skies. Planning Commissar and her plucky planners LOVED this idea – several said the town should buy the street lights and then either turn them off permanently or remove them.


16.    COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS –
None


17.    APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS –
None


19.    LEGAL MATTERS –
None


20.    ADJOURNMENT




[1] CCA appointees to the Affordable Housing Commission, for example, usually are picked because they hate affordable housing. Ron Areglado was recently named to the Chariho School Board even though he was an advocate for breaking up the Chariho district.