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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Town Council preview

Monthly drama set to be staged to ratify decisions already made
By Will Collette

The Charlestown Town Council meets again on Monday night. Not that it matters for all that much. Given that the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party) holds every seat, as well as every seat on the Planning Commission and all but one on the Zoning Board of Review (plus their seats on miscellaneous and sundry town commissions), the Council meeting simply makes public that which has already been decided.

The real seat of power is the CCA Steering Committee which consists of Town Council President Tom Gentz, Planning Commissar Ruth Platner, and husband and lead CCA Party player on Zoning Cliff Vanover, other town big-wigs plus three out-of-state residents (fitting, because 60% of the CCA Party’s funding comes from out of state). 

They meet in private at undisclosed locations at secret dates and times and there, they make Charlestown’s decisions. However, they may have accidentally disclosed the date of their most recent streering committee meeting - see screen shot, above, from the CCA Party website.

But the show must go on. At the Monday meeting, the Council will hear and rubber-stamp whatever the Ad Hoc bicycle committee, run by CCA co-founder Faith LaBossiere.

They will look at transportation priorities that consist of where the next road improvement projects will take place (e.g. finishing the repaving of Route 1). While that’s fine, Charlestown is still one of the few Rhode Island communities completely without public transportation.

They will discuss a new town ordinance that will tell you exactly where and how you must display your address numbers at the front of your property. E.g. make sure the numbers are right side up, no Roman numerals, no neon, etc.

They will discuss two items relating to quarries – control of blasting and general regulation – where they plan to send stalwart “independent” Republican-Libertarian state Rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi back to the General Assembly to ask the legislature for approval to do that which is already within the town’s power. But since it allows the CCA Party leaders to claim they are doing something without actually doing anything, that’s a win in the making for the CCA Party. After all, the appearance of activity is far more important than actual achievement.

Then they will bloc vote approval of an array of items listed under the “consent agenda.” The Consent Agenda are generally items deemed non-controversial and not worth debating, so they are voted on without discussion. They include permits for gun shops, Charlestown’s only growth industry, reports, events, small purchases, etc.

Frankly, the entire agenda is really a “Consent Agenda.”

Here is the official agenda as published by the town with links to supporting documents.



Charlestown Town Council
Regular Meeting
12/14/2015 7:00 PM
Council Chambers
Town Hall   4540 South County Trail   Charlestown, RI 02813

CALL TO ORDER, Moment of Silence, Pledge of Allegiance
ROLL CALL
Roll Call
PUBLIC COMMENT for items not on the Agenda
COUNCIL COMMENTS
ADMINISTRATOR and COMMISSION REPORTS
A. Town Administrator
B. Commission Reports
1. Bicycle Pathway Ad Hoc Committee
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
A. Board and Commission Vacancies
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
PUBLIC HEARING
A. Public Hearing and Potential Action Regarding the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) FFY 2017-2025 and Prioritization of Projects
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Motion to open the Public Hearing
NEW BUSINESS
A. Discussion and Potential Action Regarding the Authorization of the Director of Parks and Recreation to Approve Year to Year Events with Groups Where Fees Are Waived Historically, If All Criteria Are Met and the Group is in Good Standing Relative to Use of the Facility During Past Uses
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
B. Discussion and Potential Action on Setting Fees for Use of Ninigret Park for Festival Events
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
A. Introduction and First Reading of Ordinance #372 – Chapter 93-6, Buildings, Numbering Of; Display; Penalties; to be Advertised for Public Hearing on January 11, 2016
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
B. Discussion and Potential Action Regarding a Resolution in Support of Legislation on Controlling Blasting
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
C. Discussion and Potential Action Requesting Enabling Legislation Regarding a Corrective Resolution Relative to the Regulation of Earth Removal, Gravel Extraction and Blasting
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
CONSENT AGENDA
Motion to accept, approve and place on file the following as the consent agenda: “CA” A - “CA” K
"CA" A. Town Council Minutes
1. November 4 (Agenda)
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
2. November 9 (Executive and Regular)
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
"CA" B. Reports
1. Building Official - November 2015
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
2. Police Chief - November 2015
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
NOTE: Now that the town’s red-light cameras as actually issuing real tickets ($85 a pop), we can see what the cameras are doing at the two intersections where they are located. One covers the intersection of Route 1 and East Beach, the other covers Rt. 1 and West Beach. According to Chief Allen’s report, 61 tickets were issued in October and 63 in November. That’s an average of two tickets a day and WAY, WAY below the break-even point for the cost of the system assuming every ticket actually gets paid.
3. Public Works Director - November 2015
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
4. Town Clerk - November 2015
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
5. Treasurer's Report - October 2015
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
6. Wastewater - October 2015
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
"CA C. Discussion and Potential Action Regarding the Approval of the Renewal of a Retail Firearms Dealer’s License for the Following Businesses, Subject to Receipt of All Required Local Approvals and State and Federal Licenses:
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
document
a.
"CA" E. Approval of the Following 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. Event: Seafood Festival Event Dates: August 5, 2016 to August 7, 2016 Camping: 200 Campers Insurance: $2 Million General Liability; $2 Million Liquor Liability; $5 Million Amusement Liability; $5 Million Pyrotechnics Fee: $9,000.00
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
2. Event: 14Th Annual Chris Hinds "Sunshine" Criterium Event Dates: March 26, 2016 Camping: N/A Insurance: $1 Million General Liability Fee: $200 Paid Prior to the Event $2 Per Rider After the Event
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
"CA" F. Acceptance of the Resignation of Irving S. Ziegler from the Mosquito Abatement District Council, with Regret
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
"CA" G. Approval of an Additional Amount Not to Exceed $2,595 to Bradford and Associates for the Bicycle Pathway Design, Engineering and Survey Work as Budgeted in Line Item 27.000.5100, and Authorization for the Town Administrator and Town Treasurer, Each, to Take Any and All Such Actions, and Execute and Deliver Such Certificates, Receipts or Other Documents as May be Necessary to Carry into Effect the Foregoing, or Any Other Action Relative Thereto
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
c.
"CA" H. Approval of a Temporary Use Pass Under the Rules & Regulations of the Charlestown Residential Collection Center (CRCC) at a Fee of $10.00, to be Valid for a Period of Fourteen Consecutive Days from the Date of Issuance and Such Fee to Take Effect as of January 1, 2016 or Take Any Other Action Relative Thereto.
document
a.
"CA" I. Approval of the Tire Disposal Fee Under the Charlestown Residential Collection Center Rules and Regulations at Five Dollars ($5.00) Per Tire, Such Fee to be Effective as of July 1, 2016 or Take Any Other Action Relative Thereto
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
"CA" J. Award of the DPW Compact 4WD Pick-Up Truck to Valenti Toyota for an Amount Not to Exceed $33,113.00, as Budgeted in Line Item 01.990.9912.000, and Authorization of the Town Administrator and Town Treasurer, Each, to Take Any and All Such Actions, and Execute and Deliver Such Certificates, Receipts or Other Documents as May be Necessary to Carry into Effect the Foregoing, or Any Other Action Relative Thereto
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
b.
c.
"CA" K. Authorization of the Town Administrator to Issue a Letter of Commendation to Building Official Joseph Warner, Wastewater Specialist Matthew J. Dowling and Wastewater Clerk Rebecca Crosby in Recognition for Their Service to the Taxpayers
document
Agenda Item Printout
a.
ADJOURNMENT