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Sunday, August 2, 2020

“The citizens of Charlestown do not trust the CCA”

The debate over who is telling the truth about aborted land deal continues
By Kenneth Robbins

Building PhotoEDITOR'S NOTE: The Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party started lobbing spitballs at their rivals in the Charlestown Residents United (CRU) after the CRU revealed a plan to buy a small piece of property for twice its value. The details are HERE and I personally checked the back-up documentation in the records presented before the Town Council. The 1 acre property at 634 Charlestown Beach Road is assessed at $1.2 million, was appraised at $1.45 million, but Charlestown was going to pay $2.5 million. The "open space" property is dominated by a 40-year old beach house (see above), begging the question of what the town would do with it. After the CRU blew the whistle, the Council dropped the deal. - Will Collette

In the Westerly Sun’s July 24th edition, Town Councilor Bonnie Van Slyke, one of Charlestown Citizen Alliance’s (CCA) Town Council members, responded to letters from me and Tim Quillen, both members of Charlestown Residents United (CRU).

She accused CRU of publishing comments that were neither factual nor truthful about the proposed sale of a property at 634 Charlestown Beach Road to the town – “Not even close.”

She then cites only one comment made on Facebook, not by CRU or its members, which questioned whether member(s) of the Town Council had a relationship with the seller.

I do not use social media and may have missed this speculative concern from a citizen in Charlestown. But it reflects a deeper, more basic, issue that I also tried to point out in my letter to the Sun of July 19th.

The citizens of Charlestown do not trust the CCA to be open and transparent in their advocacy and in their decisions.

Their actions on any of several issues over the years, examples of which were in my earlier correspondence, support that distrust and help explain why letters and comments, such as those Ms. Van Slyke references, were made.

The fact that the Council reached an appropriate decision on this issue does not change this more basic concern and distrust.

CRU is dedicated to making Town government open and transparent for all citizen of Charlestown so our citizens can once again trust and believe that our governance is working for the best interest of all residents.