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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Off the rails

CCA spokes-troll makes baseless charges

By Frank Glista

This article ran as a Letter to the Editor to the Chariho Times and is re-printed with the permission of the author.

In recent editions of the Westerly Sun and Chariho Times, Michael Chambers wrote his usual hate filled letter against anyone or anything that disagrees with his beloved Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA). 

In his attempt to revise Charlestown’s history, he uses the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) July 2017 list of individuals who responded to the proposed Northeast Corridor RailInvestment.  In his tirade, he states that Charlestown Residents United (CRU) did nothing to stop the rail project.

I can hear him shout from atop the Moraine Preserve (another CCA “pay to play” deal), “CRU did nothing to help stop FRA.” 

Now, here’s where his temper tantrum gets de-railed.......CRU didn’t exist in July of 2017 when the list was published.  They formed on February 27, 2018, approximately 7 months later.  Anyone feeling a little foolish right now?

Sending letters to FRA was not the only way for people to respond.  Many may have called or emailed their state or federal elected officials.   Some may have been donors to a political campaign and used that as leverage to be heard.  But let’s, for a moment, use the list that Chambers is so proud of and see what we can see. 

Hmmm, this is interesting; it appears that some of the CCA candidates running for office didn’t respond to the feedback list...NOT ONE!  CCA Town Council Candidates, Sheila Andrew didn’t respond, Cody Clarkin didn’t respond, Susan Cooper didn’t respond and incumbent David Wilkinson didn’t respond.  CCA Planning Commission Candidate, Walter “Peter” Mahony didn’t respond and Chambers buddy Ronald Areglado, CCA Candidate for Town Moderator, didn’t respond either.

Here’s another little tidbit.  The CCA was aware of the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposal a year before they did anything about it.  On January 10, 2017, former CAA Town Council President Thomas Gentz, admitted that he knew about it back in November 2015.  So if he knew about it, so did the other council members including incumbent candidate Bonnie Van Slyke. Read the Town Council Minutes of 01/10/17 or watch the video (at the 49:30 min. mark) before the CCA has it removed from the public view.

So once again, the lack of transparency from our CCA controlled government speaks volumes about their inability to run our town.  First they didn’t know about it, and then they did.  Not only did they waste over a year of precious time that the citizens of Charlestown could have reacted to the FRA proposal, they had also caused extreme mental and physical stress to our neighbors. 

Remember this when you cast your ballot.