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Saturday, October 20, 2012

UPDATED: The Good, the Bad and The Ugly

Good versus bad, fact versus fiction
The CCA record speaks volumes
By Will Collette

For the past few weeks, Charlestown voters are going to be told a fairy tale. The Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) and its slate of candidates are going to tell voters to never mind what has happened over the past six years.

Indeed, in a recent letter to the editor, the CCA Town Council slate (Tom Gentz, Dan Slattery, George Tremblay and Ron Areglado) took credit for everything good that's ever happened in Charlestown. To their credit, they did not take credit for last winter's mild conditions or claim they had discovered intelligent life on other planets. But just about everything but.

“Trust us.” Don’t read that nasty Progressive Charlestown because they name names and tell lies. Ignore the documents. Ignore the records. Ignore the video of Council meetings. Don't look at Clerkbase. Don't read Council minutes. And don't bother looking at the CCA website because they've already scrubbed the craziest stuff off the site.

For the past two election cycles, enough voters took the Charlestown Citizens Alliance at their word to give them control of Charlestown government. But this time, they are being challenged from all sides by competing candidates. And they’re being challenged by the Progressive Charlestown reporters, who will continue to report the facts, no matter how much the CCA and its candidates cry foul, right up until Election Day.

For your reading convenience, I have compiled a handy reference list of what the CCA loves, and what the CCA hates, complete with links to original articles and documents. Fasten your seatbelts, folks, it’s going to be a bumpy campaign.

GOOD things the CCA likes
BAD things the CCA hates

FOR: Rich people, especially from out-of-state and most especially if they don’t have kids

AGAINST: Residents

FOR: Vintage Porsches

FOR: Open Space

AGAINST: Small businesses

AGAINST: Conservation, Economic Improvement, Parks and Recreation, or other commissions having a say

FOR: Color-coordinated shingles and matching covers for electrical outlets


FOR: The “truly needy

AGAINST: Working families

AGAINST: Anything the Narragansett tribe wants

FOR: Dark

AGAINST: Street light poles

FOR: Coal, oil, natural gas[1] and nuclear power

AGAINST: Wind energy, biofuels, manufacturer responsibility, recycling, reuse and waste reduction

AGAINST: Cats, Canada geese

FOR: Pervious surfaces

AGAINST: Asphalt, unless you can extort a “donation” from a town business [2]

FOR: More of the same

AGAINST: Anything Democrats want to do

FOR: “Civility” as expressed by Mike Chambers

FOR: Finding and fencing off all of Charlestown’s “phantom properties

AGAINST: Gardens encroaching on those properties

FOR: Resolving neighbor disputes via town ordinances

AGAINST: Negotiated settlements and compromise solutions[3]

FOR: Letting Ruth Platner write all of the town’s ordinances

AGAINST: Involving non-CCA people in town policymaking

FOR: Giving the vote to anyone who owns property

AGAINST: Letting anyone vote who doesn’t have a government ID

FOR: Blacklisting people who do not toe the CCA line; purging staff and volunteers who don’t obey the CCA

AGAINST: Making hiring decisions and appointments on merit

FOR: “The Platner Principle

FOR: Mapmakers    

AGAINST: Firefighters

[1] Statement read into the record by the “Voice of the CCA” Mike Chambers, March 14, 2011

[2] See Town Council minutes for February 8, 2010. Read Mageau’s supporting documents by clicking here.

[3] Town Council minutes for May 14, 2012 and June 11, 2012. See comments by Rob Lyons. For one of the most personal and brazen attacks on a town business – with no attempt to maintain order or decorum by Council President Gentz – watch the Clerkbase video of the July 9, 2012 hearing on the punitive ordinance against Rob Lyons’ business.