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Sunday, October 23, 2022

All things bright and beautiful

The CCA's Potemkin village

By Will Collette

As they do every election year, the CCA and its supporters have been spraying the Westerly Sun with letters extoling the wonders of Charlestown and giving the CCA credit for it all.


After gargling, I wrote my own letter to the Sun which follows. I added links so you can see the back-up behind each of my statements. Here it is: 

Backers of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance would have us believe the CCA created all things bright and beautiful. The trees, the water, the birds and bunnies, the CCA made them all. And anyone who is not CCA must be a developer with chainsaw at the ready and a truckload of asphalt idling in the driveway.

The truth is the CCA has won in Charlestown for the past decade through fear, hate and lies. They create phony villains such as last year’s CCA hoax that AMTRAK planned to run a railbed through northern Charlestown. Amtrak signed a binding Record of Decision in 2018 saying they would NOT do that.

Or that the Narragansett Indian Tribe is so evil that Charlestown needs to be the only municipality in Rhode Island that pays a lawyer $25,000+ to do nothing but keep them in check.

Or that the National Park Service was going to take back Ninigret Park if the town installed lights. [NOTE: it took a visit from the Park Service regional director to debunk this CCA lie]

Or that families with children are parasites who make taxes rise on the shorefront properties of our absentee landowners, so we need exclusionary zoning to keep them out.

Or that adding more acreage in open space will somehow increase the tax base, even though 60% of Charlestown is already open space.

[NOTE: this is an official town map]

They say that unless all vacant land is bought by the town, 4000-7000 houses will be built. 
So, the CCA says it’s a bargain for taxpayers pay at least twice and up to six times the assessed value of properties the CCA wants to add to the town’s collection. 

[NOTE: Planning Commissar Ruth Platner said her claims about open space were backed by the Southern New England Forest Consortium, except that this group dissolved in 2009. THIS is the only remaining trace of them I could find. Interestingly, their map leaves out most of Charlestown.] 

Or that only the CCA can manage Charlestown’s money while claiming they had nothing to do with the two-year $3 million “oopsie” where somehow that amount got “misplaced,” disrupting this year’s budget process.

Their invented monsters under the bed are fake, created to scare voters into thinking only the CCA can defend Charlestown.

Over the past decade, the CCA has thrown a lot of stuff against the wall and enough has stuck to keep them in power.

But all regimes and empires one day crumble. Their downfall is hastened when they lose the trust of the people. I hope this may be the year when the seemingly invincible CCA’s time runs out