Friday, October 31, 2014

Water Discrimination

After almost twenty years of owning a summer home in Charlestown, I recently became a resident and with that came the privilege of registering as a new voter. I have learned a bit about my newly acquired town government by talking to friends and business people in town and hope to participate in the near future.

While visiting one of the local coffee shops, I overheard a conversation about a state agency that came into Charlestown to find a fresh water source for the residents of the Cross Mills area. Needless to say, I was immediately engaged in their conversation because not only do I live in this area but my well was contaminated during the 100 year storm that we all experienced a few years back. In my neighborhood, lot sizes are small, homes are very close together and the septic systems are too near our well water. As I started to participate in the conversation, one gentleman told me to go to the Town of Charlestown's web site and watch the Town Council meeting of June 9, 2014, which you can find under "Clerk Base" to get more information. It took awhile but I found it under.....NEW BUSINESS 8b.

As I headed home to view this video on my computer, I thought to myself, how great is it to have moved to a state that is so forward thinking that they are preserving future water sources for its citizens. After all, the health of their citizenry should be the first and foremost function of any town or state government.

As I watched with anticipation and listened for a few moments, I couldn't believe my ears. I thought, "Who are these three men on the Town Council and why are the attacking this man from the State's Water Resources Board? Don't they realize that the residents of our town need fresh drinking water? Don't they realize that we may be drinking, cooking and bathing in our neighbor's sewerage?"

After watching this antagonistic town meeting, I researched the local papers and found some interesting information. The three men on the Town Council are from a group called the Charlestown Citizens Alliance. They were very negative. Imagine, your state sends a representative to your town, wants to purchase land that will be held in trust, it won't cost the Charlestown taxpayers anything, the land becomes open-space and that water is preserved forever. Who are these people that run this town?

Additionally, three of the six Alliance candidates that are being challenged for election enjoy fresh water because they have a public water supply. It is rather hypocritical that fresh water is good for them but not for my neighborhood. Don't other taxpayers deserve clean water?

As Election Day nears, we all need to review each candidate's stand on issues. After speaking with Democratic candidates, I came to appreciate their concern for the necessity of providing our citizens with clean water. On Nov.4 we, the voters of Charlestown, have a choice. Please help protect the right to enjoy clean, fresh water by voting for the democratic slate. Re-elect Town Council Vice President Paula Andersen, along with Brandon Cleary and Ron Russo. They will help preserve fresh water for our future.

Susan O'Donnell, Charlestown
This Letter to the Editor was previously published in The Westerly Sun