· WE SUPPORT Balanced Economic Development
We will support Charlestown’s small businesses to help them survive and prosper. We will work to attract new business consistent with the vision set out in Charlestown’s Comprehensive Plan. In particular, this includes agriculture, aquaculture, tourism support, arts and culture, and green technology businesses. We support consulting with town businesses and interested citizens before adopting ordinances and policies that place unfunded mandates on local business.
· WE SUPPORT Affordable Housing Opportunities
We support meeting our obligations under Rhode Island law to provide affordable housing opportunities consistent with our rural character, especially much-needed year-round rentals for the elderly and low- and moderate-income families. We support achieving this goal in a manner consistent with Charlestown’s Comprehensive Plan in partnership with nonprofit housing organizations.
· WE SUPPORT Open and Civil Government
We believe that reasonable compromise is the essence of good government, and we pledge to broaden and deepen outreach to people holding differing points of view. We pledge to work hard to end Charlestown’s chronic violations of the state’s Open Meetings Act and improve the town’s performance under the Access to Public Records Act. We support training and staff support to all town commissions and committees to assist volunteers in knowing their duties under state open meetings, open records and ethics laws.
· WE SUPPORT Environmental Protection
We support a broad policy to protect and enhance Charlestown’s environment. That includes the strategic acquisition and use of open space, and a vigorous town program to increase the level of recycling and reuse and reduce waste. We support greatly expanded green energy in Charlestown, including the use of renewable energy sources and environmentally-sound and energy-efficient construction. We believe homeowners should have a greater choice of affordable on-site wastewater treatment options. We support a review of the condition of the town’s several hazardous waste sites to determine how much threat they pose to the water supply and people’s health. We support action to fully prepare Charlestown for the effects of climate change. We support working with the state to get better access to public transportation.
· WE SUPPORT Tax Fairness
We propose the prompt formation of an ad hoc committee to review Charlestown’s tax policies to restore fairness in property taxes, taking into account the disproportionate tax increase middle-income families suffered in the 2011 town reassessment. We support creative thinking about how Charlestown property tax policies may help the town achieve its goals, and to provide relief from mandates created by new ordinances, while maintaining the town’s financial health and low tax rate.
· WE OPPOSE any casino or gaming establishment in Charlestown