Sunday, April 1, 2012

Our committee wants to debate issues, not personnel

The Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA), in a recent email and posting on its website, states, "The Charlestown Democratic Town Committee finds no problem with the Town Administrator's behavior. CCA disagrees. Honesty matters."

We have to ask, where is the CCA's honesty? The fact is that the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee (CDTC) has not taken a formal position on the town administrator's actions, which are a personnel matter that should not be politicized as the CCA is doing. Several of our members have indeed spoken and written eloquently as individual citizens in support of Mr. DiLibero and our hard-working town staff, as is their right. They have challenged the unfair and unfounded attacks coming from the CCA members of the Council, Tom Gentz and Dan Slattery.

As events have unfolded, the CCA's attacks against town staff, and against the CDTC, have been shown to be deceptive and distorted to suit the CCA's interests, particularly their outlandish claims that the town must yield control of Ninigret Park to the federal government.

The CDTC looks forward to debating the CCA over the issues that matter to Charlestown voters, such as fair taxes, sensible land use and environmental protection, our local economy, the educational, housing and recreational needs of our children and what constitutes good government.

We will debate them over the issues of adherence to the town charter and the CCA's practice of bypassing or abusing the many civic-minded volunteers who serve on town commissions, when it suits the CCA agenda. We will do so as a town committee as well as in our own names. We will encourage and support individual townspeople to bring their own points of view to the debate. We will not speak anonymously or speak on issues without a thorough search for and understanding of the facts relating to those issues.

If "honesty matters" to the CCA, the CDTC calls on it to actually practice it, rather than use it as a slogan to attack others.

Catherine O'Reilly Collette, Charlestown
The writer is chair of the Charlestown Democratic Town Committee.