Keeping You Up To Date with Charlestown News and Events

Upcoming Events

  1. Summer Movies at Ninigret Park

    July 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Oysters Gone Wild

    July 24 @ 6:00 pm
  3. Adapting the Watershed

    July 24 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  4. Charlestown Land Trust Farmers Market

    July 25 @ 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
  5. Yoga for Beginners

    July 25 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
  6. Summer Concert Series – Jon Campbell

    July 25 @ 7:00 pm
  7. See the Stars in Charlestown

    July 25 @ 8:00 pm
  8. Salt Pond Guided Paddle

    July 26 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
  9. Lobster Bake Under the Tent at St. James

    July 27 @ 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm
  10. Learn Native American art of beading

    July 28 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Election 2014

CCA is committed to an election outcome that produces public officials who will work in the interest of the majority of Charlestown’s citizens.

To that end, Charlestown Citizens Alliance will  endorse and support qualified elected officers who endorse our group’s five major issues—responsive, open government; preserving the natural environment; responsible development; anti-casino gambling; and fiscal responsibility.

Good government requires an INFORMED electorate. We will notify our e-mail list when these pages are updated with new local candidate and election information. To stay informed about the 2014 election, sign up for our e-mail list.

Town Council

Thomas B. Gentz – Tom has served as president of the Charlestown Town Council since 2010. He has deep roots in Charlestown. His wife’s family has lived here for generations. Currently retired, he was formerly an executive in the health care field and holds an MBA. Tom is a veteran of the US Navy.

Virginia Lee – Virginia is a nationally recognized coastal planner who received her Masters of Science at URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography. She is a leading expert on Rhode Island’s coastal ponds – they are in fact her life’s work. She has lived in South County since the 1970s, moving to Charlestown five years ago.

Denise L. Rhodes - Denise, a ten year resident of Charlestown, is retired from a career in the banking and finance industry, where she worked as a mortgage underwriter, loan review officer, and senior credit analyst.  She brings an experienced voice to the table for the neighborhood adversely impacted by the Westerly Granite/Copar Quarry operation, where she lives.

George C. Tremblay – George is a past member of the Planning Commission and currently serves on the Town Council. He had a successful career as a Professor of Biochemistry and is a former business owner. He is a 31 year resident of Charlestown and holds a PhD in biochemistry.

Bonnita B. Van Slyke – Bonnie is the third generation of her family to live in Charlestown, and she and her husband live in the house that her father built in 1950. She works in book publishing as a copy editor and page layout artist. From 2004 to 2014 she served as a director of the Frosty Drew Memorial Fund that operates the Frosty Drew Nature Center and Observatory and was also its treasurer. She has a BA in economics.


School Committee

Ronald J. Areglado – Ron is the recipient of several prestigious national and state awards. Last year he was appointed to serve as a member of the Chariho School Committee. He has worked over 45 years in a variety of urban, suburban and rural educational settings spanning elementary schools to graduate school. He holds a Doctorate in Educational Policy, Research and Planning. Ron has lived in Charlestown since 1998.

Donna Chambers – Donna was appointed by the Charlestown Town Council to serve a seat vacated last November. Donna has a BS and a MA as well as 45 years experience in education and currently works with several New England states as an adult education consultant with expertise in proficiency-based teaching and learning.


Town Moderator

Leone D. Mainelli – Leo earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from URI, and later an MBA from the University of Hartford. He worked for Pratt & Whitney as a Regional Manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He was active for 25 years in local government in South Windsor, CT where he lived before moving to Charlestown full-time in 2000. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Salt Ponds Coalition, and many other URI and Charlestown committees and organizations.


Planning Commission

Mark C. Alexander – Mark has a BS in Space Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology and is a retired semiconductor engineer. Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a volunteer coach for youth football, baseball and basketball and has spent time volunteering and substitute teaching at Charlestown Elementary and Chariho Middle and High Schools. He has lived in Charlestown since 1995.

Gordon L. Foer – Gordon is currently on the Planning Commission, having been elected in 2008. He holds a Masters degree from Tufts University in Urban and Environmental Policy. He is a former chair and member of the Charlestown Conservation Commission, a co-founder of the Charlestown Land Trust, and has lived in Charlestown since 1993. He is part owner and a Board member of Biomes Marine Biology Center and an adjunct professor at New England Institute of Technology.

Barbara A. Heavers – Barbara is an artist, farmer, scientist, and an award winning educator with Ph.D, MS, and BS degrees in Biology and Zoology. She has taken an active role in land preservation in Charlestown by placing a large portion of her farm in permanent preservation with the Charlestown Land Trust. She has lived in Charlestown since 1971.

Frances M. Topping – Frances is a Natural Science Illustrator, fine artist, educator and naturalist. She has both a Bachelor of Science in Geography with Botany and Zoology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She is a past member of the Charlestown Conservation Commission and volunteers for the RI Wild Plant Society, the RI Natural History Survey and other groups and has lived in Charlestown for 12 years.

Constance D. Vadnais-Baker – Connie has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management and Economics and 36 years of experience in the financial services industry and has been a volunteer for 10 years on the Charlestown Land Trust as well as a member of the Board of Directors. She is a current member of the Planning Commission.

We will have full candidate profiles for all the endorsed candidates soon. To stay informed about the 2014 election, sign up for our e-mail list.

The following people have declared for elected office in Charlestown:

Town Council (vote for 5)

  • Thomas B. Gentz (endorsed by CCA)
  • Virginia Lee (endorsed by CCA)
  • Denise L. Rhodes (endorsed by CCA)
  • George C. Tremblay (endorsed by CCA)
  • Bonnita B. Van Slyke (endorsed by CCA)
  • Paula Ann Anderson
  • Nicholas D. Bottai (withdrew his candidacy)
  • Brandon T. Cleary
  • Lisa A. Dibello
  • Ronald H. Russo

Chariho School Committee Charlestown Representatives (vote for 3)

  • Ronald Areglado (endorsed by CCA)
  • Donna Chambers (endorsed by CCA)
  • Craig Louzon
  • Stephen Young

Town Moderator (vote for 1 )

  • Leone D. Mainelli (endorsed by CCA)
  • Henry A. Walsh

Planning Commission (vote for 5 – our endorsed candidates are unopposed)

  • Mark C. Alexander (endorsed by CCA)
  • Gordon L. Foer (endorsed by CCA)
  • Barbara A. Heavers (endorsed by CCA)
  • Frances M. Topping (endorsed by CCA)
  • Constance D. Vadnais-Baker (endorsed by CCA)
Nomination Papers 2014 – Photo Gallery

Nomination Papers 2014 – Photo Gallery

Thank you again to everyone who signed the nomination papers for our 13 excellent candidates. We collected 1,391 total signatures for the 13 candidates! We surpassed the requirement of a total of 650 signatures for all our candidates to qualify for the November election ballot. The election rules favor the political parties who can put(…)

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Blake Filippi to run for General Assembly

It’s not every day that a Block Island resident runs for General Assembly. Blake Filippi is running as an Independent against Charlestown Democrat and incumbent Donna Walsh, hoping to represent District 36. This District includes New Shoreham, Westerly, South Kingston and Charleston. If elected, Filippi said that he is prepared, “hands down,” to represent all(…)

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Thank you for signing!

Thank you to everyone who gave up a part of this beautiful weekend to visit us at the Quonnie Grange and sign 13 different nomination papers for the Charlestown candidates we are supporting this election. We believe we now have enough signatures. Your time yesterday and today was well spent. This is the most accomplished(…)

Continue Reading --->

10 in race for seats on Charlestown council

Westerly Sun – Published: July 4, 2014 | Last Modified: July 4, 2014 01:25AM By CYNTHIA DRUMMOND Sun Staff Writer CHARLESTOWN — Town Council members who have announced their intention to run for office will be outnumbered by new candidates seeking to replace them. The only councilor to bow out of the race is Daniel(…)

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11 running for 7 Chariho committee seats

Westerly Sun – Published: June 26, 2014 | Last Modified: June 27, 2014 01:01PM By NANCY LAVIN Sun Staff Writer WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — Eleven candidates will run for the seven open seats on the Chariho Regional School Committee in November’s election. In Charlestown, four candidates are running for three open seats. Incumbents Ronald Areglado,(…)

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View all posts in Election News and Blog Posts

Recent Posts In CCA Blog and Mailbox

Nomination Papers 2014 – Photo Gallery

Nomination Papers 2014 – Photo Gallery

Thank you again to everyone who signed the nomination papers for our 13 excellent candidates. We collected 1,391 total signatures for the 13 candidates! We surpassed the requirement of a total of 650 signatures for all our candidates to qualify for the November election ballot. The election rules favor the political parties who can put(…)

Continue Reading --->

Charlestown Land Trust Summer Party and Auction

Charlestown Land Trust Summer Party and Auction

When: Saturday, August 9, 5 to 8 PM Where: The Rathskeller, 489A Old Coach Road, Charlestown Live music, appetizers, and complimentary drinks followed by a cash bar Tickets are $60 per person with the proceeds to benefit the Land Trust’s continued efforts to preserve open space in the Town of Charlestown Tickets can be purchased(…)

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Thank you for signing!

Thank you to everyone who gave up a part of this beautiful weekend to visit us at the Quonnie Grange and sign 13 different nomination papers for the Charlestown candidates we are supporting this election. We believe we now have enough signatures. Your time yesterday and today was well spent. This is the most accomplished(…)

Continue Reading --->

View more posts In CCA Blog and Mailbox

Recent Local Newspaper Stories

Chariho not resting on its laurels in improved math results

Westerly Sun – Published: July 19, 2014 | Last Modified: July 19, 2014 10:29PM By NANCY LAVIN Sun Staff Writer WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — While the latest scores from the New England Common Assessment Program show that more than half of Chariho High School students were proficient in math, improving student math performance continues to(…)

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Flood aid revives Charlestown senior housing project

Westerly Sun – Published: July 18, 2014 | Last Modified: July 18, 2014 09:03AM By CYNTHIA DRUMMOND Sun Staff Writer CHARLESTOWN — The Church Woods senior affordable housing project in Cross Mills was without funding and in danger of failing until it was saved by an unlikely benefactor: Superstorm Sandy. The funding for the project,(…)

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Blake Filippi to run for General Assembly

It’s not every day that a Block Island resident runs for General Assembly. Blake Filippi is running as an Independent against Charlestown Democrat and incumbent Donna Walsh, hoping to represent District 36. This District includes New Shoreham, Westerly, South Kingston and Charleston. If elected, Filippi said that he is prepared, “hands down,” to represent all(…)

Continue Reading --->

School Committee sets Chariho Act discussion for Sept. 18

Westerly Sun – Published: July 16, 2014 | Last Modified: July 16, 2014 09:08AM By NANCY LAVIN Sun Staff Writer WOOD RIVER JUNCTION — After several months of back-and-forth debate among the three town councils and the School Committee, a date has been set for a meeting of the four groups to discuss possible amendments(…)

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