Tom Gentz: Listening to the people

As I walked door to door from Carolina to Charlestown Beach in the past six weeks, I visited over 550 homes and listened to residents’ concerns. Informed by these conversations, I seek your support of my candidacy for the Charlestown Town Council. I ask you to share my message with neighbors unavailable during my canvassing.

I support open government; a capital budget plan; intelligent economic development; the strengthening of our Central Business District; alternative energy; and the preservation of ecosystems and habitat. With generations of Charlestown family roots, I commit to represent our great town from the northern border to the unique beach communities.

You spoke of the flawed Whalerock process, costly replacement of failed septic systems, the prospect of a casino, unwieldy affordable housing mandates, and the need for transparent government. I have learned about your assessment of town administration and services and about your escalating frustration with insider deals as disenfranchised taxpayers. As one concerned citizen said, “We may disagree about issues, but we all are needed in the ongoing work of running the town.” I am energized by our discussions and look forward to listening more to you. I will work toward a town government responsive to the needs of residents and businesses and consistent with the preservation of our historic villages, farms, and natural environment.

I take exception to Mr. Picard’s Oct. 19 letter to the Sun editor. In 2007, I actively supported Mr. Mageau’s removal from office for conduct unbecoming an elected official. I did help to collect signatures for that ballot warrant item. I resent Mr. Picard’s portrayal of my involvement with our grassroots movement as an attempt to “sue the town.”

Contrary to Mr. Picard’s letter, Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) spearheaded a recall petition with hundreds of signatures, went to court, and won. Mr. Mageau had to appeal to the state Supreme Court, and CCA decided to spend our funds elsewhere. I am a proud member of CCA’s Steering Committee and ask each and every one of you for your vote on Nov. 2. Encourage your neighbors to reflect on the issues and vote for all the CCA candidates — Dan Slattery and Cliff Vanover for Town Council and Jim Abbott, Gordon Foer, and George Tremblay for Planning Commission.

Thomas B. Gentz The writer is an independent candidate for Charlestown Town Council.