Keep Your Story Straight

Guest Post by Michael Chambers
The self-serving statement offered by Frank Glista at the August 20, 2012 Town Council meeting begs several questions. I am not an insider of the local Democratic dissatisfaction with the Town Council. I realize that his comments are driven by political considerations and not necessarily driven by some deep seated moral outrage. Given the company Mr. Glista keeps, I doubt that moral outrage is part and parcel of his characterization of town council actions.

Glista talks about people ganging up on local business owners, but offers no specifics or even identifies the businesses ganged up upon and the circumstances behind it. He accuses Tom Gentz and Lisa DiBello of ganging up on Wilfred Collette but neglects to explain the reason why Collette was called out and that it wasn’t random but the logical response to attacks by the Progressive Blog.

Glista also purports to have “utmost respect” for anyone who occupies a council seat. Based on the fact that he belongs to the CDTC which continually assails the work of the Town Council, is a contributor to the Progressive Blog that also portrays some council members in a less than respectful light, Glista is being quite disingenuous with the people of this town.

Glista also refers to Council Rules and Procedures 9.1, which he takes out of context. The rule refers to deportment of Council members in discussing an issue and admonishes that council members should not deal in personalities – referring to other council members. Glista takes the broader view that this includes all people in the council chambers. First, the rules and procedures are not written for anyone but council members in their dealings with one another. Second, Glista conveniently forgets the tirades of Councilman Greg Avedisian in interrupting speakers from the general public and carrying on despite warning of improper behavior by the Council chair. Glista should look up Roberts Rules of Order before ignoring the antics of Councilor Avedisian. Also in Roberts Rules, he will find that stepping down to the rostrum is unnecessary in the context of Ms. DiBello’s and Mr. Gentz’s statements.

Probably the most obvious glitch in Glista’s commentary has to do with his denial that the CDTC and the Progressive Blog are not connected. This is worse than being disingenuous. He could not keep that story straight in his own mind. He says that the CDTC has no input or control over the Blog and goes on a condescending depiction of what a blog is. However, he also quoted a sentence in a letter written by Tom Gentz that he quotes, “The local Charlestown Democrats called foul and lamented the Town Council’s refusal to re-zone the property [YMCA] to R-2A.” He says the statement was a total falsehood; that the CDTC never stated an opinion on the re-zoning of the property. Mr. Gentz never said the CDTC called foul. He simply said local Democrats and I believe he meant the Democrats on the Progressive Blog. Glista confused those Democrats with the CDTC because in his mind he cannot separate the two groups. As a member of both groups he has a tough time separating them, so as residents who are familiar with both groups, he can see why splitting hairs is confusing to the general population when he cannot split hairs accurately and consistently. Mr. Glista must remember that no matter how many times you say something, if you really don’t believe what you say, you will trip yourself up.

Glista goes on to cherry pick from a list of articles published on the Blog between August 1 and August 5 without stating the significance of the time frame. I can personally state that attacks directed at me and my wife have been published in July and August. I have not mentioned names but wrote about issues, but received insulting attacks by at least two bloggers or should I say a subset of local Democrats. Glista goes on to state that the Blog has published over 2,372 articles in the last 19 months, leading readers to believe that the Blog wrote the articles, but fails to state that most of the articles are written by a variety of authors at the national, state, and local levels but a vast majority have nothing to do with the issues facing Charlestown. No one says that the Blog needs to deal with Charlestown matters alone, but to imply that the Blog is a high level journalistic publication is insulting.

Finally, Glista talks of research and facts, but this is speculative in articles authored by the Bloggers, one I reference is the unsubstantiated report by the Blog on the Carcieri fix. I can list more but I will save that for later. There are too many blunders to mention here, but suffice it to say research is not the Blog’s forte. Knee jerk statements better fit their style. I can see why Frank Glista was so ready to come to Wilfred Collette’s defense. Given his connection to the Battle for Ninigret Park, Collette’s staunch defense of Glista’s pet project, dragging the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Park Service into the fray, it would be logical to keep company with Collette. Oh yes, Frank Glista is also running for public office. That puts Glista in the same group as Jim Mageau, Greg Avedisian, and any would be office seekers who discredit those in office.