Best Candidates are CCA-Sponsored

The following letter appeared in local newspapers and is reprinted here with permission of the author Michael Chambers.


When the roster of candidates for office in Charlestown became public, I was pleasantly satisfied with the number and quality of candidates that the Charlestown Citizens Alliance supports. This should be no surprise because the CCA seeks out candidates and volunteers who want the quality of life to remain high among all Charlestown’s residents. By putting responsible, dependable candidates up for the electorate’s consideration, CCA can focus on town issues only and does not include state and Federal candidates on their agenda. For the five open town council seats, the CCA supports five candidates; for the five open Planning Commission seats, the CCA supports five candidates; for the three School Committee seats, the CCA supports two candidates; and for the Town Moderator position, the CCA supports one candidate. Each of the candidates brings a unique and valuable asset to the town through their experience and professionalism.

Incumbent Town Council candidates, Tom Gentz and George Tremblay have more than succeeded in keeping taxes low, resolving some touchy issues like the purchase of the LeBlanc property for Open Space rather than a site for two megawatt wind turbines; securing funds for Church Woods affordable housing for seniors; for overseeing the emergency measures and cleanup necessitated by Hurricane Sandy; and for protecting Charlestown’s natural resources. Unfortunately for the town, it lost Dan Slattery who served four years on the Town Council, was prepared for every meeting, and did his homework diligently. Dan’s energy will be difficult to replace. In the upcoming election, three new candidates are supported by CCA: Virginia Lee – an expert in one of Charlestown’s major resources, its coastal environment; Denise Rhodes – a voice for the neighborhoods adversely impacted by strip mining in Charlestown; and Bonnita Van Slyke – a lifelong resident of Charlestown who understands the history of this town and efforts to preserve the town’s rural character.

Because there is no opposition to the candidates for the Planning Commission, Gordon Foer and Connie Vadnais-Baker (incumbents) and Mark Alexander, Barbara Heavers, and Frances Topping (new candidates) are assured seats but their tenure remains a question until the ballots are cast. Each candidate brings a unique perspective to town planning.

The School Committee candidates supported by the CCA are Ron Areglado and Donna Chambers whose combined nationally-recognized experience in education exceeds 90 years. If experience is a measure of suitability, then these two candidates are more than qualified for the Chariho School Committee.

Town Moderator has been almost a forgotten position in the last few elections. This resulted in the current Town Moderator running unopposed.   Leone Mainelli, a soft-spoken man with a talent for management, has volunteered many times on behalf of our town bringing understanding and common sense to the job.

Many people with whom I have spoken about the upcoming election have praised the work of the incumbent CCA-sponsored candidates and are excited about the abilities and experience of the new CCA- sponsored candidates.

Michael Chambers