A Positive Atmosphere in Charlestown

The following letter appeared in local newspapers and is shared with us here by the author Kate Waterman. Kate served on the Charlestown Town Council from 2002 to 2008, the Planning Commission from 2008 to 2011, and she served many years on the Conservation Commission.

In this highly charged political season, an apolitical observation might be refreshing.

Kate Waterman

After an extended absence from the Charlestown Town Hall, my recent visit was an exhilarating experience. My memories of time spent there are not altogether positive. Charlestown can be a very contentious place, and it certainly was during my tenure on the Charlestown Town Council. [2002,2004,2006-8] The atmosphere was prickly. The Town Hall staff, the administrator, the council members themselves were at odds, and with a few exceptions everybody kept their heads down and just did what was necessary. The building itself reflected the combative spirit; paint was chipped, rugs had holes, windows were dirty. It was depressing.

It is hard for me to express what a pleasure it was to see the transformation that has taken place in the past few years. The fact that council chambers have been painted was the first indication that things were looking up, but beyond that, and far more to the point, was the expressions on the faces of the staff! I saw an administrator who publicly demonstrated his support of his staff, an enthusiastic and responsive department head, a town clerk who actually chose to sit by the administrator and she was smiling! Believe me, these are radical and noteworthy changes. This is an atmosphere in which work can be accomplished, and real progress can be made.

Charlestown is still a contentious place. The same masters of misinformation always surface at election time. They are easy to spot because they are angry people who write angry letters, blogs and emails. They are not helpful or constructive. They do not offer solutions. Their attacks tend to be highly personal. I urge Charlestown voters to continue to give them short shrift. Their major accomplishment is to discourage good people from running for office!

Nevertheless, and in spite of the niggling caterwauling from the off-thecharts-left, a small group of dedicated citizens who comprise the Charlestown Citizens Alliance have tapped into the respected resources of our citizenry and enlisted a viable and qualified slate of candidates to run for office in the upcoming election. Based on the positive and enthusiastic atmosphere that has been achieved by our current council President Tom Gentz, and the sage humor of George Tremblay, I urge all voters to support the Charlestown Citizens Alliance candidates for Town Council, planning and school committee and town moderator in the upcoming election. Good people accomplished good works in Charlestown in the past few years. With your vote they will continue to keep Charlestown a wholesome, healthy and happy community!

There now. That’s not really political. It is just observational, rational common sense.

Kate Waterman