Smearing Gentz no way for Mageau to effect change

The following letter appeared in the Westerly Sun on July 3rd and is shared with us here by the author George C. Tremblay. Mr. Tremblay is Vice President of the Charlestown Town Council.

I write to express my dismay that the Westerly Sun willingly publishes inflammatory and baseless character assassinations such as that in the recent letter by Jim Mageau about Tom Gentz.

Some eight years ago, Mr. Mageau was outgoing President of the Charlestown Town Council under the banner of the political opposition to the current town government. Embarrassed by the performance of the Mageau council, a group of residents formed an alternative unaffiliated political body, the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA). Recent letters by Mr. Mageau, and ongoing commentary in the blog that serves as a mouthpiece for the opposition, help explain why Charlestown has since evolved into a one-party government.

Mr. Mageau’s letters are largely unsubstantiated diatribes. By publishing such tirades, the Westerly Sun becomes an accomplice in undermining the credibility of the rational among the political opposition. This is not a good thing, because citizens with differing political philosophies lose their voice in a one party government, and the public interest is compromised.

Mr. Mageau’s tumescent brain is currently fixated by a perceived insult to his autonomy as mastermind of Charlestown’s Memorial Day Parade.

The parade is sponsored by a non-profit he organized some 18 years ago, and apparently he sees it as his proprietary domain. Others among us assume the parade memorializes those who gave their lives to assure us our democratic freedoms, and those freedoms are best represented by the authority we vest in our elected officials. Mr. Mageau disagrees. He does not approve of our current duly elected officials, and chooses to deny them a voice from the dais in favor of others more to his political liking. Any who disagree with his tyrannical posturing are condemned to his unrelenting wrath. Tom Gentz committed the cardinal sin of seeking recognition of our elected officials.

I can’t let a few specifics go without comment: Mr. Mageau finds fault with “the lack of any meaningful political opposition” to the CCA, but fails to recognize that the lunatic fringe of his local political party, which includes their blogger mouthpiece and Mr. Mageau’s periodic rants, has destroyed the willingness of talented folks among them to lead the opposition out of the wilderness. In a democracy, that’s the only hope for blocking Mr. Gentz from his long-standing record as top vote-getter, a record Mr. Mageau mysteriously finds contrived. Mr. Gentz is not top vote-getter because he’s retired and has time to campaign, as Mr. Mageau complains.

All five of the current Town Council fit that description and, try as we might, none of us comes close to Gentz’s vote-tally. I know no one who compares to Tom Gentz for dedication to the betterment of Charlestown. Mr. Gentz is top vote getter because the greatest number of voting year-round residents of Charlestown want him on the Town Council.

Mr. Mageau often reminds us of his 40 years of experience in RI politics, but he would better serve the town by applying his long record of experience and accomplishments toward quietly building a credible coalition among those talented individuals in his party. We would all benefit from that effort, and his gift of silence.

George C. Tremblay
George Tremblay