We may be of different political parties, but for Charlestown we are Independents

The following letter appeared in local newspapers and is reprinted here with permission of the author Frances Topping. Frances Topping is a candidate for re-election to the Charlestown Planning Commission.

I am proud to be part of a team that hopes to preserve Charlestown’s resources and character.

In our door to door campaign this fall of talking and listening to voters we have heard consistently that residents feel that the current Town Council and Planning Commission’s goals of preserving the character, the resources and the way of life is what the majority want with little major change.  Although we may be of different political parties for Charlestown we are Independents because we all share a common vision for the town. Politics is not the issue, the good of Charlestown is the driver. The Charlestown Citizen’s Alliance is the face of this vision. Working together we can achieve much without partisan divisive politics. Tough decisions require thoughtful deliberation and listening to people. The individuals running for council under the CCA vision have much vital and varied knowledge and experience.

I would like to highlight some recent town accomplishments under the current Town Council.

  1. The Council has worked towards increasing our affordable housing with three initiatives, Edwards Lane, Shannock Village Cottages and senior housing being developed at Churchwoods on Rte 1A.
  2. A Potable Water Group has investigated reasons for high nitrate concentration in communities along the south shore and ponds and instituted a Resolution for voluntary reduction of fertilizer (none is best), but a list of recommended lawn care professionals that will abide by the lower use of fertilizer is available. Further measures are being considered.
  3. The Council wants high education standards and buildings that will facilitate that while keeping budgets in check.
  4. A town staff hazard mitigation team has been looking at the hazards the town faces from wind and storm related issues to climate change and sea level rise and how to combat them and protect the town.
  5. There has been good morale in town hall over the last 8 years or so.

The Charlestown Citizen’s Alliance was formed in 2006 as a result of a dysfunctional council where civility and respect were not followed. The CCA believes in representing the majority of town residents, protecting the environment, quality education, keeping the taxes low while still providing safe roads and services and having civil debate. The Planning Commission strives to regulate subdivision developments to make as little environmental impact as possible by requiring adequate drainage, water retention and limited disturbance. It also is working on the vision for the town for the next 20 years through the Comprehensive Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan incorporates how the town will look, preserving our resources, awareness of the many programs and recreational opportunities available, how the business environment will be, addressing climate change and other hazards, transportation and services and facilities the town needs for example. It needs to represent the majority of the residents while ensuring long term viability and sustainability. Fortunately residents views and the CCA candidates’ seem to mesh. There is always opportunity for citizen input and volunteers.

Frances Topping
Frances Topping