2010-09-09 / Letters to the Editor

Winsor ‘advisory’ should be removed

In the Aug. 5 issue of the Jamestown Press, Mike Schnack made several inaccurate assertions that need clarification.

In his letter to the editor, he stated, “…in virtually all instances, however, she (Ellen Winsor) routinely presented herself as a ‘Jamestown Town Council Member,’” and “…failure to distinguish between an official versus unofficial role has created misunderstanding and confusion among groups around the area attempting to fight the LNG Hess project.”

I have reviewed the video of the Bristol Town Council Meeting of July 7 and while it is true that Winsor began by stating she was a member of the Jamestown Council, she also made it very clear that she was there as a private citizen. That was not misleading, and to mention being a member of the Jamestown Council is merely establishing credibility.

At the Senate Task Force on March 16, 2010, Winsor established her credibility by stating she is a councilor of Jamestown, board member of the Potter League and member of the LNG Working Group. At the end of her presentation, she clearly stated, “…on behalf of the LNG Working Group…” I state these facts because Schnack won’t and that is, in my opinion, very misleading to the voters and anyone concerned about the Hess project.

In the Aug. 5 Press, John Shannon wrote a Viewpoint piece in which he gave a chronological order of the formation of the LNG Working Group. It is very clear that members of the Working Group, established before the elections last fall, have the credentials as the members are experts in their respective fields, have spent months researching the facts and have attempted to educate the public as to the potential danger of LNG tankers traveling through East Passage.

Also, John Shannon mentioned that on Nov. 17, three days after the current council took the oath of offi ce, the LNG Working Group met with the town administrator, and he established that LNG was a threat and needed priority status with the council.

It was also decided that the “LNG WG would report directly to the Town Council, and not just Ellen Winsor.” Yet, almost another five months went by before the council established the LNG Threat Committee after repeatedly rejecting Winsor’s effort to present several revised resolutions that the council might have been willing to adopt.

At a July 19 council meeting, Schnack presented an advisory, at least one of the councilors had not seen the advisory before the meeting and a vote was allowed based on hearsay. Although Schnack did read the advisory, the councilors that had not seen it before the meeting did not have time to review the document.

The council should be willing to work with Winsor, as she is their equal. The advisory needs to be removed from the town website, as it is pitiful and misleading.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Raky
North Kingstown

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