2012-10-18 / News

Keiser thanks outgoing councilors

Council quickly moves through its last agenda
BY MARGO SULLIVAN

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser thanked the outgoing councilors at their final meeting Monday night for their work on the town’s behalf.

Four of the five sitting councilors – President Mike Schnack, Vice President Bob Bowen, Bill Murphy and Mike White – lost their bids for new terms in the Democratic primary in September.

Independent Ellen Winsor is the only incumbent who will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot as one of 10 candidates who will vie for five available seats.

During the town administrator’s report, Keiser said working with the councilors had been “a pleasure.” Keiser said he had worked with Schnack for five years and with the other councilors for three.

“You served this community very well,” Keiser said. He went through a list of the council’s achievements, starting with keeping the tax rate under control, despite the economic recession.

Among its other accomplishments, the council adopted measures to control health-care costs for municipal government employees; completed an energy audit; increased the road-paving budget and tackled controversial issues, such as the Jamestown EMS and the wind turbine. Also, this council dedicated the new pavilion at Fort Getty.

Four people attending the meeting also thanked the councilors.

The outgoing council dispatched its last official town business on Monday night, moving briskly through the agenda.

Schnack rang the gavel down on sewer and water matters in five minutes flat.

“Thank you for your patience,” he told the audience as he adjourned the session.

The council took a 10-minute recess before reconvening its regular business, with Councilor Robert Bowen absent. During the intermission, Schnack asked Keiser if Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero was expected at the regular meeting.

Keiser said Ruggiero was driving in from Charlestown.

“He may miss it,” Schnack said. When Ruggiero arrived before the meeting started, Schnack quipped, “Don’t sit down.”

The council’s first order of business after the pledge of allegiance and the roll call was a proclamation commending Finn Dwyer for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Finn did not attend the meeting to hear the proclamation.

In other business, the councilors accepted correspondence from Gov. Lincoln Chafee, who announced Jamestown would receive a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $268,500.

“We have a letter to [Secretary of State Ralph] Mollis regarding voter ID,” Schnack said. “I think the letter says it all.”

The council also accepted a letter from Conservation Commission Chairwoman Carol Trocki about the precedent set when state workers clear-cut shrubs in the coastal buffer zone at Beavertail.

“The letter speaks for itself,” Schnack said, moving on with the agenda.

Winsor asked for elaboration.

“I’d like Carol to update the council as to why this letter went out,” Winsor said.

“Excuse me?” Schnack said.

Winsor said she would prefer to hear the letter discussed to alert the community about the issue.

“The community,” Schnack retorted, “can pick up a packet and read it online.”

Trocki, who attended the meeting, sat knitting during the exchange. When asked, she said she did not need to address the council.

As he reached the unfinished business part of the agenda, Schnack said if any business was unfinished, the new council could handle it.

The meeting lasted a half hour.

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