2017-05-04 / Letters to the Editor

Town leadership is out of touch with community

To the editor:

I am deeply concerned that our leadership has strayed far away from traditional Jamestown values.

As to shooting, the councilors had three options to discuss openly with the audience: regulations, prohibition or status quo. As an interested citizen in the audience, I was expecting all three options would be openly discussed. However, Councilor Gene Mihaly quickly motioned for the ban and President Kristine Trocki immediately seconded it. So the entire evening was about a biased objective against a sport with an absolute flawless safety history.

To my dismay, along with the strong majority in the packed room, the compromise options were never heard. A lifetime of perfect safety had no value, although the impacted citizens are longtime Jamestown residents with no interest in bike paths, sailing or theater.

Sadly, the council majority chose to drive a wedge into the community. This group, which include many seniors and veterans, was stripped of its little piece of Jamestown.

Next up, the councilors considered vendors for East Ferry and Mackerel Cove. They quickly approved a Del’s bid for the town beach, but held back on the same vendor at East Ferry because of existing brick-and-mortar businesses within a few feet of the proposed cart.

Despite appeals from village business owners to withdraw the East Ferry application, three councilors ignored those wishes and voted to support the Cranston-based Del’s over our core businesses. To me, this vote was unprecedented.

The Del’s cart duplicates similar services already available nearby while taking precious parking spaces from village businesses. Additionally, sales will be siphoned from storefronts that truly support the community in tangible property taxes, water rates, sewer fees and rubbish charges. They also employ residents and support endless contributions to local nonprofits.

With empty storefronts now becoming more common, there is no need to solicit food carts that run counter to the health of our commercial district. I expect our elected officials to represent all citizens of our great community, and it’s troubling that they haven’t in recent weeks.

It is apparent that we now have several members of our town leadership who do not understand how to balance the needs of our community nor do they understand how fragile our village businesses really are.

Bill Munger

Cole Street

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