2018-08-30 / Letters to the Editor

Town council should avoid sanctuary issue

To the editor:

In reviewing the Aug. 16 article about the sanctuary group, I am concerned about the shared goal between the town and Conanicut Sanctuary “to create a measure that would combat President Trump’s aggressive immigration policies.”

There are many issues in the tenuous relationship between our town council and the partisan lobbying group that should trouble all Jamestown residents. Most egregious is the fact a non-elected group is promoting an ordinance making it illegal for Jamestown police to perform immigration enforcement.

This group also opposes the council’s alternative initiative establishing “a statement of value” and a directive “to codify operational policies for all municipal employees.”

Non-elected, partisan lobbying groups shouldn’t make decisions about enacting ordinances. The council brings essential ordinances before Jamestown residents.

Town ordinances should not conflict with federal laws. Proposals with potential conflicts must be reviewed by Jamestown residents. The council informs residents about legal and/or financial liabilities that may ensue due to ordinance enactment.

I have full confidence in Police Chief Ed Mello and his management of his department. In my interactions with the chief, I have found him to be diligent and courteous. I support him and his department in their interactions with other state and municipal departments and in navigating their interactions with federal agencies.

A fostered spirit of cooperation with other departments and agencies serves to strengthen the safety of our community. Do not impose superficial restraints that undermine the effectiveness of our police and unnecessarily endanger residents.

In the article Councilman Gene Mihaly states, “Ultimately, the community might have to ‘digest both approaches.’ ” I don’t know what this means; I remain concerned. I urge Jamestown residents to attend the next working session of the joint committee at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at Town Hall.

Paul Cartier
Pemberton Avenue

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