CHARLESTOWN - While much transpired at Monday night’s town council meeting in Charlestown, many important decisions were continued until later dates. The meeting started later than usual following the council’s executive session, and continued deep into the night. The town administrator’s performance, the future of Ninigret Park, and homeowner tax relief were all discussed at the lengthy meeting.
- The meeting started closer to 7:15 p.m. than 7 p.m. because the council was in executive session for a longer amount of time than usual, admitted Council President Tom Gentz upon the beginning of the public meeting. One of the topics being discussed in executive session by the council was the performance of Town Administrator Bill DiLibero.
The council decided to continue the discussion of the town administrator to April 19 at 5:30 p.m., however his name was to be brought up again later that night.
Maureen Areglado, secretary of the Charter Revision Advisory Board, who was listed on the agenda under persons wishing to be heard, on the topic of town governance, spoke at length about her concerns with DiLibero, his professionalism, and topics disclosed in public at recent council meetings that she found troublesome.
She outlined alleged concerns of the town administrator’s failure to get approval of the town council before applying for a grant for lighting at Ninigret Park, failure to communicate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about lighting at Ninigret Park, failure to communicate with the National Park Service about wind turbines at Ninigret Park, an email chain sent to only two out of five of the town councilors, and his securing of a police badge and the title of Director of Public Safety.
At the March 12 town council meeting, DiLibero explained that the badge was a measure taken to help him get to town offices in situations where the road could be blocked off due to natural disaster or other such emergency.
“Is the town administrator’s public credibility an asset or liability to our town?” Areglado said. “Mr. DiLibero owns his actions and is solely responsible for them.”
DiLibero, from his office in town hall the day after the meeting, said that he believes a lot of people in town would say that they are happy with his performance.
“I think if you look at my record in town, the three years I have been here, I think we have accomplished a lot,” he said.
In regards to the accusations about Ninigret park, he said “I think the people who spoke after [Areglado, at the meeting] clarified what can be done in the park.”
The people to speak after Areglado at the meeting were Chariho School Committeewoman and former Town Council President Deborah Carney and Vice Chair of the Charlestown Parks and Recreation Commission Cheryl Dowdell.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.