To the Editor:

First of all, Sunday, July 5th is the day in which we have to turn in signatures for the “Resolution Supporting the Voters’ Decision to Build a New Library at the Former IGA/Belmont Location.” As many of you know, the library supporters recently won a key decision that gave us the right to proceed with the new library project which over two-thirds of the town’s residents had previously voted for. The present town council president, Matthew Mannix, and his two cohorts, Jill Lawler and Rick Lema have labored mightily to deny us residents what we voted for and approved. But, fortunately, the Superior Court judge, Jeffrey Lanphear, saw it our way and clearly and unequivocally gave us the right to proceed with the new library project that has been ten years in the making.

Still, our council president Mannix amazingly stated at the June 15th council meeting that “The recent decision by the judge in superior court …shows a misunderstanding of municipal law…” His amazingly naïve and uninformed comment about a highly respected R.I. judge brought laughter from two of the pro-library council members. (See the June 15th council meeting on YouTube and stop the video at approximately 3 hours and 8 minutes for this unbelievable performance by Mannix.) 

For further “entertainment” from the June 15th meeting I would suggest that you stop the YouTube video at approximately 2 hours and 34 minutes to hear Love Your Library president, Nancy De Nuncio get  scolded by Mannix for trying to legally garner signatures supporting the court-approved advancement of our new library. 

Also, if you go to approximately 2 hours and forty-three minutes you will see the chairwoman of the Narragansett Library interact with Mannix. It’s both funny, yet sad, that Mannix has such animosity for the library supporters.

Finally, for a change, you will hear Mannix being roundly scolded by Meg Rogers at approximately 3 hours and one minute. She broadly scolded Matt for his behavior and his actions. She also mentioned the multiple Open Meetings Act violations against the Town of Narragansett  the R.I. Attorney General’s office since Mannix became president. And, she corrected him for interrupting him since the rule is that residents have the right to speak uninterrupted for three minutes during Open Forum. Yet, Mannix, continued to interrupt her and make sarcastic comments about her like calling her “omniscient.” It was quite a discouraging and sad performance by Mannix, yet it did have some humor in it.

So, I respectably ask the residents of Narragansett to sign the petition supporting the voters’ decision to build a new library. We have until July 5th to sign it. We have to overcome the extreme aggressiveness by Mannix and his associates Lawler and Lema to silence voters’ desire to complete the acquisition of the former IGA Belmont Building which is to be our new library. 

Ted di Stefano



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