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One last salvo in yet another Charlestown conflict

I read with interest Mr. Collette’s fanciful characterization of me that was posted by The Sun on Sept. 27, regarding my August Letter to the Editor.

For someone who purports to focus on facts, he is far afield in his reply. Please allow me to set him and the record straight. My letter on civility was submitted to The Sun in May and long before I was a candidate for the Charlestown Town Council. Thus, it would have been grossly inaccurate for me to identify myself as a candidate at that time. For whatever reason, The Sun editorial staff did not receive my letter. Coterminously, my essay was electronically published on the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) web site in May. If I were a betting man, odds are very long that Mr. Collette saw it at that time. In a face-to face meeting with The Sun’s editorial staff in August, they agreed to consider publishing my letter that month and asked me to re-send the original letter to them, which I did.

The first lawsuit which Mr. Collette references was filed against the Town of Charlestown and initiated by a group of my neighbors, my wife and me. We had learned of a very questionable and fast-tracked decision made by the former Town Council that was designed to allow a developer, Mr. Lawrence LeBlanc, to erect two, 425- foot industrial wind turbines in a pristine area of our residential neighborhood. Thanks to our efforts, Superior Court Associate Justice Jeffrey Lanphear issued an injunction, which halted this initiative. The injunction allowed a new Council to develop and pass a revised, sensible wind ordinance that will prevent such egregious and irresponsible pillaging of the town’s environment. When our lawsuit was adjudicated this past August, Associate Justice Judith Savage ruled our suit moot because the new ordinance supercedes our original claim. Mr. Collette is very aware of these public events, but has conveniently chosen not to mention them.

The Open Meeting complaint that we filed against the former Town Council in 2011 was tied to their questionable interactions with Mr. LeBlanc that encouraged and led him to plan to erect the aforementioned turbines. It is true that our claim was denied. However, it remains most bewildering to us that the Attorney General’s office never deposed Mr. LeBlanc because his sworn and recorded account of events given at a Jan. 18 public Zoning Board meeting sharply contradicted the testimony of the three deposed Town Council members. We provided them with both a CD and a written transcript of Mr. LeBlanc’s testimony in support of our charges. One has to question why no one deposed him and what may have happened if Mr. LeBlanc had been queried. Mr. Collette, who espouses to be a seeker and defender of the truth, is conspicuously silent on this glaring error of omission.

To the matter of the former Town Administrator, Mr. DiLibero’s departure, and the “key role I played in the character assassination waged against him [Mr. DiLibero],” I challenge Mr. Collette’s reckless and irresponsible assertions.

My displeasure with Mr. DiLibero’s performance, not his character, is a matter of public record. In my one and only statement before the Town Council last winter with Mr. DiLibero in attendance, I expressed my dismay that Mr. DiLibero had received communication from the National Park Service that they would reject any attempt by the town to erect wind turbines in Ninigret Park. That communication, which was read aloud at the meeting, was withheld from the Council for over one year. Had he shared that information in a timely manner with both the Town Council and Charlestown residents, considerable expenditures of time and money, not to mention unpleasant tensions between the Town and both the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service, would have been avoided. Other issues regarding Mr. DiLibero’s performance, including an official reprimand from the Town Council on another issue, are a matter of public record and not appropriate for me to address. Again, Mr. Collette was aware of my statement, but overlooks this important point of fact.

In short, I find Mr. Collette’s attempts at revisionist history unfortunate and only serve as proof positive as to why I wrote my civility article in the first place.

His latest missive demonstrates that he will not let facts get in the way of his very public and unceasing vitriolic attacks against whomever he takes umbrage. His disdain is most palpable and blinds him to others’ honest and open efforts to improve the quality of life in Charlestown. He would be wise to heed Winston Churchill’s words, which are most instructive: “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice attacks it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

Ronald J. Areglado