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Letter: Proposed Charter Changes Could Put Town Property at Risk

"Could the Town Beach, or any other Town owned property, valued for its historic, cultural, or recreational contribution, actually be sold without voter approval?" writes David Wrenn of North Kingstown.

To the editor:

NK Town Beach Sold Without Voter Approval

Headline of the future? Could the Town Beach, or any other Town owned property, valued for its historic, cultural, or recreational contribution, actually be sold without voter approval?

Yes, IF the North Kingstown Town Council revises Sec. 314. of the Town Charter. 

Why should we be concerned?  For nearly 30 years, and through the leadership of fourteen Town Councils, Sec. 314., has granted the Town authority to enter into real property transactions with a key provision, “…[that] the qualified electors of the town shall approve or reject said sale or conveyance, and any lease of town lands or properties which by its terms extends to a period of ten (10) or more years”.

The proposed amendment eliminates the requirement for Town owned real estate to be sold or leased, that a "vote" of the qualified electors at a special or general election must approve it.  If Sec. 314 is amended, a nod by 3 Council members will be all that is required; residents’ right to vote is to be taken away.

The Town Council’s next meeting is scheduled for 7:00 pm, Monday, July 14th. A council discussion is slated on this amendment to the Town Charter as well as others. Consider attending this meeting to voice your opposition.  In the meantime, emails should be sent to towncouncil@northkingstown.org explaining why this is not a good idea.

David Wrenn

North Kingstown, RI

Diane Andrade July 15, 2014 at 09:08 AM
Are they crazy?????

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