Friday, June 13, 2008

Councilor Silveira's Letter

I missed this letter published in the "Newport Daily News" letters on Sat. I've been busy. So here it is. Is it deserving of a fish placed in Arlene Kaull's car? I don't see it myself but maybe I'm just a fish out of water and, no, I'm not fishing for a compliment.

I must take strong exception to the letter to the Editor from Mr. Bozyan suggesting that my, Coumcilman Sylvia’s and Councilman's DiPlama’s request for public access to public records related to the resignation of Mr. Kempen should be closed, since the Council is “spending too much time and energy” on the issue.

I suspect Mr. Bozyan’s opinion is colored considerably by his relationship to the Democratic Town Committee, jointly chaired by Dave Lavine, his brother-in-law, and Arlene Kaull, a Town Department Head and Mr. Rodrigues’ sister. Mr. Bozyan has also, I believe, said that he plans to run for Town Council.

Apparently, Mr. Bozyan thinks that allegations of serious breaches of the Town Charter are not serious matters. I think they are, and require full disclosure.

Mr. Bozyan also said that the decision to deny a raise to Mr. Kempen was unanimous. That is simply not true. The vote was 4 to 3, the 4; Mr. Rodrigues, Mrs. Santos, Mrs. Mello and Mrs. Barrows voted to withhold the raise and are now voting to withhold public records from the public.

Mr. Boyzan attempts to paint the unwillingness to disclose public records as insignificant, saying it cost the taxpayers only $3 per person. The figure greatly understates the cost, but since when are serious breaches of the Town Charter and blocking of the public’s right to know, not serious?
I do not doubt that Mr. Boyzan has been carefully coached by the chairs of the Democratic Committee on how to deflect attention from serious issues and will continue to claim that disclosure of public information diverts the Council from other serious matters, and is “political.”

He is correct; it is political, as is he and his letter. But these are serious issues deserving full disclosure. The taxpayers and citizens of Middletown deserve no less.
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