Just a friendly reminder that Conni Harding is running for Portsmouth Town Council this Tuesday, November 4, 2014.

Conni has been a positive force throughout our community over recent years and we wish her all the best in her run for a seat on the Portsmouth Town Council.

Don’t forget to vote this Tuesday!

Preserve Portsmouth is one of the three groups uniting to present Portsmouth Heritage Day on Sept. 20, 2014

Please join Preserve Portsmouth for our 6th Birthday!

We will be hosting a wine and cheese gathering with special guest Scott Wolf, executive director of Grow Smart RI.

When: May 6th, 2013
Time: 6:00 P.M.
Where: Greenvale Vineyards
582 Wapping Road
Portsmouth, Rhode Island

RVSP:
info@preserveportmouth.org

Donations Accepted

Please help STOP the placement of a toll on the Sakonnet Bridge!

Please attend the Rhode Island House Finance Committee in the State House on Thursday April 25 at 1:00 P.M. room 35. Join us and STOP in preventing this toll!

View the following link for more information: STOP Sakonnet Bridge Toll

 

Before the November 2012 elections we mailed a questionnaire to future Portsmouth Town Council candidates of their opinions pertaining to Preserve Portsmouth’s goals for the future. Below are the responses. Make sure your Town Council members stay true to their word at the next meeting, on March 11th at 7:00 pm.

 

Portsmouth Town Council Candidate Questionnaire -2012

Question 1) Do you support the Aquidneck Land Trust’s proposal to conserve and enhance the Glen, and do you believe residents should be given a chance to vote on this proposal by April 30, 2013 the deadline set by the Town Council?

 

Answers from the candidates:

  • David M. Gleason- YES. Absolutely, I have endorsed a conservation easement for the Glen properties for some time now and had hoped that the question would have been on the ballot this November with wording…”approval subject to mutually agreeable contract language.” Answers received on 10/6/12.
  • John F. Blaess- YES. I do endorse working with the ALT proposal. That being said, with the property in question being at least 150 acres, with waterfront property, and the voters in town purchasing the Glen years back for around 6 million dollars, the ALT offer of 1 million needs to be discussed. The property at St. Mary’s was purchased by ALT for 3 million dollars and that was for 40-50 acres, not on the water. Answers received on 10/9/12.
  • Michael A. Buddemeyer- YES.  I do support ALT proposal as I support all of their efforts. I am in favor of preserving open space throughout Portsmouth. I would, however like to make sure that the town is making the best decision and assure the proposal includes a fair market price for this property. Answers received on 10/11/12.
  • Elizabeth A. Pedro- YES. Currently the Town Administrator is working with others on the proposal which I believe the voters need to review so they can make an informed decision. Answers received on 10/11/12.
  • Mary Donohue Magee- YES The Glen must remain as open space and Elmhurst School needs to be demolished. It was proactive of the ALT to offer to help offset the demolition. The town needs to analyze the details of the proposal and share it with the community for their concurrence. Answers received on 10/15/12.
  • Keith Hamilton- Yes, I support the effort to preserve the Glen with the generous offer from the Aquidneck Island Land Trust and look forward to closing this deal next year.  The entire Glen property is one of Portsmouth’s many jewels and need to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Answers received on 10/17/12.
  • James A. Seveney- Yes. This could be a good deal for the town. Looking forward to negotiating the terms of the deal so we can present the voters a fully articulated proposal. Answers received on 10/19/12.

 

Question 2) Do you believe that agriculture is an important part of Portsmouth in terms of providing local businesses, producing fresh foods, affording beautiful scenic vistas that distinguish Portsmouth and make it a desirable place to live, work and visit, limiting the amount of residential subdivisions that cause costly community service demands for the Town, serving as a direct link to the Town’s history, and other community benefits?

 

Answers from the candidates:

  • David Gleason- YES, I believe that Portsmouth’s farming heritage should be embraced and promoted as much as possible. I would like to see a Portsmouth Farmers Market, potentially at Glen Farm.
  • John Blaess- YES. No brainer, big supporter.
  • Michael Buddemeyer- YES.  I am in complete agreement farms are a vital part of Portsmouth’s heritage and must remain viable. Farms are less costly to the town and the residential proliferation must be slowed.
  • Elizabeth Pedro- Yes, all of the above. I might add that much of Portsmouth’s history is one of agriculture. Many Dutch farmers settled here to grow the nurseries because they recognized that we have such a unique climate and rich soil.
  • Mary Donohue McGee- YES. Agriculture is an important part of Portsmouth’s past, present and future. It is our heritage which we must preserve and celebrate.
  • Keith Hamilton- Yes. Portsmouth was built on farming and that tradition needs to continue.  As the world’s population continues to grow and weigh on our food supply it becomes even more important that we maintain local areas to grow food.
  • James A. Seveney- Yes. Retaining our agricultural heritage is essential for practical reasons, like self-sufficiency, as well cultural and environmental reasons.

 

Question 3) Do you support the Big Box regulations implemented in March of 2008 which state that no single retailer can build a big box store larger than 45,000 square feet? (Clements is approx. 31,500 sq.ft.)

 Answers from the candidates:

 

  • David Gleason- YES. I think that a 45,000 square foot building is the maximum size our citizens could live with, but plenty in size for any Big Box chain that might consider Portsmouth.
  • John Blaess- YES. Any industry we could get into town is a plus, but not larger than the above.
  • Michael Buddemeyer- YES. Portsmouth is a special place because of efforts such as this. Without these safeguards Portsmouth would no longer be a desirable community.
  • Elizabeth Pedro- YES. However, I think the limit should be a little less than that. Clement’s is a big building. I believe that at the meeting in March 2008, 35,000 square feet was proposed.
  • Mary Donohue Magee- Yes. I support the Bog Box regulations implemented in March of 2008.
  • Keith Hamilton- Yes, but I would have rather seen the ordinance implemented in the overall Comprehensive Community Plan rather than just an individual item.  As open space becomes more and more scarce it becomes more and more imperative to have a complete and updated plan.
  • James A. Seveney- Yes. Not at all interested in following the path other towns have. Large Box business gives us the headaches, and the state gets all the revenue.

 

Question 4) Do you support an effort to locate points of public access to the shore, and to have those points clearly marked?

Answers from the candidates:

  • David Gleason- YES. Definitely, and especially to preserve those that are being encroached upon by abutting property owners. I am currently working to preserve one in particular but know of several more.
  • John Blaess- YES. No brainer, we need to clearly mark these points, I believe that some are still unmarked.
  • Michael Buddemeyer- YES. I fully support public access to the shore. This is another feature that contributes to Portsmouth Charm. If we lose this we lose a part of what Portsmouth special.
  • Elizabeth Pedro- YES. This has always been an important issue in my family. I am liaison to the Conservation Committee, which is active in this effort. In fact, a right of way was dedicated in my father’s way in 2008:
    Pedro’s Cove Right of Way.
  • Mary Donohue McGee- YES I do support the initiative to locate points of public access to the shore and mark them. This would be a great effort and perhaps one that could be accomplished as part of the Portsmouth 375th birthday celebration.
  • Keith Hamilton- Yes, access to the shore is mandated by state law.  We have many, many access points but we need to work with CRMC to make sure they are properly marked and maintained.
  • James A. Seveney- Yes. We need to keep continued pressure on CRMC, the state designated agent for shoreline access, to do their job.

 

As the weather improves, it is the perfect time to take a walk down to the Glen and refresh your memory about the upcoming proposed ballot question.  If you’re wondering what ballot question, it is the potential conservation easement on the Glen property. We urge you to educate yourself on this issue for it effects all of us as well as the future of Portsmouth.

The Process RI/DOT is taking to get final toll approval as early as January 2013 should be understood and effective steps taken to formulate strategy.
NEPA – The federal law that controls.  National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA)
Decision Agency: Federal Highway Administration will decide if RI/DOT has complied with NEPA on the toll project proposal.
Required to Proceed: Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) compliance
Methods: Reevaluation of an Existing EIS or Supplementing an EIS fully with a  new issue
Reevaluation requires far less work, is not as public, deadlines short.  RI/DOT has filed for a Reevaluation based on the original Sakkonnet River Bridge having a final EIS issued.
To be Approved RI/DOT must show that they have considered the adverse economic and social impacts for Federal –aid highway projects which includes adding the Toll to the bridge.  Projects with clearly identified and significant social, economic , or environmental impacts always require 23 U.S.C. 109(h) Federal approval. Evidence of this compliance must be contained in the appropriate documentation.Further, it is FHWA policy that public involvement be an essential part of this process.
KEY DOCUMENTS TO REVIEW:
The  First DRAFT REPORT OF Sakonnet Bridge
Includes study of traffic and financial revenue tolls could generate, never gets to social and economic impact study due to public pressure the toll is dropped from the application process entirely:
Final EIS Report on Sakkonnet river Bridge
http://www.commonwealth-eng.com/sakonnet/eis.htmlFinalEIS issued (no toll included in final )
Helpful for research :FAA Newlsetter on NEPA Reevaluation Standards
Example of Detail of Social and Economic Impact RI/DOT must produce
Listed below are FHWA REGULATIONS on STANDARDS THAT MUST BE INCLUDED in reporting potentially significant impacts most commonly encountered by highway projects. This list is not all-inclusive and on specific projects there may be other impact areas that should be included.

ANY FILINGS BY RI/DOT MUST MEET THIS STANDARD AS TOLLS WERE NOT INCLUDED IN THE FIRST EIS BRIDGE APPROVAL

A. Social Impacts

Where there are foreseeable impacts, discuss the following items for each alternative commensurate with the level of impacts and to the extent they are distinguishable:
  1. Changes in the     neighborhoods or community cohesion for the various social groups as a     result of the proposed action. These changes may be beneficial or adverse,     and may include splitting neighborhoods, isolating a portion of a     neighborhood or an ethnic group, generating new development, changing     property values, or separating residents from community facilities, etc.
  2. Changes in     travel patterns and accessibility (e.g., vehicular, commuter, bicycle, or     pedestrian).
  3. Impacts on     school districts, recreation areas, churches, businesses, police and fire     protection, etc. This should include both the direct impacts to these     entities and the indirect impacts resulting from the displacement of     households and businesses.
  4. Impacts of     alternatives on highway and traffic safety as well as on overall public     safety.
  5. General social     groups specially benefitted or harmed by the proposed project. The effects     of a project on the elderly, handicapped, nondrivers, transit-dependent,     and minority and ethnic groups are of particular concern and should be     described to the extent these effects can be reasonably predicted. Where     impacts on a minority or ethnic population are likely to be an important     issue, the following information     broken down by race, color, and national origin: the population of the     study area, the number of displaced residents, the type and number of     displaced businesses, and an estimate of the number of displaced employees     in each business sector. Changes in ethnic or minority employment     opportunities should be discussed and the relationship of the project to     other Federal actions which may serve or adversely affect the ethnic or     minority population should be identified.

    The discussion should address whether any social group is     disproportionally impacted and identify possible mitigation measures to     avoid or minimize any adverse impacts. Secondary sources of information     such as census and personal contact with community leaders supplemented by     visual inspections normally should be used to obtain the data for this     analysis. However, for projects with major community impacts, a survey of     the affected area may be needed to identify the extent and severity of     impacts on these social groups.

B. Relocation Impacts

The relocation information should be summarized in sufficient detail to adequately explain the relocation situation including anticipated problems and proposed solutions. Project relocation documents from which information is summarized should be referenced . Secondary sources of information such as census, economic reports, and contact with community leaders, supplemented by visual inspections (and, as appropriate, contact with local officials) may be used to obtain the data for this analysis. Where a proposed project will result in displacements, the following information regarding households and businesses should be discussed for each alternative under consideration commensurate with the level of impacts and to the extent they are likely to occur:
  1. An estimate of     the number of households to be displaced, including the family     characteristics (e.g., minority, ethnic, handicapped, elderly, large     family, income level, and owner/tenant status). However, where there are     very few displaces, information on race, ethnicity and income levels     should not be included to protect     the privacy of those affected.
  2. A discussion     comparing available (decent, safe, and sanitary) housing in the area with     the housing needs of the displaces. The comparison should include (1)     price ranges, (2) sizes (number of bedrooms), and (3) occupancy status     (owner/tenant).
  3. A discussion of     any affected neighborhoods, public facilities, non-profit organizations,     and families having special composition (e.g., ethnic, minority, elderly,     handicapped, or other factors) which may require special relocation     considerations and the measures proposed to resolve these relocation     concerns.
  4. A discussion of     the measures to be taken where the existing housing inventory is     insufficient, does not meet relocation standards, or is not within the     financial capability of the displaces. A commitment to last resort housing     should be included when sufficient comparable replacement housing may not     be available.
  5. An estimate of     the numbers, descriptions, types of occupancy (owner/tenant), and sizes     (number of employees) of businesses and farms to be displaced.     Additionally, the discussion should identify (1) sites available in the     area to which he affected businesses may relocate, (2) likelihood of such     relocation, and (3) potential impacts on individual businesses and farms     caused by displacement or proximity of the proposed highway if not     displaced.
  6. A discussion of     the results of contacts, if any, with local governments, organizations,     groups, and individuals regarding residential and business relocation     impacts, including any measures or coordination needed to reduce general     and/or specific impacts. These contacts are encouraged for projects with     large numbers of relocates or complex relocation requirements. Specific     financial and incentive programs or opportunities (beyond those provided     by the Uniform Relocation Act) to residential and business relocates to     minimize impacts may be identified, if available through other agencies or     organizations.
  7. A statement that     (1) the acquisition and relocation program will be conducted in accordance     with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition     Policies Act of 1970, as amended, and (2) relocation resources are     available to all residential and business relocates without     discrimination.

C.  Economic Impacts

Where there are foreseeable economic impacts, listed below are potentially significant impacts most commonly encountered by highway projects. These factors should be discussed for each reasonable alternative where a potential for impact exists. This list is not all-inclusive and on specific projects there may be other impact areas that should be included.
Discuss the following for each alternative commensurate with the level of impacts:
  1. The economic     impacts on the regional and/or local economy such as the effects of the     project on development, tax revenues and public expenditures, employment     opportunities, accessibility, and retail sales. Where substantial impacts     on the economic viability of affected municipalities are likely to occur,     they should also be discussed together with a summary of any efforts     undertaken and agreements reached for using the transportation investment     to support both public and private economic development plans. To the     extent possible, this discussion should rely upon results of coordination     with and views of affected State, county, and city officials and upon     studies performed under Section 134.
  2. The impacts on     the economic vitality of existing highway-related businesses (e.g.,     gasoline stations, motels, etc.) and the resultant impact, if any, on the     local economy. For example, the loss of business or employment resulting     from building an alternative on new location bypassing a local community.
  3. Impacts of the     proposed action on established business districts, and any opportunities     to minimize or reduce such impacts by the public and/or private sectors.     This concern is likely to occur on a project that might lead to or support     new large commercial development outside of a central business district.
Note:  The Secretary shall not approve any project involving approaches to a bridge under this title, if such project and bridge will significantly affect the traffic volume and the highway system of a contiguous State without first taking into full consideration the views of that State.

We had a great showing of both town council candidates and assorted folks from the community come to the Leonard Brown House for the start of a local tour around key destinations in Portsmouth.

Here are the answers from the questionnaire that was mailed to the Portsmouth Town Council candidates a few weeks ago!!

Portsmouth Town Council Candidate Questionnaire -2012

The answers are posted in the order that they were received, due back by October 18th.

Question 1) Do you support the Aquidneck Land Trust’s proposal to conserve and enhance the Glen, and do you believe residents should be given a chance to vote on this proposal by April 30, 2013 the deadline set by the Town Council?

 

Answers from the candidates:

Allen J. Shers - The Glen is the jewel of Portsmouth. It should be preserved for recreation and open space.  I am in closed meetings regarding the ALT proposal with the town and cannot discuss ongoing negotiations nor render an opinion. Answers received on 10/3/12.

Joseph W. Robicheau- YES. Answers received on 10/3/12.

Robert W. Church- YES. I support a proposal by the trust with the best interest for the people of Portsmouth.  The residents of Portsmouth should vote on any decision. Answers received on 10/5/12.

David M. Gleason- YES. Absolutely, I have endorsed a conservation easement for the Glen properties for some time now and had hoped that the question would have been on the ballot this November with wording…”approval subject to mutually agreeable contract language.” Answers received on 10/6/12.

John F. Blaess- YES. I do endorse working with the ALT proposal. That being said, with the property in question being at least 150 acres, with waterfront property ,and the voters in town purchasing the Glen years back for around 6 million dollars, the ALT offer of 1 million needs to be discussed. The property at St. Mary’s was purchased by ALT for 3 million dollars and that was for 40-50 acres, not on the water. Answers received on 10/9/12.

Paul S. Kesson- YES. Answers received on 10/9/12.

Federick W. Faerber III- YES. Qualified, In principle I support the Aquidneck Land Trust proposal but I am concerned that their offer is not high enough for the lands value. I am also concerned that easement restricitions may be too strict. However, I strongly support open space. Answers received on 10/11/12.

Michael A. Buddemeyer- YES.  I do support ALT proposal as I support all of their efforts. I am in favor of preserving open space throughout Portsmouth. I would, however like to make sure that the town is making the best decision and assure the proposal includes a fair market price for this property. Answers received on 10/11/12.

Elizabeth A. Pedro- YES. Currently the Town Administrator is working with others on the proposal which I believe the voters need to review so they can make an informed decision. Answers received on 10/11/12.

Judith J. Staven- YES I also feel that the public needs to be well informed as to the ins and outs of the proposal. We are working on that now. Answers received on 10/15/12.

Mary Donohue Magee- YES The Glen must remain as open space and Elmhurst School needs to be demolished. It was proactive of the ALT to offer to help offset the demolition. The town needs to analyze the details of the proposal and share it with the community for their concurrence. Answers received on 10/15/12.

Keith Hamilton- Yes, I support the effort to preserve the Glen with the generous offer from the Aquidneck Island Land Trust and look forward to closing this deal next year.  The entire Glen property is one of Portsmouth’s many jewels and need to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Answers received on 10/17/12.

James A. Seveney- Yes. This could be a good deal for the town. Looking forward to negotiating the terms of the deal so we can present the voters a fully articulated proposal. Answers received on 10/19/12.

Leonard B. Katzman- Yes. I am proud to state that during my 2 terms on the town council, from 2004 to 2008, I voted in favor of every open space proposal presented to the council by the ALT. Every. Single. One. I also voted to place a question on the ballot for a $2 million bond for the purpose of preserving open space ‐‐ and then actively worked for its passage by handing out informational flyers at the transfer station and attending community events. The result was that the bond passed by a double‐digit margin. I will match my commitment to preservation of open space against any other council candidate. My record speaks for itself. Answers received on 10/19/12.

 

Question 2) Do you believe that agriculture is an important part of Portsmouth in terms of providing local businesses, producing fresh foods, affording beautiful scenic vistas that distinguish Portsmouth and make it a desirable place to live, work and visit, limiting the amount of residential subdivisions that cause costly community service demands for the Town, serving as a direct link to the Town’s history, and other community benefits?

Answers from the candidates:

Shers-  YES. Portsmouth is known for its scenic vistas. Residential single family is a net tax loss. Manuel Escobar and I are good friends from which I have developed more respect from the farmer.  There must be a balanced focus respecting those features that make Portsmouth so special.

Robicheau- YES.

Church- YES. The Agriculture we see today has helped make this town the beautiful place it is. Every step should be made to preserve what we have!

Gleason- YES, I believe that Portsmouth’s farming heritage should be embraced and promoted as much as possible. I would like to see a Portsmouth Farmers Market, potentially at Glen Farm.

Blaess- YES. No brainer, big supporter.

Paul S. Kesson- YES.

Faerber- YES, of course I support local agriculture and my campaign literature prominently mentions this in the sense that I want to “protect and maintain Portsmouth’s rural charm”.

Buddemeyer- YES.  I am in complete agreement farms are a vital part of Portsmouth’s heritage and must remain viable. Farms are less costly to the town and the residential proliferation must be slowed.

Pedro- Yes, all of the above. I might add that much of Portsmouth’s history is one of agriculture. Many Dutch farmers settled here to grow the nurseries because they recognized that we have such a unique climate and rich soil.

Staven- YES.

McGee- YES. Agriculture is an important part of Portsmouth’s past, present and future. It is our heritage which we must preserve and celebrate.

Hamilton- Yes. Portsmouth was built on farming and that tradition needs to continue.  As the world’s population continues to grow and weigh on our food supply it becomes even more important that we maintain local areas to grow food.

James A. Seveney- Yes. Retaining our agricultural heritage is essential for practical reasons, like self-sufficiency, as well cultural and environmental reasons.

Leonard B. Katzman- Yes. Absolutely! Preserve Portsmouth’s framing of this question so beautifully of thriving agriculture to our community that there is little more I can add.

 

 

Question 3) Do you support the Big Box regulations implemented in March of 2008 which state that no single retailer can build a big box store larger than 45,000 square feet? (Clements is approx. 31,500 sq.ft.)

 Answers from the candidates:

Shers- YES. This regulation addresses the desire of the town to have a more village concept design.
As the longest member serving member of the Design Review Board in the town we have made long positive design stride towards this goal.

Robicheau- YES.

Church- YES. Big Box Stores do not belong in Portsmouth

Gleason- YES. I think that a 45,000 square foot building is the maximum size our citizens could live with, but plenty in size for any Big Box chain that might consider Portsmouth.

Blaess- YES. Any industry we could get into town is a plus, but not larger than the above.

Paul S. Kesson- YES.

Faerber- YES. I support this in the context of supporting Portsmouth’s rural character.

Buddemeyer- YES. Portsmouth is a special place because of efforts such as this. Without these safeguards Portsmouth would no longer be a desirable community.

Pedro- YES. However, I think the limit should be a little less than that. Clement’s is a big building. I believe that at the meeting in March 2008, 35,000 square feet was proposed.

Staven- Yes, but I think 45,000 square feet is too big.

Magee- Yes. I support the Bog Box regulations implemented in March of 2008.

Hamilton- Yes, but I would have rather seen the ordinance implemented in the overall Comprehensive Community Plan rather than just an individual item.  As open space becomes more and more scarce it becomes more and more imperative to have a complete and updated plan.

James A. Seveney- Yes. Not at all interested in following the path other towns have. Ig Box business gives us the headaches, and the state gets all the revenue.

Leonard B. Katzman-
Yes. I sat on the council in 2007‐08 during the time that Target had its sights on Portsmouth. I helped see to it that the anti‐big‐box zoning regulations were properly researched and drafted so as to be enforceable, and then voted in favor of them, making them now the law in Portsmouth. I hope to serve on the council again and I ask for your vote ‐‐ yet if it should turn out that I never serve on the council again I will consider the actions I took to keep out Target and protect Portsmouth from big box development to be one of my most important accomplishments. Imagine what a changed community we would now be if Target had prevailed. I’m grateful for the efforts of Preserve Portsmouth during that time and that we were all successful.

 

 

Question 4) Do you support an effort to locate points of public access to the shore, and to have those
points clearly marked?

 

Answers from the candidates:

Shers- YES. Claudette has been instrumental on this issue. We live on an Island with a shore line second to none. It is a travesty not to have proper public access to the shore.

Robicheau- YES

Church- YES. We are slowly losing the rights of public.

Gleason- YES. Definitely, and especially to preserve those that are being encroached upon by abutting property owners. I am currently working to preserve one in particular but know of several more.

Blaess- YES. No brainer, we need to clearly mark these points, I believe that some are still unmarked.

Paul S. Kesson- YES

Faerber- YES, Absolutely, but this is also, I believe, Federal Law.

Buddemeyer- YES. I fully support public access to the shore. This is another feature that contributes to Portsmouth Charm. If we lose this we lose a part of what Portsmouth special.

Pedro- YES. This has always been an important issue in my family. I am liaison to the Conservation Committee, which is active in this effort. In fact, a right of way was dedicated in my father’s way in 2008:
Pedro’s Cove Right of Way.

Staven- YES. I have been and always will be an active advocate for locating and preserving our Right of Ways to the shore.  There are many ROW’s that have been encroached upon by the abutters. We need to return them to public use.

McGee- YES I do support the initiative to locate points of public access to the shore and mark them. This would be a great effort and perhaps one that could be accomplished as part of the Portsmouth 375th birthday celebration.

Keith Hamilton- Yes, access to the shore is mandated by state law.  We have many, many access points but we need to work with CRMC to make sure they are properly marked and maintained.

James A. Seveney- Yes. We need to keep continued pressure on CRMC, the state designated agent for shoreline access, to do their job.

Leonard B. Katzman-
Yes, and such an effort is long overdue.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to answer your questions. If any Portsmouth resident has any other questions relating to my run for Town Council, I’m happy to answer directly. I can be reached by telephone at 401‐683‐5000 or by email address at Leonard.Katzman@gmail.com. Again, thank you for this opportunity to address the concerns of Preserve Portsmouth. I hope you will consider voting for me and supporting my like‐minded Democratic Party Slate candidates for Town Council. Don’t forget to vote on November 6th!

 

 

Don’t Forget to Vote!!

We are Asking the Portsmouth Town Council Candidates
to Answer a Few Questions

Here’s What They have Been Sent Via Snail Mail:
We will post their answers as they are returned to us…

 

Dear Candidates and Incumbents for Portsmouth Town Council,

 

Congratulations on your decision to run for Town Council 2012. Our grassroots group, Preserve Portsmouth, has had folks asking us where candidates stand on different issues. We felt it more effective this year to ask you questions relating to our mission, of “raising awareness in our community, regarding land use, buy local and smart growth issues.

 

If you would kindly fill out the questionnaire no later than October 18, we will begin posting them as they are received on our website. We would also like to cordially invite you and a guest on a “school bus” educational tour to visit various sites in town with experts on hand to answer any questions you may have.  Please see details below:

To Our Town Council Candidates
Join Us for a Fun Evening about Town

Friday Evening, 4:45pm-7:00pm

October 19, 2012

Meet at the Brown House, Linden Lane, Portsmouth,
Look for the school bus!

(We will be providing a drop off stop at Portsmouth High School,
at approximately 6:50pm, football game kick-off).

All others will be brought back to the Brown House.

                 Beverages and appetizers will be served on the bus tour

Candidate Questionnaire 2012

Please circle yes or no and write a brief answer in the spaces provided.

1.)    Do you support the Aquidneck Land Trust’s proposal to conserve and enhance the Glen?

Yes

No

2.)    Do you believe that agriculture is an important part of Portsmouth in terms of providing local businesses, producing fresh foods, affording beautiful scenic vistas that distinguish Portsmouth and make it a desirable place to live, work and visit, limiting the amount of residential subdivisions that cause costly community service demands for the Town, serving as a direct link to the Town’s history, and other community benefits?

Yes

No

3.)    Do you support the Big Box regulations implemented in March of 2008 which state that no single retailer can build a big box store larger than 45,000 square feet? (Clements is approx. 31,500 sq.ft.)

Yes

No

4.)    Do you support an effort to locate points of public access to the shore, and to have those points clearly marked?

Yes

No

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at info@preserveportsmouth.org.

Governor Chafee will be visiting Portsmouth Town Hall this Thursday morning, August 23rd at 8:30 a.m. to discuss ways to help small businesses.  For over five years Preserve Portsmouth has been encouraging folks to spend their hard earned money at locally owned businesses as they are the backbone of the entire economy.  The dismal news of the tolls on the Sakonnet  Bridge should not have been so shocking  to some of us, but really what were they thinking?  With all of the social media nowadays could we have been given a heads up in May that this is a serious issue and to please show up and protest at the Statehouse? This is not a user fee this is an abuser fee. How do employers large and small explain to their out-of-state employees that $8.00 will be added to their commute?

This toll will extract money from the working class and distract money from the Island.  How do business owners stay in business with less off-Island traffic coming through?  If you have questions for the Governor like we do, please show up at Portsmouth Town Hall and print out the  sign below. Post them on telephone poles, your vehicles and hold them up so the Governor knows of our displeasure.

Good morning everyone.

I wanted to thank you all for your positive support regarding our Glen proposal.

As you saw, it was another epic meeting with the Portsmouth Town Council.  Despite an overwhelming public show of support for our proposal last night (so wonderful that 15 organizations and committees came out in support of our proposal in addition to many individuals), the Council seemed ambivalent and hesitant.  However, we have to keep in mind that many of our conservation proposals are initially met this way by the Portsmouth Town Council.  I can think of a number of past efforts such as when we asked the Town to provide a $1.28 million grant to our effort to conserve Green Valley.  We had multiple meetings with the Town Council over many months before they ultimately agreed to provide our project the $1.28 million.  They need time to digest these big ideas and make sure they will benefit the public.

As I understand it, the immediate next step is that the Town will send out an RFP to contractors to get official bids for the demolition of the Elmhurst School.  They want to confirm the numbers that the Elmhurst Planning Committee came up with after talking with contractors.  That is reasonable.  It is also my understanding that the Town will be in contact with us soon.

It was truly rewarding to see a vast majority of the public last night excited about our vision of a major public waterfront park coupled with the permanent protection of the Glen.  They understood that our proposal would create priceless and lasting public good.  With time, the Council can see what the people are seeing.

We will continue to fight the good fight for the community.  Your help in fighting this good fight is deeply appreciated because together I think we have a chance at realizing this awesome vision.  Cheers!

Ted

Edward Sortwell Clement, Jr., Esq.

Executive Director

Aquidneck Land Trust

790 Aquidneck Avenue

Middletown, RI 02842

Tel: 401-849-2799 ext. 12

Fax: 401-851-8998

 

Click this link to read Ted’s Glen Proposal Formal Presentation

Folks-
There is a very important Public Hearing on May 22nd at Portsmouth Town Hall. Preserve Portsmouth enthusiastically supports the proposal for removing the Elmhurst School building as part of protecting and and enhancing the Glen.  Please see the letter below from Mr. Ted Clement on February 17th to Mr. Richard Wimpress, Chair of the Elmhurt Planning Committee. The Glen is to Portsmouth what Second Beach is to Middletown and The Mansions to Newport.  This is the type of destination that we need to conserve in order to foster economic growth in our town.  At this meeting on the 22nd we are asking the Town Council to put this proposal on the November ballot and allow us, the citizens of Portsmouth  to decide.
Best Wishes-
Conni Harding
President- Preserve Portsmouth
click on letter to enlarge and read additional 2 pages
click on letter to enlarge