Letter: Attempting to set the record straight

Posted 11/5/21

To the editor:I wrote a letter that appeared in the October 21st edition of the Post. This was in response to Councilman Cahoon’s commentary published in the October 14th edition, in which he …

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Letter: Attempting to set the record straight

Posted

To the editor:
I wrote a letter that appeared in the October 21st edition of the Post. This was in response to Councilman Cahoon’s commentary published in the October 14th edition, in which he wrote glowingly about East Providence having come a long way since the Budget Commission came to town. I agreed that we have. He also spoke about “embracing the future,” citing the new high school. I agreed with that also and gave him credit for his contributions to its successful construction.

Then I wrote: “My issue with Mr. Cahoon’s commentary is in regard to his embrace of the future and what it means to lead.” Specifically, I said that embracing the future means acknowledging the reality of climate change and that leadership arises through courage, not fear.

A reader took issue with that and wrote a rebuttal letter in the October 28th edition. She dredged up an article from the local monthly paper written in June 2016 when I was campaigning for Council in the last of my “3 failed political runs.”

The writer states that I had “completely opposite opinions on development” in 2016, citing my positive statements regarding the University Medical building on the upper part of Wampanoag Trail and the budding Kettle Point development on the Parkway. I stand guilty.

Locating the UM building on the Trail was perfectly appropriate. The proposals for Kettle Point were vastly different in 2016 than what has been built there since then, and modifications to the Parkway to accommodate it, though concerning, were minimal. The writer fails to acknowledge that subsequent to 2016,

I came out in opposition to constructing the University Orthopedics building at the most prominent point on our waterfront.
In any event, I have never advocated for developing zoned Open Space and have spent every day of the past 16 months proving that by my dedication to keeping Metacomet green.

The writer also states that “… green space, climate change, and environmentalism are not mentioned once in Ms. Seel’s 2016 campaign article.” No one in 2016, to my knowledge, ever contemplated that Metacomet would be the target of a developer and that a majority of our elected representatives would cave in, out of fear of what the developer might build without rezoning.

And who else was talking about climate change in the 2016 campaign? I don’t recall hearing a peep from any viable candidate. Now, in 2021, it should be obvious that climate change is upon us today and that real leaders should be doing whatever is in their power to mitigate its effects.

The writer accuses me of flip-flopping in my views on development, which is patently untrue. I refer her to Councilman Cahoon’s statement in September 2020 that no development of open space should be permitted until our Comprehensive Plan, the guiding document for development in East Providence, is revised. That process is still going on and will go on for some months to come.

In July 2021, Mr. Cahoon changed his position on waiting for the Comprehensive Plan revision process to play out and, instead, voted to rezone, citing among other factors his fear of what Marshall could build on Metacomet by right under existing zoning. Talk about flip-flopping.

Candy Seel
East Providence
Keep Metacomet Green Director

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.